Review Price £279.99
Getting onto the EZ1600's internals, we're essentially dealing with a netbook in a desktop chassis here and it performs accordingly. The Intel N270 processor used is the single-core Atom rather than the dual-core 330 found in Novatech's ION PC, so while it will run everyday tasks fine, intensive multitasking or video encoding aren't options here - especially with only 1GB of RAM, which is the minimum required to keep Windows XP happy.
Thanks to the integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics you won't be able to play Full HD video either, though efficiently-encoded 720p will just about run. And you might as well forget about 3D gaming altogether, since in the TrackMania Nations Forever test on medium detail the EZ1600 (a very easy test by most standards) it only managed a pathetic five frames per second at the screen's native resolution.
In line with the rest of the netbook-like specifications hard drive capacity is only 160GB, which to be fair should be plenty for a reasonable family photo and music collection (it's only if you start cramming entire video collections and games on that you might need more). Last if not least Wi-Fi is built-in, though it's the slower 'g' standard rather than N.
So it's no great performer, but if all you want it for is to listen to music, watch DVDs, play 2D games and browse the internet, eMachines' … machine will do the job just fine, while staying very quiet and consuming less than 33W even under load. Best of all, at £338 it's the cheapest AIO we've reviewed.
Whether this makes it worth buying is another matter, since Acer's great little Aspire Revo R3600 offers far more power (including the ability to play older 3D games and Full HD films), double the memory, more connectivity, Windows Vista rather than XP and Draft-N Wi-Fi for only £227, leaving you a generous £112 to spend on a screen (on which you can mount the Revo) and external optical drive. If you do insist on an All-In-One though, the eMachines EZ1600 is well worth considering.
Average build quality and looks are forgivable considering eMachines' EZ1600 is one of the cheapest non-touch All-In-One PCs around, and it handles everyday computing tasks well enough. However, if you don't need an All-In-One then there are cheaper, more powerful yet still small desktop alternatives.
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