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Moving onto the internals, the cast is headed by an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 running at 2.2GHz; exactly the same as found in the Asus’ ET2203T. It’s a choice that’s getting slightly long in the tooth, what with Core i3 having been out for a while now, but it’s still a vastly superior alternative to the Atom processors that power many AIO PCs. Perhaps more importantly, it’s still more than adequate for everyday computing – only enthusiasts and gamers should look elsewhere.
It’s backed by the usual 4GB of 800MHz DDR2 RAM, though MSI has stuck with a 32-bit version of Windows 7, perhaps to enhance backwards compatibility. For storage there’s a relatively generous 640GB 3.5in hard drive, while on the wireless front we have Wi-Fi N, though Bluetooth is absent.
Not to be confused with the non-Hi-Fi AE2220, which features inferior Intel integrated graphics, the AE2220 Hi-Fi sports nVidia’s ION GPU (which is essentially an integrated GeForce 9300/9400). This means the machine won’t have the slightest trouble running even the most demanding HD video, and older games should be just about playable. Any recent titles will only run at their lowest settings however, aptly demonstrated by MSI’s machine scoring a lowly 26.3fps in TrackMania Nations Forever (medium detail, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution) – a very basic game by today’s standards.
Overall, the AE2220 is an impressive device. It’s packed with features, has ample performance (gaming aside), and at £785 it’s very competitively priced. If you aren’t too fussed about a TV tuner and remote then the Asus Eee Top ET2203T is a better-looking alternative, but if you want an all-round package little beats it.
Of course, the 21.5in Full HD version of the new Apple iMac, with its superior IPS panel, faster CPU, more impressive brushed metal chassis and arguably better OS is also an interesting option for only £184 more, but you lose out on the Blu-ray drive, TV tuner, media remote and touch capabilities.
A reasonably attractive all-in-one PC, MSI’s Wind Top AE2220 Hi-Fi might not live up to its billing as a Hi-Fi replacement, but nonetheless offers excellent value and – gaming aside – does most things you might want.
Score in detail