Anyway, enough about a peripheral belonging in a museum, instead let’s look at eMachines’ PC. Setting it up is, as with most AIOs, supremely simple. Just slide the supporting leg out, connect the power brick and you’re ready to go.
While not particularly attractive, there’s little wrong with the EZ1600’s looks. The screen is surrounded by a wide glossy black bezel, with the lower part divided by a chrome strip that contains the power button, stamped with the eMachines ‘e’ and backlit in green. To either side is a matte-finish leg, elevating the EZ1600 about 5.5cm off your desk.
Overall build quality is not outstanding with a fair degree of flex in many of the panels, but unless you particularly make a habit of moving your computer around a lot you should have no problems.
Connectivity is one area where it definitely has some advantages over the ViewSonic VPC100, with one extra USB port and a line-out audio jack. At the back are three USB ports, the line-out, PS2 ports and an Ethernet connection. Meanwhile, headphone and microphone jacks, a further two USBs and a multi-card reader are located at the left side, where they’re in easy reach.
Here we also find physical brightness controls for the screen, which while not quite up to the triple system employed by Shuttle’s XVision X50 which also controlled the power LED brightness and volume, is nonetheless very welcome. On the right is housed the tray-loading DVD-Rewriter, which offers another build-quality concern: it’s very loose and wobbly so you’ll need to be careful when inserting or removing discs. This shouldn’t affect optical media playback, though.
An annoyance the EZ1600 has in common with most AIOs is its lack of video inputs, which is a great pity since with its 18.5in display size it would have been nice to be able to hook up a console or other external device. We really hope this is something manufacturers will start changing soon.
It’s even more of a pity as the 16:9 screen, with its HD Ready 1,366 x 768 resolution, is halfway decent. Despite the usual TN-panel drawbacks of poor viewing angles and below-par greyscale performance, colours are bright, there’s no sign of backlight bleed and only minimal banding. It’s also nice and sharp, while a matte anti-glare coating helps ensure that there are no distracting reflections.
As for the inbuilt back-mounted stereo speakers, we can’t comment because the ones on our unit weren’t working, which is probably due to this review sample having had quite a bit of rough treatment prior to landing in our office.
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