PC Advisor rounds up reviews of the Asus Eee Top 1602. What's the verdict on Asustek's iMac killer?

Following the staggering success of its genre-defining, cut-price Eee PC laptop range, Taiwanese computer giant Asustek recently launched the Asus Eee Top.

The Eee Top is a desktop PC within a 15.6in screen. Like the Apple iMac, the Eee Top has no separate tower unit. Even better, the provided wireless keyboard slips into a slot on the back of the Eee Top, which has a touchscreen interface.

After putting the Asus Eee Top through its paces in the PC Advisor Test Centre, Reviews Editor Andrew Harrison was cautiously positive, awarding 3.5 stars, and saying: "This desktop PC is more like a laptop packed into a screen, yet with its touchscreen interface it is much more.

"This would make a good household computer for a young family, and thanks to its economical 27W power consumption, it won't even present any suprises on your next electric bill."

Click here for PC Advisor's Asus Eee Top 1602 review

Asus Eee Top

Click here for PC Advisor's exclusive Asus Eee Top PC video review

But PC Advisor operates a more stringent testing procedure than many other publications. Added to that, we look at things from a technical point of view. What, then, would the consumer press make of such a unique proposition?

Quick links:

  1. Asus Eee Top: review of reviews
  2. Asus Eee Top: Mass appeal
  3. Asus Eee Top: Style
  4. Asus Eee Top: Technology
  5. Asus Eee Top: Value

NEXT PAGE: Asus Eee Top - mass appeal?

PC Advisor rounds up reviews of the Asus Eee Top 1602. What's the verdict on Asustek's iMac killer?

Asus Eee Top: Mass appeal

Left leaning, typo-rich broadsheet the Gaurdian is the first out of the blocks from the national press.

Veteran Guardian technology hack Jack Schofield was fairly enamoured of the Eee Top. He thinks it looks great and sounds pretty good. And with its inherent portability and touchscreen, he thinks it's a good entertainment system to move around the house.

The Guardian is less pleased with the lack of an optical drive or TV tuner, however. And feels that the software is 'too confusing'.

The bottom line? "Yes, you can get a mini-tower PC or laptop for [the same money], but for a touch-screen all-in-one, £400 isn't too bad. And it could make a superb Windows 7 machine."

Er, what's that now Jack? Suffice to say that with an Intel Atom chip, and only one gig of RAM, the XP-toting Eee Top is unlikely to be much of a Vista machine, let alone Windows 7. We suspect that Mr Schofield is referring to the touchscreen features of Microsoft's upcoming operating system. But we'd like to see comfortably heftier specs before we upgraded the OS on the Eee Top.

Click here for the Guardian review of the Asus Eee Top

  1. Asus Eee Top: review of reviews
  2. Asus Eee Top: Mass appeal
  3. Asus Eee Top: Style
  4. Asus Eee Top: Technology
  5. Asus Eee Top: Value

NEXT PAGE: Asus Eee Top - style

PC Advisor rounds up reviews of the Asus Eee Top 1602. What's the verdict on Asustek's iMac killer?

Asus Eee Top: Style

One area in which the Eee Top has almost universal approval, is its looks. Take, for examples, the following reviews, from lads mag Askmen.com, and gadget site Stuff.

Askmen proffers an overall rating of 80.5, and describes the Eee Top as "functional and gorgeous". Its (grammatically challenged) verdict: "For an attractive and original multimedia option that offers touch technology and portable design, the Asus Eee Top is an extremely appealing value."

Click here for the Askmen verdict on the Asus Eee Top

Stuff gives the Eee Top a mighty five stars, and calls it "budget computing with class". Plus points include the fact that the Eee Top is 'small', as well as ease of set up, value, and web-browsing capability.

Like PC Advisor, Stuff doesn't think much of the Eee Top's text recognition function, and laments the lack of an optical drive.

In conclusion, Stuff says: "You wouldn't throw away a high-powered Alienware gaming rig for an Eee Top. But if it's a toss up between this or a cheap desktop from Tesco as a second PC or for a tiny flat, there really is no comparison."

Amen to that.

Click here for Stuff's full review of the Asus Eee Top

  1. Asus Eee Top: review of reviews
  2. Asus Eee Top: Mass appeal
  3. Asus Eee Top: Style
  4. Asus Eee Top: Technology
  5. Asus Eee Top: Value

NEXT PAGE: Asus Eee Top - technology

PC Advisor rounds up reviews of the Asus Eee Top 1602. What's the verdict on Asustek's iMac killer?

Asus Eee Top: Technology

Enough of the frippery, what do other technology reviews titles think of the Asus Eee Top? Enterprise computing title PC Pro awards the Eee Top four out of six, citing its touchscreen and value for money, but describing it as "a niche product".

But although the presence of a touchscreen is considered a positive, Pro says that: "Every time we needed to do something more complicated, such as interacting with the internet, we immediately fell back to the familiar keyboard and mouse." Couldn't argue with that.

Pro finds the Top's performance to be similar to that of a netbook, and suggests that it is useful only for word processing and web browsing. And, alas: "For anything more than the most basic tasks there are plenty of better options than the Top."

Click here for PC Pro's review of the Asus Eee Top

Heavyweight tech website CNET gives the Eee Top a might rating of 8.9. It says that despite its 'novelty' status, the Top is "attractive, easy to use and affordable".

Plus points include the slick design (no change there), and healthy connectivity options. But CNET doesn't like the single-touch nature of the touchscreen, and laments the lack of a battery option.

The verdict? Once more, the Eee Top is relegated to orbit PC status: "If you're looking for a second PC for multimedia, web surfing or general tinkering, we'd definitely recommend it. Keep in mind that it slows down when multitasking, but that's rarely a problem"

Click here for CNET's review of the Asus Eee Top

  1. Asus Eee Top: review of reviews
  2. Asus Eee Top: Mass appeal
  3. Asus Eee Top: Style
  4. Asus Eee Top: Technology
  5. Asus Eee Top: Value

NEXT PAGE: Asus Eee Top - value

PC Advisor rounds up reviews of the Asus Eee Top 1602. What's the verdict on Asustek's iMac killer?

Asus Eee Top: Value

Who better to make a judgment on the Eee Top as a value proposition than Which?

The Consumers' Association title describes the Eee Top as a "moderately powered machine that's easy to use, and would be ideal for browsing the web, checking email, or creating documents using the free OpenOffice software suite that's included".

The reviewer likes the simple design and inclusion of a touchscreen, but feels the the Eee Top could use a little more power.

Similar to the other reviews, Which? sees the Eee Top as a 'second PC': "This isn't going to replace your standard desktop machine, but if you could use an additional PC in a kitchen or lounge - or even the foyer of an office or school - then this is an interesting design that won't break the bank."

What score does Which? give the Eee Top? Well, you have to pay to find out and, by now, I think we all have enough information to make that judgment!

Click here for the Which? review of the Asus Eee Top. Well, the bit you don't have to pay for...

Click here for PC Advisor's Asus Eee Top 1602 review

Asus Eee Top

Click here for PC Advisor's exclusive Asus Eee Top PC video review

  1. Asus Eee Top: review of reviews
  2. Asus Eee Top: Mass appeal
  3. Asus Eee Top: Style
  4. Asus Eee Top: Technology
  5. Asus Eee Top: Value