With its little 21.5in display and compact housing, MSI’s AE2211G-011EU is the baby of the bunch. Yet it still delivers full-HD 1080p resolution and shoehorns in nVidia GT 540M graphics making it one of only three models reviewed here suitable for playing games. The MSI is also the least expensive at just £699. See also Group test: what's the best all-in-one PC?

Based on a 3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100 processor, the slowest in this group, this PC can at times feel sluggish – especially when using the touchscreen interface. Our WorldBench 6 performance benchmark produced a score of 133 points which is the joint slowest along with Toshiba’s Qosmio DX730-10U.

Gaming performance, on the other hand, is superb given the price. Only Apple iMac and Asus E2700INTS can beat it – and both these cost twice as much.

From the outside, we have to say the AE2211G looks unimpressive. Its looks are pleasant enough, but also very plastic. For a product which will probably end up in a living area rather than an office, it doesn’t match the level of sophistication and luxury you might expect from a modern home appliance such as your TV. We also noted that it’s rather noisy in operation, with whirring fans always in earshot and slight variations in speed drawing all the more attention to them.

A slim wireless keyboard and mouse are provided, hooking up via a dongle which takes up one of the six USB ports. Two of these support USB 3.0 and have been placed conveniently on the left-hand side of the screen above a memory-card reader – and a power connector which we would much rather have seen tucked out of sight at the rear.

What did make us happy was the inclusion of two HDMI ports, one for hooking up to an external display and the other serving as an input for external devices such as a games console, set-top box or Blu-ray player. Only DVDs and CDs are supported by the built-in optical drive, and no TV tuner is included.

Designed to make key functions more accessible to the touchscreen, MSI has included its own ‘WindTouch’ application – which we hated – but it may just takes getting used to.

MSI AE2211G-011EU: Specs

  • Intel® Core™ i3-2100 dual-core hyperthreading processor, 3.1 GHz, 3MB cache
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 500GB
  • MSI Wind Top AE2211 (MS-AC75) motherbosrd
  • 4x USB 2.0 (rear), 2x USB3.0 side)
  • 21.5-inch non-Glare LED Touch screen (1,920 x 1,080)
  • nVIDIA GeForce GT540M Graphics, DDR3 1GB, Intel® HD Graphics 2000
  • DVD Super Multi
  • 1.3Mp Webcam
  • Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • HDMI In, HDMI Out
  • SD Card reader
  • 555.1mm* 404.98mm* 66.46mm, 13.63kg
  • Intel® Core™ i3-2100 dual-core hyperthreading processor, 3.1 GHz, 3MB cache
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • 500GB
  • MSI Wind Top AE2211 (MS-AC75) motherbosrd
  • 4x USB 2.0 (rear), 2x USB3.0 side)
  • 21.5-inch non-Glare LED Touch screen (1,920 x 1,080)
  • nVIDIA GeForce GT540M Graphics, DDR3 1GB, Intel® HD Graphics 2000
  • DVD Super Multi
  • 1.3Mp Webcam
  • Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • HDMI In, HDMI Out
  • SD Card reader
  • 555.1mm* 404.98mm* 66.46mm, 13.63kg

OUR VERDICT

If you want maximum gaming performance for the minimum spend, this is the all-in-one for you. If you want decent build quality, comfortably ergonomics and silent operation, it most certainly is not. Its relatively small screen can be supplemented by an external display – a rare feature among AIOs.

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