We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
PCs Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Novatech Solo review

£868 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Novatech

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Novatech Solo is an all-in-one desktop PC with an Intel Centrino 2 chip.

The Novatech Solo is an all-in-one desktop PC with an Intel Centrino 2 chip.

The all-in-one computer is making something of a comeback. Ten years after Apple showed the appeal with its coloured iMac, we're seeing more and more of these one-stop computers – except now it's harder to even tell the difference between a them and a regular flat-panel display as they get slimmer in form.

Novatech's Solo also marks the first example of a new processor just launched by Intel. Dubbed the Centrino 2, it's a variation on the Core 2 Duo theme, only with even lower energy requirements, making it ideal for use in laptops. Or in compact screen-based computers such as the Solo.

Two versions of the Novatech Solo are available, based on either a 2.26GHz P8400 processor or 2.4GHz P8600. The starting price for the model tested is £797, but this is without an operating system. Pre-installed with Microsoft Vista Home Premium, the cost is £868.

You'll rarely be short of a port with the Novatech Solo on your desk, as it has dozens of useful connections. First there are the USB ports: two on the base, two under the screen and another on the left side. Also here is HDMI video out, FireWire and four 3.5mm mini-jacks to cover audio line-in, mic-in, headphone and digital out. Then there's an ExpressCard 54/34 and multicard reader slot.

On the righthand side of the Novatech Solo is a tray-loading DVD drive with dual-layer writing credentials. One 2.5in hard drive is fitted, with the space to add another, in RAID configuration if required.

The Novatech Solo's 19in glossy widescreen – with all electronics packed inside – sits on a strong metal stand, which allows screen tilt but not rise, just as with the iMac. Under the display's front are buttons for volume and brightness, along with the main power switch. The overall impression is of good build quality, if not quite the seamless fit-and-finish we'd expect from an Apple iMac. But with the help of the cool-running processor, Novatech has kept the fan count down to one, which is barely audible in use.

Running WorldBench 6, our top-spec Novatech Solo turned in a result of 90 – not a bad score, and certainly quick enough to get you through most everyday tasks with ease.

The Novatech Solo's 3D graphics capability is let down by the integrated chipset, and we got only 7 frames per second (fps) on Fear at maximum quality, rising to an average of 59fps with everything on 'minimum'.

See our Laptop Advisor website for expert reviews of today’s best laptops, plus read our essential advice to make sure you choose the right specs

Visit Business Advisor for the latest business IT news, reviews, tips and tricks - plus sign up for our unique and FREE business IT newsletter

Novatech Solo Expert Verdict »

2.4GHz Intel P8600 Core 2 Duo
19in (1440x900) LCD display
250GB SATA II hard drive
DVD±R dual-layer writer
Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics
5 x USB
1 x FireWire
gigabit ethernet
56k modem
802.11b/g/draft-n wireless
power consumption 36W
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

Intel's new Centrino 2 chipset sits well in this all-in-one package, a great way to save space and trailing wires on the desktop. The Novatech Solo's overall value only comes into question when you figure that its actually more costly than an Apple iMac, where the entry-level 2.4GHz model can run Mac OS X or Windows, has a larger higher-resolution screen, and dedicated graphics card – and is still £70 cheaper.

  • Advent AIO200 PC review

    Advent AIO200 PC

    The Advent AIO200 is an all-in-one PC that takes the Apple iMac as its inspiration.

  • Apple iMac 3.06GHz review

    Apple iMac 3.06GHz

    When Apple updated its consumer Mac line in March, notably by revving up the evergreen Mac mini, it also took the upgrade spanner to the iMac range. Top of that range of consumer all-in-ones stands the flagship model Apple iMac 3.06GHz, featuring an Intel Core 2 Duo processor running at 3.06GHz.

  • HP TouchSmart 600 review

    HP TouchSmart 600

    The HP TouchSmart 600 PC is boosted by Windows 7's gesture support, but HP's custom multitouch software is even more impressive.

  • Mac mini vs iMac comparison review

    Mac mini vs iMac comparison

    We compare the Mac mini and iMac - Apple's two most popular desktop PCs. Which is best for you - Mac mini or iMac? Read our Mac mini vs iMac comparison review to find out.

  • Apple 21.5-inch iMac (Mid-2014) reviews - which is best for you

    Apple 21.5-inch iMac (Mid-2014)s - which is best for you

    Apple's all-in-one iMac starts at £899 but you might want to spend a little more to find the best iMac for you.

IDG UK Sites

LG G4 review: Great price and camera but misses the mark in other areas

IDG UK Sites

Why Scottish Tablet is better than the iPad mini

IDG UK Sites

How to develop for Microsoft's HoloLens

IDG UK Sites

Apple MacBook 1.1 GHz review (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015): The future of Apple laptops