The Explorer Touch comes near the top of the price scale in this group, but includes the full set of peripherals left out by most others. See Microsoft Windows 8 review.
It features the same Core i5-3570K processor as the Arbico system, but lacks a solid-state drive. That places it at a severe disadvantage in real life and in the PCMark 7 test, which takes full advantage of the speed of an SSD. See also Chillblast Fusion Galaxy review.
A 60GB OCZ Agility 3 should cost no more than £50 extra and would be a wise addition to the system. If you want to boost performance without going over the £1000 mark you could make cuts elsewhere in order to add an SSD to the specification: the PC comes with a capacious 2TB hard drive, a Blu-ray drive and a set of Logitech 2.1 stereo speakers. You also get 16GB of RAM as standard, which is more than most people would need. Take a look at Braebo Hermes 8 review.
Like Arbico’s QC3578 Pro, it uses a speedy yet reasonably-priced AMD 7850 card. This version is clocked a little faster though, and thereby achieves better scores in our gaming tests. Visit Group test: what's the best PC for under £1,000?
As with CyberPower’s PC, the Explorer Touch i5257r785 comes with a 24in Iiyama touchscreen display as the centrepiece of the system. Decent Windows 8 certified displays simply aren’t available to buy yet and this display is seriously compromised when it comes to supporting the Windows 8 gestures which swipe in from the edge of the screen.
However, it’s still fun and convenient to be able to select tiles from the new Start screen with the touch of a finger and probably still worth having. The monitor also supports two HDMI inputs as well as DVI and VGA.
Inside the low-cost unbranded ‘902 Series’ case, we find an Asus P8Z77-V LX motherboard, featuring the Intel Z77 chipset which provides the host of enthusiast-friendly features. You also get USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps support as standard. This motherboard doesn’t skimp on slots and connectors either, with room left for expansion and upgrades, although the case itself is a little cramped and lacks cable management.