Another Day, Another iMac Wannabe.

There’s a new iMac competitor in town from Averatec. It’s name is incredibly bad if not descriptive: All-In-One PC.

Regarding other iMac wannabes, Gateway’s One was rather unimpressive in the specs department, but Dell’s One (yes, the same name as the Gateway) seemed to be a worthwhile machine. I wrote up the Dell here, but as you can see in that post’s subsequent updates it turned out to be a bit of a bust.

So let’s look at this latest entrant in the iMac ring.

It’s clear the strong points are supposed to be design (looks like a black iMac from the front), non-iMac features, and price. But it’s hard to examine this box and be very impressed.

Let’s consider what they tout:

Desktop-class processor.

Unlike the iMac, the AIOPC uses a desktop class Core 2 Duo instead of the mobile version, After the Dell, however, I’m not falling for that again.

First, it only runs at 2GHz; the iMac’s processors soundly beat that. Second, the desktop models run hotter, which should be obvious by looking at the sides and back (above) of this thing. It’s deep, and the back is ugly with three sets of holes. Needs to be, though, in order to support the larger thermal envelope of the desktop CPU.

So why use a desktop processor? I’m assuming cost.

22-inch screen.

Sounds nicer than the 20-inch Apple offers at the same price, but it’s just 1680 x 1050, same as the iMac.

2GB RAM expanadble to 4GB.

It’s a shame that Vista can only use 3.12GB of RAM. (Another dirty little Microsoft Windows secret no one talks about.)

TV tuner and remote.

This is something Dell also pushed, and it doesn’t seem to be helping the Dell any. Further, it’s listed as optional but I cannot find a price for it on the web site.

Now let’s consider what they don’t tout:

  • No Bluetooth.
  • Wireless is b/g, not the “n” variety.

In my opinion, these are pretty big communications drawbacks for a “modern” machine today.

  • No Firewire

I guess you can watch movies with the built-in tuner, but there’s no sense importing your own video because your kids are too ugly to film anyway (and don’t even get me started on your pets).

  • Unknown amount of video RAM

It’s an nVidea chipset, but how much video memory is a mystery.

  • Speakers

Built-in 6W amp for the speakers? Please. Sure, the iMac is no powerhouse but it’s 24W amp drives the speakers pretty darn well.

  • No software.

At least Dell tried to counter iLife via an Adobe software suite. Averatec doesn’t try to compete here at all. They include nothing. Ouch!

Summary:

I just don’t see the attraction in this thing, especially at the price. It starts at the same $1199 as Apple’s iMac, and doesn’t offer much. A few more USB slots, a media reader. These are nice to have maybe, but over a better processor, firewire, audio and networking? I don’t think so. Heck, even if they threw in the TV tuner I’d still feel the same way.

Regarding performance, at the same price Apple’s base model — with it’s 20% faster processor — will likely beat this thing pretty handily. And moving to Apple’s next in line for $150 will crush it. Totally, completely, crush it. And you’ll be able to do more in both cases because you have the great iLife suite right out of the box!

If you must have a TV tuner on your next computer, get an iMac and add one of the external tuners available.

If you must have a TV Tuner on your next computer and it must be a PC, look at Dell’s One.

In my view, the AIOPC just doesn’t cut it.

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5 thoughts on “Another Day, Another iMac Wannabe.

  1. When I clicked on the AIOPC link the price shows as being on sale for $1249.99. And nice touch how the Driver Download link is right next to the Buy Now button. 🙂

  2. Wow … I posted about this too but didn’t see the back – one difference between the Gateway One, this AIOPC and an iMac – the back is beautiful too. The back on the gateway one is more elegant than this but only the iMac really lends itself to be seen from behind too.

    Waiting on Apple to add wireless USB and it will be super duper elegant.

  3. I agree with you on this one. Even though it has it’s strengths, it seems to have even more weaknesses.

    The sad thing is, that even if it were a better machine from a hardware point, it still, after all – is nothing more than another Vista machine. The iMac’s hardware is the gravy, but it’s OS X that is the beef! Without OS X any iMac wannabe is doomed from the start, no matter how superior or better looking they could possibly be – which none of them are not.

    If forced to choose, I would prefer to run OS X (if I could) on an inferior iMac wannabe machine, than if I could only run Windows on the much more superior iMac hardware.

    The All-in-One PC isn’t a Mac, it just looks like one!

  4. AIOPC looks very ordinary… the marketing department is trying hard but the engineers are not interested in putting together a compelling product.

    Can’t believe the link about Vista – talk about being hoist by your own petard!!!

  5. Wow, I had no idea about the Vista RAM thing. I’m surprised people don’t talk about that more. And this All-In-One is terrible. When I first heard about it, I saw 22″ screen and though, OK, maybe this will be a competitor. Not at all. Wow, terrible machine.

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