Hardware

Review: The ViewSonic VPC100 All-in-One PC

The ViewSonic VPC100 All-in-One PC compresses the components of a conventional personal computer into a single LCD-monitor-thin package.

The ViewSonic VPC100 All-in-One PC compresses the components of a conventional personal computer into a single LCD-monitor-thin package. The design decreases the desktop footprint and greatly simplifies the deployment of workstations within an enterprise. But there are some tradeoffs for these benefits that IT administrators and decision makers must take into account before deciding to purchase the VPC100.

Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Atom N270, 1.6GHz Single Core, FSB 533MHz
  • RAM: 1GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Hard drive: 2.5", 160GB SATA
  • Network: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, Wireless LAN 802.11b/g
  • Display: 18.5" Color TFT Active Matrix LCD, Resolution 1366x768
  • Web camera: 1.3 megapixels
  • Optical disk drive: Super Multi Drive DVD/CD-RW
  • Input/Output: USB 2.0 (x4), PS/2 (x2), RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, Microphone jack, Earphone jack, 4-in-1 card reader (XD, SD, MMC, MS), microphone
  • Operating system: Windows XP Home
  • Dimensions: Physical (WxHxD) 17.72" x 16.75" x 1.38", Weight 11.73 lbs.
  • Power consumption: 60 watts
  • Price: $500 to $599
  • Additional vendor information
  • For a closer look, check out the TechRepublic VPC100 Photo Gallery

Who is it for?

The ViewSonic VPC100 All-in-One PC is best used by enterprises needing simple basic workstations that are limited in scope to specific non-demanding tasks. On their Web site, Viewsonic suggests call centers as one potential area were the VPC100 would work best.

What problem does it solve?

Because of its relatively small footprint and simple design, the VPC100 can make deployment, installation, and configuration of numerous workstations much less time-consuming.

Standout features

  • Small footprint: By incorporating the PC and LCD monitor into one component, the VPC100 can reduce the desktop footprint of a workstation significantly.
  • LCD: The VPC100 LCD is bright and the screen is easy to read. In general, I would say the LCD monitor portion of the VPC100 is better than what many enterprise workstations are using currently.
  • All-in-One: The all-in-one design makes installation extremely simple - one power plug, a mouse, and a keyboard and you are up and running. The inclusion of a Bluetooth wireless mouse and keyboard would have been even better.

What is wrong?

  • RAM: With only 1GB of RAM and with that RAM shared with the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator chipset, there is a serious limit to the overall computing power of the VPC100.
  • CPU: The Atom N270 is a very nice CPU to be sure, but the Atom is a mobile CPU designed around the principle of power savings. Since the VPC100 is always plugged in, the Atom is not necessary. An Intel Core Duo CPU would immediately bump the computational power.
  • Optical drive: The optical drive itself is fine, but it should be a slot loading drive. The tray for the DVD drive is very frail and I am greatly concerned that it will break with regular use.
  • Operating system: For business, the proper version of Windows XP is Professional.
  • Upgrade: There is no good way to upgrade the VPC100 with a larger hard drive, more memory, etc. You had better be sure you will never need more computing power before making an investment in this PC.

Bottom line for business

The ViewSonic VPC100 All-in-One PC is, in many ways, a niche device. If you plan to use the VPC100 for a specific use that does not require much computing or graphical power, then you may have found the right PC. On the other hand, the VPC100 will not be your choice for more complex computational tasks, especially in cases where computational needs will grow over time. With the potential of cloud computing, however, the power of a VPC100 may be all that is required.

User rating

Have you encountered the ViewSonic VPC100 All-in-One PC? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of the VPC100 in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

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About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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