When Apple launched their all in one iMac, they set a benchmark that Companies like Sony HP, Medion, Lenovo, Toshiba, Asus and Dell are now struggling to imitate. However one Company that has broken from the pack is Samsung who has delivered an all in one PC that I suspect even Apple will take notice of.
The begging question is why was it Apple, and not someone like HP or even Sony (a company who keep telling the world how great they are at design) made the design breakthrough that combines the operations of a PC into a screen that eliminates the need for a separate PC box.
What Apple did was extremely simple: they took leading edge PC technology from Intel, which is the same technology used by most PC manufacturers, and wrapped it around a screen.
The look was aggressive; the display jaw-dropping, especially compared to traditional PC companies who have been dishing up PC design slop to users for years.
The introduction of the Apple all in one PC saw millions of people from around the world flocking to the device.
Prior to Apple, there were already all in one PCs from the likes of Sony, HP, Medion and Dell. The only problem was that the design was bulky, the PC slow and in the case of the Medion all-in-one PC, often unresponsive.
Now Samsung has entered the fray with an all in one 900A7A PC that I believe has a serious chance of taking it up to Apple.
I first saw this device at the recent CES show in Las Vegas. Now SmartHouse is one of the first media organisations in the world to get our hands on the device for a full review.
As you unpack this device the first thing you notice is that the physical PC is housed in a very slim base which is extremely smart as it stabilises an extremely thin display screen which is capable of being moved back and forth on a unique hinge which features below it a LED light management system.
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The unique hinge is used to mounts a stunning 27″ display screen which when compared to other all-in-one PCs is sharper; however, it is not sharper than the 27-inch iMac’s 2560×1440-pixel display.
The display screen is 3D enabled with Samsung bundling a stylish lightweight pair of 3D glasses with the PC. Users can also watch TV programs.The quality was as good as any of the major TV brands especially when watching 1080p Blu ray content.
A Radeon DP900, 120 hertz, 1080p capable Graphics card has been used to deliver the graphic performance.
Sitting on a desk, the Samsung PC does not look as bulky as the Apple all in one PC which comes with a mount which pushes the screen up significantly higher than the Samsung PC display screen.
A really impressive feature is the touch sensitive control panel which is hidden until one touches the mount holding the 27″ screen in place.
Once this is tapped an LED display lights up revealing a menu, mode selection, voice control and 3D mode button. There is even an eject button for the DVD and Blu-ray player that is built into the base, along with a brightness control which is needed because out of the box this screen is dazzling.
Wrapped around the 27″ display is a remote control sensor, a power button which you simply tap to bring the screen back to life, as well as HDD/ODD operating indicators.
On the back of the base is a digital video/audio input for HDMI in as well as an HDMI out slot. There is a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 slot as well as a wired LAN port and TV aerial. Power input is also on the back.
On the right hand side of the device is a headphone jack, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a multi memory card slot and chargeable USB 2.0 slot.
The Samsung all-in-one PC comes with a wireless mouse and keyboard. The keyboard is bigger than the Apple offering which is a big plus as the Apple keyboard is small and often uncomfortable to type on.
Under the bonnet is an Intel Core i7-2600S 2.8GHz processor and 8GB of RAM.
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The device came with 64 bit Windows Home Premium OS.
Another big benefit of this all in one PC is that it came with a separate external camera. Instead of a simple built in video camera this device has a 360 degree rotation camera which allowed me to set up the device as part of my security system.
All I had to do was mount the camera anywhere on my screen and I instantly had a crystal clear 1080p video stream which delivered a significantly wider screen angle than any of the other built in cameras that we have seen on all in one PCs or notebooks.
The camera also has a Windows Live and instant Windows Messenger button built in. I also suspect that shortly one of those buttons will be configured for Skype following the recent Microsoft acquisition.
The most unique feature in Series 9 AIO is the support for 3D.
When we loaded the Rio 3D Blu-ray I was extremely sceptical as to the quality we would get, the 3D glasses which come as part of the package are stylish and very light on the head.
When the movie played the quality was as good as a 6O” Samsung TV; however, it still suffered from the content being played on a 27″ screen Vs. a 60″ LED TV.
Sound is via series of micro JBL speakers which are built into the bases. The quality is as good as any PC speaker sound system.
When we set up the TV we used the Windows Media player, we also configured an Ice TV EPG which took around 10 minutes.
The TV signal was good and because this device comes with a high quality 27″ display screen, the device was an excellent substitute for a TV.
The recommended price for this PC is $2,992 which seems very pricy when compared with an Apple PC.
When we did our sums and taking into account the stunning design, the external web camera, the fact that it comes with TV built in vs. having to buy a separate Apple TV device for $119 we believe that this all in one PC is well worth the money.
The design is as good if not better that what Apple is offering. It has more of a stylish TV look than a PC which you cannot say for the new HP all in one PC which still has that cumbersome PC look.
The use of touch button LED controls and the inclusion of 3D makes this the best all in one PC we have seen to date.
On the down side price may be an issue for some, but when you compare a VW or a Ford Falcon with a BMW or an Audi there is no comparison because of the styling and what’s under the bonnet.
Samsung are fast earning a reputation for delivering stylish functional products. The new 900A7A is right up there with the best especially as it runs Windows.