From the horse’s mouth
Previously, I had reviewed the Sony VAIO Tap 20 which symbolises a newer class of home computer. This class, officially known as an “Adaptive All-In-One” but also known as a “tabletop” computer is an 18”-27” tablet computer which can be set up to become a desktop computer.
These have an appeal because they can be positioned lying flat on a table or desk for multi-person computing activities. Their large size and positioning flexibility has increased their appeal as a so-called “lifestyle” computer that integrates easily with a household’s lifestyle.
For example, the CNet article described a popular use case where two people sprawled over an ottoman and playing a multiplayer air-hockey game on one of these computers while a Microsoft blog article that I had cited previously in my coverage of that computer had highlighted its prowess to impress a family with different computing skill levels.
Acer have stepped up to the plate with this class of computer by dropping their Aspire Z3-600 computer on the US market at a reasonable price for this class – US$779. Here, this implements a 21” Full-HD screen and can lie flat or be upright. Like the VAIO Tap 20, it is able to run on batteries but it runs for 2.5 hours on batteries alone. There is the quad-core Pentium horsepower and it runs with 4Gb RAM and 750Gb hard disk storage more than what the VAIO Tap 20 came with.
There is even the ability for the computer to serve as a display for another computer or video peripheral like a Blu-Ray player, digital TV tuner or games console through an HDMI input along with an HDMI output so it works with another display. This even comes with MHL support so it can charge an Android smartphone or be a video display for these phones.
A question I would raise is that Acer could bring the price down on these computers, could it then be possible for manufacturers to start offering a range of these computers with differing specifications rather than just the one model in their product lineup? Similarly, could this force the price for a baseline “adaptive all-in-one” computer down to more reasonable levels?