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MSI AG220 All-in-One Touchscreen Desktop Review

MSI AG220 All-in-One Touchscreen Desktop Review

September 12, 2014 3:57 am0 comments

Anyone who thinks about gaming computers probably thinks that a huge tower is the only option available. MSI, however, surprises us with an alternative that bets on combining the simplicity of a laptop with the power of a desktop. Let’s analyze the new MSI AiO AG220 to see if they’ve succeded.

Like any all-in-one machine, the AiO AG220 combines a generously large screen with the components of a laptop, the only ones that could fit into a space so small (in this case the back part of the panel) without cooling problems. The machine keeps the gaming aesthetic of the brand’s other series and is sufficiently small to allow reasonably comfortable transport as needed.

MSI AiO AG220

The construction, though not brilliant, is pretty good and we found no problems with the assembly. MSI has a part of the chassis reserved for video and audio connectors (VGA and two HDMI, one entry and the other exit), audio jack, Ethernet, and three USB 3.0 ports. Due to lack of space the ports are very close together, though that’s typical in machines like this, and any problems can be resolved with an economical adaptor. The flip-up stand also stands out, much firmer and more reliable than what we normally find in other all-in-ones and very well made.

As for hardware, we have a reliable two-core, four-thread Intel Core i5-4200H processor, capable of going to 3.4 GHz when necessary and within integrated Intel HD 4600 graphics. Plus, the AG220 comes with 8 GB of DDR RAM courtesy of Hynix, a 1TB 7200 RPM hard disk and an NVidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics card, very common in gaming computer.

MSI AiO AG220

Is the MSI AiO AG220 a gaming computer?

After booting it up for the first time (the computer comes with Windows 8.1 by default) and updating the drivers and operating system we decided to test some of our favorite games to see its performance in real life. The AG220 plays current titles without a hitch like Bioshock Infinite (77 fps), Battlefield 4 (45 fps) and Titanfall (42 fps), all with high detail and high resolution. The sturdy processor and the generous amount of memory provide good support for the computer’s graphics and performance when playing a game. So the response to this question is yes.

The second question is: can we consider the MSI AiO AG220 an option for gaming? And here have more doubts. In the first place and even though it’s true that the graphics are good enough for more-or-less recent titles, it’s also true that the arms race that characterizes the PC world could render this machine’s graphics seem dated in a few years, and, since it’s an all-in-one, this isn’t a feature we can improve. Obviously, not all gamers are demanding enough to always want the latest technology, but if videogame aficionados are the target audience, this is a factor that they’re most likely considering.

On the other hand, in 2014, there’s hardly any good reason to put a computer on the market without an SSD unit, even if it’s low capacity and is only for storing the operating system and the most used programs. SSDs have fallen considerably in price and the improvement the user will experience is so radical that we consider it indispensable for any modern system.

Another thing that hasn’t quite won us over is the cooling system, which one notices almost constantly (even when the system is practically idle) and is almost bothersome when playing graphically demanding games. The spatial limitations have forced the manufacturer to install small ventilators that, due to their higher rotation, are always noisier than normal.

Conclusions

The MSI AiO AG220 is a well-made machine targeted for the user who appreciates the simplicity of an integrated computer, just as valid for office use and multimedia playback as for playing a few of your favorite games without complications. The price (around 1200 dollars) seems right to us and the quality of the screen and sound system has pleasantly surprised us.

On the other hand, the lack of SSD holds it back significantly. Gamers could find powerful desktops for this computer’s price (including the cost of a screen this size), even though they’ll certainly lose the added value of this machine’s spatial integration. To not fool ourselves, we could consider this a midrange portable gaming system with the skin of an all in one, with all the advantages and inconveniences that come with that.

All in all, this is a pretty good system that would appeal especially to users seeking an integrated solution but need the extra power necessary to play games with ease.

Read more:
Gaming laptops under 500
Gaming laptops under 1000

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