Asus ET2702 review

Pros

  • Excellent picture quality and sound
  • Impressive performance levels
  • Blu-ray drive
  • HDMI input allows use as monitor
  • Good bundled keyboard and mouse

Cons

  • No height adjustment

Asus has updated its 27in all-in-one desktop with Intel's fourth-generation processor and a slick new high resolution display. Thanks to the new hardware and a sound design, the Asus ET2702 is an excellent system, but that said, it doesn’t come cheap.

Design

The ET2702 features a large 27in display with 10-finger touch functionality. The picture quality is excellent, thanks to the screen's 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and an IPS panel that offers clear, consistent quality at nearly any angle. It's the same resolution and IPS technology seen on the Apple iMac 27in (Late 2012), but the Mac doesn't offer any touch capability.

Just below the display is a built-in speaker bar featuring SonicMaster sound and Waves MAXXAudio enhancement, producing crisp clear sound, robust volume, and even a fair amount of bass, though Asus would still like to sell you an accessory subwoofer.

The overall design of the ET2702 is unchanged since the previous iteration, the Asus ET2701, with a 27in display surrounded by a black bezel, a metal speaker grille running along the bottom of the display, and a metal stand that can be removed for wall-mounting the all-in-one.

The ET2702 comes bundled with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and for bundled accessories these are notably luxurious. Both the chiclet keyboard and wireless optical mouse are clad in brushed metal, which keeps them cool to the touch and feels far more substantial than the lightweight plastics that other manufacturers use on their bundled items. The chiclet keyboard offers a pretty good typing experience, with good key travel, well-spaced keys (including numeric keys), and just enough resistance to feel springy rather than mushy as you type. The mouse is also pretty good, but the buttons are rather stiff. It features a touch sensitive strip in place of the scroll wheel, and offers haptic feedback as you scroll. All told, the keyboard and mouse are some of the better bundled accessories I've seen on a desktop.

On the right hand side of the system is a tray-loading Blu-ray drive. On the left, a cover opens to reveal four USB 3.0 ports, jacks for headphone and microphone, and an SPDIF line out. On the back panel of the ET2702 there’s a Kensington lock slot, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports (including one with power for charging smartphones and media players), and two HDMI ports – input and output. This lets you not only use the ET2702 with a second monitor, but also as a display for your game console or set-top box, and extends the usable life of the system as a monitor or HDTV even after you buy a new PC in a few years. That replacement won't come too quickly, however, as Asus has further future-proofed the ET2702 with Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac – the new speedy standard in Wi-Fi.

Our review unit came equipped with a 2TB 7,200rpm hard drive, with an additional 32GB of Asus WebStorage (free for three years). The PC comes with Windows 8 preinstalled, and a smattering of commonly bundled apps, like Netflix, Skype, and a 30-day trial of Office 365. A few less common apps include FingerTapps Instruments, Asus MX Suite, and Intel Small Business Advantage. Asus covers the ET2702 with a one year warranty, and a separate six month warranty on the included keyboard and mouse.

Performance

The ET2702 is equipped with a 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-4770 Haswell quad-core processor, paired with 16GB of RAM. The ET2702 completed PCMark 7 with a score of 3,990 points, which was less than the Dell XPS 27 Touch all-in-one which hit 4,958 – the latter’s performance being boosted by a flash storage cache. Remove the flash memory from the equation and the ET2702 actually has the faster processor, topping the Dell machine (and last year’s iMac 27in) with a Cinebench score of 8.11 points. This raw horsepower also produced an impressive multimedia performance, with the Asus ET2702 finishing Handbrake in 36 seconds and our Photoshop benchmark in 2 minutes and 58 seconds (the same time as the Dell XPS 27).

Rather than relying on Intel's integrated graphics solution, the ET2702 is equipped with an AMD Radeon HD 8890A graphics processor. As a result, the graphics performance is quite good, producing leading scores in 3DMark 11, scoring 6,316 points at the Entry setting and 1,152 points at the Extreme setting. The performance provided isn't enough to qualify the ET2702 as a gaming PC – in actual game testing, the frame rates weren’t quite playable – but the extra graphics muscle will benefit many day to day tasks, like web browsing, or viewing photos and video.

Verdict

The Asus ET2702 is a solid all-in-one desktop with a fast CPU, some graphics muscle, a high resolution display, and a healthy mix of features and accessories. While it doesn't top the competition in every respect – an additional flash cache would help the performance a lot – it’s a smart enough all-in-one machine, if a little pricey.

Specifications

Manufacturer and Model

Asus ET2702

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 8

Storage Type

HDD

Graphics Card

AMD Radeon HD 8890A

Screen Size

27in

RAM

16GB

Secondary Optical Drive

None

Processor

Intel Core i7-4770

Monitor Type

LCD Touchscreen

Primary Optical Drive

Blu-ray

Type

Mainstream, All-in-one

Storage Capacity

2TB