Canadian company Eurocom is not a household name but it is trying to carve itself a niche in vertical markets that require a certain level of flexibility and outside-of-the-box thinking.
It sent us an all-in-one computer called the Uno 3.0, a product that was launched in January and is an exquisite piece of technology that packs some cracking components. Make no mistake, this AIO PC means business and according to its manufacturer, is “fully optimized” for enterprise computing.
The base unit model costs £851 and includes a 21.5in full HD display, a 2-megapixel front facing camera from Samsung, an embedded TPM 1.2 security chip for data encryption, an Intel Core i5-3570S CPU (clocked at 3.1GHz with a 3.8GHz overclocked speed, four cores, 6MB L3 cache, a 65W TDP and built on a 22nm process), Intel Graphics HD 2500 GPU, 4GB of RAM upgradable to 16GB SODIMM), a 500GB Seagate HDD with 16MB cache (upgradable to two hard disk drives) and a tray-loaded DVD writer (which can be replaced by a third HDD/SSD).
Expansion and connectivity options include two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ones, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, a built-in ExpressCard/54 slot, a card reader; the Uno 3 is user-friendly when it comes to upgradability according to the user manual. The device is powered by a 120W AC adaptor and even includes a 6-cell battery with a 62Whr capacity which acts as an integrated UPS and allows the user to carry it around and continue working without interruption for around 70 minutes. Note that by default, the device doesn’t come with any operating system.
Our model though is a significantly better model with a touchscreen display, an Intel Core i7-3770S processor (clocked at 3.1GHz with a 3.9GHz overclock, four cores (but eight threads, 8MB L3 cache, a 65W TDP), Intel Graphics HD 4000 GPU, a 180GB Intel 520SSD backed by a 1TB hard disk drive, an Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 (which brings in Bluetooth 4.0). Adding those goodies bumped the price to £1,553 including VAT and delivery.
The Eurocom Uno 3.0 is relatively portable AIO with a weight of 7.5Kg but unlike some of its competitors, there’s no integrated handle to carry it around with one hand. It doesn’t mean that you can’t carry it with one hand, it’s just that it is more cumbersome.
It is solidly built with what looks like a polycarbonate casing and impeccably assembled. The display is flushed with the edges; only a fine line betrays the fact that it is not a completely monolithic piece of hardware. The rest of the front facia is occupied by a grill that runs at the bottom of the display and hides two speakers while a minuscule hole at the top marks the location of the webcam.
There’s also four status LEDs that indicate whether the AIO is being powered, whether it is running on batteries, hard drive activity as well as Wi-Fi status. Next to these are decrease/increase buttons to decrease the brightness and the volume, a menu toggle to switch between the brightness and the audio menus (although we couldn’t actually make it work). The last button is the mode toggle button which toggles between the computer and HDMI input modes (you can use the Eurocom Uno 3 as a standalone touchscreen monitor on a compatible PC).
The left of the device houses a card reader, an ExpressCard slot, two HDMI 3.0 ports, HDMI in and HDMI out ports while the right hand side sports the optical drive, two audio I/O ports and two USB 2.0 ports. The back of the AIO is also awash with connectors. There’s a hidden USB port for wireless transceivers currently used for compatible RF keyboard and mouse. Others I/O ports include two serial ports, two PS2 ports, two USB ports, a RJ45 LAN port and the battery.
The whole unit sits well on its stand and the latter can be removed to reveal a VESA mount. The stand can tilt to 15 degrees and up to 50 degrees, (simply by pushing the top of the AIO’s facia) which is ideally used whilst standing.
In use, the Eurocom Uno 3 is unsurprisingly blazingly fast thanks to the SSD (which is used as a system disc) and the powerful quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU. At no point during our preview of this AIO, did we encounter any sort of delay, lag or stuttering even when using the touchscreen capabilities; it scores 4.9 on Windows Experience Index and this low score is due entirely to the integrated graphics processing unit.
All in all, this device would be perfect for the targeted audience. However, there are two major caveats that have nothing to do with the product itself. The first is support; Dell offers next business day onsite support as a bundled option for many of its mainstream products, something that Eurocom, because of its size, simply cannot match.
Eurocom states that “All products shipped to our location for service have to be shipped prepaid” before adding that it pays for “return shipment to customer by ground service only”. So if your business depends on your computer, you’re pretty much left to your own devices. That’s not much of a problem if you purchase dozens of similar systems and keep a couple in the corner just in case. For smaller businesses located outside the US or Canada however, Eurocom remains a tricky option.
Then there’s the price. The Dell Inspiron One 2330 AIO has a bigger display, Dell wireless keyboard and mouse, a dedicated 1GB AMD Radeon HD card, a Blu-ray optical drive, 2TB hard drive, 8GB of RAM (but no SSD) costs under £1,100 with free delivery and next day in-house support but it doesn’t come with any battery or legacy ports. At more than £1,500, a beefed up AIO with only 4GB RAM is expensive.
Ultimately, it is all down to trying to strike a balance. As it stands however, we do like the Eurocom Uno 3 despite its high price but we just cannot stomach the fact that after-sales support doesn’t match the high standards of that AIO.
(ed : We receive the following comments from Eurocom. We have two options for our customers. One is a 'return to depot' option. This requires the customer to return the system to the depot for service, then the depot returns the system to the customer. The customer pays one way. The other option is 'pickup', where the depot picks up the system, does the warranty work and then returns the system to the customer. All shipping paid by Eurocom.)