Samsung PC perfect fit for the bedroom

GERARD CAMPBELL
Last updated 05:00 02/10/2012
Samsung All-in-One PC
The Samsung All-in-One PC.

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REVIEW: Samsung's Series 9 All-in-One PC is a powerful PC packed with stylish looks that won't look out of place in the bedroom.

All the computery bits (Intel Core i7 CPU, running at 2.8Ghz, AMD Radeon HD6730M graphics, 8Gb memory, slot-loading Blu-ray drive, 1Tb hard drive) are packed away in the brushed aluminium-topped base, to which is attached the simply stunning 27-inch HD panel (1920 x 1080 resolution), which gently curves up from the base and offers about 20 degrees of forward and backward movement.

It is not a touch screen, though, but just underneath the screen are some touch controls which let you do things like control input selection and eject Blu-ray discs.

The All-in-One comes packed with connections: along the right are headphone and microphone sockets, two USB 2.0 ports and an SD Card reader. The rear panel houses the antenna input for the unit's digital TV tuner, as well as an HDMI input (meaning you can use the display as a monitor for an external device, ie a games console) two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out for connection of a secondary display, and an ethernet connection.

Though the All-in-One houses a Radeon HD6730M graphics chip it's not really a top-end gaming machine, but it will run modern games at low graphics settings, if you want. I hooked my Xbox 360 console up to the unit's HDMI-in connection and was able to play console games quite happily.

The unit comes with a wireless mouse and keyboard - so you can sit on the couch with the computer on a desk - a pair of active 3D glasses and a clip-on Microsoft HD webcam, meaning the All-in-One really does offer something for everyone.

I was highly impressed by this computer - the screen is the perfect size to watch TV while lying in bed (which I did quite regularly) - but have two gripes. The first is the near searchlight-brightness of the LED on the considerably sized power pack. I had the All-in-One set up in our bedroom and being woken in the early hours with the bedroom lit up like the lights were on, all thanks to the power pack LED, was not a pleasant surprise: I fixed the problem with a small piece of electricians' tape. Does the LED have to be so bright?

My second moan is about the remote to access the Windows Media Centre functions (DVD/Blu-ray playback, watching TV): it's not backlit, so using it in the dark was difficult because I could not see what buttons I was pressing. I ended up memorising which buttons controlled the volume and channels up and down but didn't always get it right. Samsung, how about a backlight feature on the remote?

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With its solid hardware, the Series 9 All-in-One is a capable desktop computer but with the in-built digital TV tuner, a brilliant HD panel, the 3D capabilities and the clip-on webcam, the All-in-One steps up a notch in usability, making it ideal for a bedroom or home office. And how can you argue with that price of $2499?

- The Press

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