In a move to offer inexpensive all-in-one computers to consumers, many companies are fitting Intel’s Atom processors into small form factor PCs and selling them for around $500 to $600. Averatec has adopted a similar approach with the D1133 but has instead bumped the CPU up to a dual-core 1.5GHz AMD chip along with ATI Radeon 3200 graphics and then priced the system to move at $599.
That extra CPU speed, satisfactory graphics chipset, and 2GB of RAM turn the D1133 from a netbook-on-your-desk into a decently-equipped home PC that can be used for more than just simple web surfing — all at a very nice price.
Features and Specs
- AMD Athlon X2 3250e CPU at 1.5GHz
- ATI Radeon 3200 graphics with 512MB built-in memory plus 512MB shared system RAM
- 2GB RAM (512MB shared with graphics card)
- 250GB SATA hard drive (5400RPM)
- 18.4-inch widescreen LCD at 1680×945 resolution
- DVD burner, Wi-Fi, built-in 1.3-megapixel web cam
- Four USB ports, headphone/microphone ports, DVI out, 4-in-1 memory card reader
- Weighs nine pounds, tilting LCD screen, entire unit is wall-mountable
- Windows Vista Home Premium
- MSRP of $599
The D1133 is a nice-looking piece of equipment. When I first took it out of the box, it felt like a $1000+ machine. The screen is attached to the base by a shiny, adjustable neck and the plastic surrounding everything provides a smooth, reflective, elegant touch. The entire setup definitely looks like it’s worth more than $599.
The major detraction from the overall design is the use of a wired USB mouse and keyboard. They’re both colored to match the design of the computer but the plastics used are non-reflective and kind of cheap-feeling. They also result in a couple of cords coming out of the back of the machine, which makes everything look somewhat less appealing. The power cord can be pretty easily hidden but the keyboard and mouse cables can not.
This move was no doubt done in the interest of saving money, though, as a Bluetooth chip along with a wireless mouse and keyboard would have added perhaps an extra $50 to $100 to the bottom line.
The D1133 features an 18.4-inch LCD screen with a 1680×945 resolution, which provides ample room for displaying full web pages along with a couple smaller programs or the Windows Sidebar taking up about 1/4th of the right-hand side of the desktop.
Unfortunately the screen suffers from some pretty aggressive reflections, especially when watching movies and TV shows with dark scenes. The LCD just doesn’t get bright enough to ward off reflections. Even at full brightness, you’ll still see your own reflection against darker backgrounds.
It’s not nearly as noticeable against lighter backgrounds, though, but it’s still something to consider.
The D1133 certainly won’t replace your main gaming computer but it’ll run circles around any standard Atom-based machine. The Windows Experience Index score is a 3.0, dragged down by Aero performance, but I was able to watch 1080p and 720p video clips without any problems and simple gaming like an older version of Tiger Woods Golf (2006) and Sim City 3000 ran just fine.
The computer runs cool and quiet and is able to multitask quite well, even with several tabs open in Google Chrome, music playing, and TweetDeck updating constantly. Running Geekbench 2 on the machine returned a score of 1611 (full report here) which puts it in line with a PowerMac G5. So it’s not a huge beast when it comes to churning and burning, but it’s no slouch either. Vista actually ran really well, on the whole.
The built-in web cam is decent, if unspectacular (see it in use here, that’s me in the upper right-hand corner). I was a bit disappointed that the mic doesn’t handle noise cancellation very well — I wasn’t ever able to carry out a Skype call without using a headset as people on the other end would always complain about being able to hear themselves.
The DVD Super Multi drive is a nice touch, as is the built-in card reader. And I thought the ability to wall-mount the entire computer was thoughtful, too. You basically fold the screen down against the body and there are VESA mounts on the underside of the computer. Very cool.
Note that the LCD screen can be positioned vertically but it doesn’t swivel horizontally — so up and down, yes; side to side, no.
The built-in 1.5-watt speakers are okay at low levels but actually popped and crackled at maximum volume during gaming, while listening to music, and while using Skype. So you’ll want to use headphones or hook up external speakers if you’re a stickler for volume. When set at about 50%, though, everything sounds fine (if a bit tinny).
If there’s a main sticking point to this machine, it’d be the reflective screen. Other than that, there aren’t any big enough problems to warrant a non-purchase. Those of you looking to use the machine in a bright, well-lit room to watch movies and TV shows may find yourselves dealing with reflections on a fairly regular basis, though.
Aside from that, the Averatec D1133 is a great option for budget-conscious shoppers looking for a nice-looking all-in-one computer. It handles just about every straightforward computing task with ease thanks to the CPU, RAM, and GPU combo while still maintaining an affordable price point.
Those looking for a second machine might find the D1133 to fit the bill as well. It’s powerful enough to handle most of what you’d do on your main computer and doesn’t take up much space at all. I used it far more often than I thought I would and enjoyed the experience as it proved to be a more-than-capable machine for checking RSS feeds and websites, playing games, and typing up posts while my main computer was busy doing stuff like rendering video.
Averatec D1133AH1-E1 [ShopAveratec.com]