Closer Look – Exterior
Starting with a general overview of the front of the system. Obviously, the most noticeable thing is the large 27 inch screen. As some of you may expect from an All in One system running a Windows 8.1 operating system, this 27inch screen also boasts a 10 point touch screen. Whilst some people would say that you should really be looking at getting a 1440p resolution monitor for a 27inch and above screen, I personally had no issues with the screen provided by MSI. Owning both a 27inch Dell 2713HM and a 24inch ASUS VG248QE monitors which run at 1440p and 144hz respectively, I did notice the differences, however, as expected it was a happy medium and performed well with the likes of Battlefield 4 over some casual gaming sessions. At the top of the screen we can see the built in webcam, which is a nice feature for anyone wanting to use programs such as Skype. At the bottom we have a large MSI gaming series crest and the black bar that it sits on houses the speakers for the system.
Here is just a quick look at the MSI gaming crest, behind it you can see the fine black metal mesh that MSI have used to cover the speakers that are mounted below. There is also a nice red detailing that can be found on other parts of the system. It is a deep red and has a slight sparkle to it, which the camera did not pick up.
On the top left hand side of the screen, MSI have put a little dragon themed sticker on, pointing out some of the features of the system. As I have already stated, the screen is touch capable and does feature a 10-point touch feature, which means that you can have 10 different touch registrations on the screen at one time. Next up we have a flicker free display. This means that you can video your display on an external camera or mobile phone and where you would normally get a flickering effect on the playback, this has been effectively eliminated with this screen. The next feature is the graphics. In this case it is powered by an AMD HD8970M graphics card, which is the latest and most powerful addition to AMD’s mobile graphics solutions. We also have an Anti-glare feature on the screen. This is a good feature, not just for gamers but also for everyday use as well as it reduces any glare on the screen from light sources which may make you have to focus harder and give you eye ache and head aches. Please be aware that this is optional, it may not feature on some of the other gaming series products. We also have the super raid feature, which has been something that MSI have been pushing with their motherboards for a little while now. Super raid is a piece of software that is pre-loaded onto the system which allows multiple SSD’s to be put into Raid 0 at 6 gb/s without losing TRIM support. This greatly increases the read/write speeds of the drives and will get up to speeds of about 15000 mb/s. Lastly we have a sticker saying that the screens resolution is 1920 x 1080, something that we have already covered.
A quick look around the right hand side of the system shows a recessed optical drive. This drive in particular is a Blu-ray writer. This is a nice addition in an All in One system as it allows the system to not only be a potent gaming system but also a very very good home entertainment system. Personally I found this very good as it meant that I could watch films using the remote control instead of going downstairs. Whilst some people may say that you can do this on a PC anyway. The fact that it is such a compact system means it would be very at home in such a place as a students dorm room. I think that this teamed with a remote control are a brilliant combination.
Moving onto the back of the system we see that there is a nice big MSI logo at the top, which is surrounded by a series of air ventilation for the components inside. On the back, in the middle, we can see a clear acrylic stand which is held to the system by a VESA mount. If you wanted to, you could remove this stand altogether and put it on the wall or a third party stand via the VESA mount. we also have two small rubber feet on either side of the base. These help to stop the system sliding, depending on the angle you choose to have it standing at using the adjustable stand on the back. Lastly on the right hand side we have the main IO panel, but we ill look at that in more detail now.
Looking at the IO panel, we can see that it comes generously equipped with all the ports that you may need on a system of its stature. We have a pair of HDMI ports. One if for an input like a console whilst the other is an output for a larger TV or monitor. Just above those ports is an antenna input for the bundled TV antenna, this will allow digital TV to be viewed on the system provided that you are able to pick up the signal. Next to these we have a VGA socket. Why this has been included on a system of this spec is beyond me, maybe a DVI or DisplayPort would have been a better option. We then have a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a pair of USB 2.0 ports, which is adequate for a system of this size, along with an ethernet port for a wired internet input, the system does also have a built in wireless adapter as well. Lastly we have a pair of headphone and microphone 3.5mm jacks. This is if you want to use dedicated headset for your gaming or other purposes.
On the left hand side of the system we have more IO options. The top right three lights represent the power light, HDD activity light and wireless activity light. Next up we have 5 red buttons which control a few different options. The top of the five buttons is the power button, to turn the system off and on. The second button is to change the display options within the system and the third one is to access the menu options for the display. The fourth and fifth buttons are then to navigate up and down through the menus. Underneath these menus we have a pair of USB 3.0 ports, the one on the right hand side of these is a charging port which has an increased electrical output to allow devices such and mobile phone and tablets to be quickly charged off of them. Under that we then have a 3 in 1 card reader and the input for the external power supply.
Here is just a quick picture to show the flicker free feature of the screen. As you can see, there are no visible lines or bars across the screen like you would normally get when you take a photo or video of a screen.