Sleek, Book-Sized Asus PC Not For Gamers
By Mendelson Tiu | Friday | 25/01/2008
Figuring out where to place your PC can be tough, especially if space is an issue. The Nova P22 is Asus's answer to users who want a small PC (this one's a little larger than the latest Harry Potter book) that is easy to hook up and comes with programs to support them every step of the way.
The most surprising thing about the Nova P22 is its small profile. With a dimension of 231.14 x 184.15 x 50.8 millimetres, this small form factor (SFF) PC can be placed on top of any desk without looking messy. Out of the box, users will be able to find the PC, a remote control, a DVI to D-Sub adapter, a mini jack to S/PDIF adapter, an AC adapter and power cord, a stand, and two DVDs used for system support and recovery.
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This piano black PC goes with the minimalist approach and makes do without the complicated buttons and ports, making it easy for anyone to get the Nova started. Up front, users can find a slot-in optical drive, an optical drive eject button, a touch sensitive power switch, an IR port (for the remote control), and built-in speakers. The back of the computer hosts four USB ports (two of which will be used to connect the keyboard and mouse), a DVI port, an Ethernet port, a line-in jack, headphone jack, and microphone jack. A docking connector at the bottom of the unit is present at the bottom of the unit and will be used by Asus for future expansion of the Nova P22.
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The unit can either be placed horizontally or vertically, depending on what users want. It is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo 6320 (1.86 GHz), has a gigabyte of RAM, uses an Intel Graphics Media (GMA) Accelerator, making it unsuitable for graphic-extensive games. To minimise the number of wires connected in the Nova, Asus has equipped this small wonder with wireless (802.11n) and Bluetooth connectivity. The hard drive has two partitions: one with the Windows Vista software (40GB) and another for keeping files and programs (120GB) separate.
The PC runs Windows Vista Home Premium and comes with programs like Norton's Protection Centre (with a 90-day subscription), Intel Viiv software that allow users to hook up the unit to view media files in a home or office network, and an Asus Easy Update program that can be used to keep the Nova's firmware up-to-date.
The gigabyte of RAM was not enough in giving us a smooth Windows experience as it struggled to run several applications at once, resulting to major slowdowns. What's worse though is the fact that users cannot do a hardware upgrade by themselves, as opening the unit up immediately voids the manufacturer's warranty.
Users may be able to view photos and videos, as well as listen to music on the television using the computer by setting the Nova up using the Intel Viiv Settings function. This program will allow you to adjust the settings for the router and devices connected to the network, create your network's media library, and grant or revoke media library access at any given time.
Pressing the green Windows button on the remote automatically launches the Windows Media Centre, allowing you to watch recorded TV shows, stored photos, videos, and music files, as well as play any DVD movie. The included remote was well laid-out and is responsive, making it easy for us to browse though the main and sub menus.
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The sound output for this small form factor PC was loud but lacks the 'punch' found in external speakers. We therefore recommend users to hook up an external speaker system to enjoy movies better.
The Asus Nova P22 is a small 'black box' perfect for simple home or office tasks like creating word documents or spreadsheets, surfing the Internet, or for watching movies and listening to audio tracks. But because of its limited specifications, we find it hard to recommend this PC to hardcore gamers and users who often use photo/video editing software programs. Nevertheless, the Nova can be a great addition to any home because of its small profile.
- Intel Core 2 Duo 6320 (1.86Ghz)
- 1GB RAM
- 160GB HDD
- Slot-in DVD Super Multi
- Hi-Fi Speakers,
- Integrated Wireless 802.11N and Bluetooth
- Gigabit LAN
- Windows Vista Home Premium
Asus Nova P22 | $1,699 (Bundled with VW202T 20" Monitor) | | au.asus.com
For: Small form factor, Easy set-up; Comes with Recovery DVD; Remote is a good addition; Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Against: Only comes with a gigabyte of RAM; Tends to slow down when a lot of programs are opened; Not suitable for gaming
Verdict: A small box for simple home or office tasks.
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