All-in-one desktops offer users the appealing prospect of freeing up desk space without necessarily sacrificing performance or breaking the bank. The Vizio 24-inch All-in-One (CA24T-A4) ($1,299 list) is a great example of why these systems continue to grow in popularity, serving up a sleek system with a 10-finger capacitive touch-screen display for navigating through Windows 8. It also has a few other nifty tricks up its sleeve, like an included remote that enables the system to effectively function as a television, and a power supply (PSU) cleverly hidden in a subwoofer enclosure. Ultimately, these attributes outweigh the CA24T-A4′s negatives and make it a solid choice.
Design and Features
With the exception of its slightly smaller display, the A24T is a virtual dead-ringer for the Vizio 27-inch All-in-One PC (CS27-A1). This is because, like the Vizio CS27-A1, all of the CA24T-A4′s components are distributed throughout the base while the power supply (PSU) is encased within a separate subwoofer enclosure. Consequently, the A24 features an attractive, slim display and an equally svelte base that looks significantly less bulky than that of the Asus ET2300INTI-B022K. A tapered chrome-finished arm, meanwhile, connects the display to the base. Despite their similarities, a critical distinction between the CA24T-A4 and Vizio’s previous lineup of all-in-one systems is that the former features a ten-finger capacitive touchscreen display. Since the CA24T-A4 ships with Windows 8, the responsive touchscreen goes a long way towards improving the user interface and making navigating through the tiled interface a considerably more intuitive experience.
Touch capabilities aside, the CA24T-A4′s 24-inch display has a maximum resolution of 1,920-by-1,080 (1080p), and it’s every bit as lovely as it is responsive. Vizio has had plenty of experience in the eye-candy arena, and the crisp colors and deep blacks on the CA24T-A4′s display makes that abundantly clear. Given its dazzling display, it’s something of a shame that the CA24T-A4 doesn’t feature a built-in optical drive for watching movies. However, this isn’t an entirely fatal omission, as the CA24T-A4 features dual HDMI-in ports that can accommodate Blu-ray players as well HD cable boxes and game consoles. That said, users on the market for an all-in-one that can play DVDs would be better off with the ET2300. Meanwhile, cinephiles who prefer the clarity of Blu-rays should check out the Asus ET2701INKI-B046C .
Since the CA24T-A4′s PSU is housed in its included 6W subwoofer, it acts as a sort of conduit between system and wall outlet. Since this design sidesteps the need to separately plug in the system and the subwoofer (and connect the two to one another), it contributes to a more streamlined layout that reduces wire clutter. It also means that you must find a place for the subwoofer, as the system won’t work without it connected. The subwoofer’s 2.1 surround sound nicely complements the system’s built-in speaker that wraps around three of the base’s four edges. Taken together, they can easily fill a room with sound, and although the bass isn’t as thunderous as one might expect from a dedicated subwoofer, it still succeeds in packing a punch for movies and music.
The included keyboard and mouse, on the other hand, are one of the CA24T-A4′s most obvious shortcomings. In addition to connecting wirelessly and sporting an admittedly cool silver finish, both also share an almost complete absence of ergonomic soundness. The keyboard’s compact size results in a cramped layout that’s exacerbated by flat key caps, and its thin profile yields unpleasantly shallow keystrokes. While the touchpad fares a bit better and by enabling Windows 8-optimized gesture controls like swiping and two-finger sliding, it’s responsiveness is average at best. That said, these peripherals can easily be replaced, and the touchpad’s mediocrity is alleviated by the fact that the CA24T-A4 sports a touchscreen.
The CA24T-A4′s base sports decent connectivity options, with an SD card reader, a headphone jack, and a USB 3.0 port on the left side for easy access. The rear panel features an eSATA port, three USB 3.0 ports, and dual HDMI inputs. Televisions are in Vizio’s DNA, and these HDMI inputs showcase Vizio’s savvy in this arena since they can accommodate cable, satellite, and game consoles. Even better, the display and included remote both work even when the CA24T-A4 isn’t booted up, making the CA24T-A4 perfect for dorms rooms or for anyone who can’t squeeze both a television and a computer into their space. It would be nice if the CA24T-A4 had have at least one HDMI output to allow users who already have a television set to use the two devices together or use another display in a multi-monitor configuration.
The CA24T-A4 we reviewed is blissfully free of bloatware, so you don’t have to worry about uninstalling any trial software when turning on the system for the first time. This desktop comes equipped with Microsoft Security Essentials, which is better than the usual anti-virus trialware that typically ships with systems. It ships with a two-year warranty on parts and labor and, moreover, features what Vizio calls a “V-key” on the F1 button that serves as a shortcut to various support options, including live-chatting with a Vizio representative.
The CA24T-A4′s 2.50GHz Intel Core i5-3210 and 6GB RAM helped the system produce decent results on our benchmark tests, though it was often overshadowed by its peers. Its PCMark 7 score of 2,970 points fell to the bottom of the pack, but it still came within striking distance of the Vizio CA27-A1 (3,158 points) and Asus ET2300 (3,291 points), though it was handily outgunned by the ET2701INKI-B046C (3,512 points). The A24T was a mixed bag in our multimedia tests. It completed our Handbrake video-encoding test in 1 minute 13 seconds, faster than both the Sony VAIO Tap 20 (2:53) and the CA27-A1 (1:44) but significantly slower than the class-leading ET2300 (44 seconds). Moreover, its Cinebench R11.5 score of 2.90 points succeeded in outgunning the Vaio Tap 20 (2.40 points) but was easily outflanked by the ET2300 (4.97 points) and, to a larger extent, the ET2701INKI-B046C (7.08 points). The 4 minutes and 45 seconds it took for the A24T to complete our Photoshop CS6 test, meanwhile, was roughly on par with the ET2300 (3:58) but came nowhere near the ET2701INKI-B046C (1:43). All said, the CA24T-A4 is good for light media creation, but enthusiasts would be better off with a system featuring a discrete GPU like the Asus ET2300 or Asus ET2701INKI-B046C.
Like the rest of the systems in its class, the CA24T-A4 wasn’t designed with high-end gaming in mind, so it came as no surprise that its integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU failed to crack the critical 30 frames per second (fps) playability barrier when it came to 3D games that required quick movment and high detail levels. Accordingly, its performance in our Aliens Vs. Predator benchmark tests (14fps with medium-quality settings in 1,366-by-768 resolution; 5fps with maximum-quality in 1,920-by-1,080 resolution) was roughly on par with the Asus ET2300 (25fps and 5fps, respectively). Likewise, its performance on our Heaven benchmark tests (12fps with medium-quality settings in 1,366-by-768 resolution; 4fps with maximum-quality in 1,920-by-1,080 resolution) was similar to that of the Sony Tap 20 (13fps and 5fps, respectively) and was only slightly behind the Asus ET2300 (20fps and 7fps, respectively).
The Vizio 24-inch All-in-One (CA24T-A4) is an attractive all-in-one desktop that, despite its less-than-ideal keyboard and touchpad, is nonetheless worth considering, and its ability to function as a television makes it an especially solid choice for users who don’t have a lot of physical space to spare. That said, the Asus ET2701INKI-B046C also features an HDMI input, and the fact that it has a larger display, built-in Blu-ray player, and beefier processing power for an extra $100 justifies its status as our current Editors’ Choice. Still, the A24T’s sleek design and gorgeous touch-screen makes it a solid choice.
BENCHMARK TEST RESULTS:
Check out the test scores for the Vizio 24-inch All-in-One (CA24T-A4)
Compare the Vizio 24-inch All-in-One (CA24T-A4) with several other desktops side by side.
More desktop reviews:
|Processor Family||Intel Core i5|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics 4000|
|Screen Size||24 inches|
|Monitor Type||LCD Widescreen|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||1000 GB|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc