Flattery is quite evident in its sincerest form, if we're to believe the old maxim, with one glance at Advent's latest all-in-one desktop PC. But where the Apple iMac has long been a statement in good-guys white or silver finishes, the Advent AIO200 PC takes ‘bad guys' black as its coat of choice.
And while Apple's iconic all-in-ones are currently rooted in dual-core processing, the Advent AIO200 goes an extra step by taking one of Intel's quad-core chips, albeit an older part clocked at 2.33GHz.
In exterior demeanour and general specs, the Advent AIO200 is very similar to the iMac, sporting a slot-load DVD drive on the top right side, with built-in webcam and mic at the top of the high-gloss screen, a pair of stereo speakers slung out of sight underneath, and an array of socketry at the back.
There are plenty of ports for most occasions, with four USB at the back of the Advent AIO200, plus line-in and line-out audio jacks, ethernet and even a DVI digital video output and proper Toslink optical audio output. Also here is an F-Type connector to wire up an aerial for the onboard digital TV tuner.
Under the slot drive on the right of the Advent AIO200 run a number of other buttons for controlling screen on/off, speaker volume and mute; plus two more USB ports, a multi-card reader, and mic-in and headphone sockets.
The Advent AIO200 screen is a glossy 22in type, which carries the same visibility problems as any reflective screen, and is set at a sub-Full HD resolution of 1680x1050. Its picture quality is best described as average for the type.
Build quality is satisfactory, if falling short of a real Apple computer. Look closely at the way the Advent AIO200 screen sits in its bexel, for example, you'll see the joins.
In terms of raw speed, the Advent AIO200 shows a relatively nippy pair of heels with 102 WorldBench 6 points. Compare this with the 24in 2.8GHz iMac which hit 101. With the aid of its laptop nVidia 9300M graphics card, the AIO200 could average 14fps in FEAR, suggesting that it lags behind the iMac which could play the much more challenging Crysis with the same framerate at comparable resolution and quality settings.
It may closely resemble Apple’s consumer desktop but the Advent AIO200 doesn’t quite meet it in the quality of finish, sound quality from its speakers, nor the silent operation of the current iMac line. In its favour, it offers plenty more ports and onboard TV. For Windows users wanting a fuss-free PC it may present a tempting choice.