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Asus Unleash 27″ Windows 8 All-in-One..(BUT Is Worth $3000?)

Asus All-in-One PC ET2700 series is the “world first” 27″ running Windows 8 say its maker, although the ‘8’ version will not be out until later this year.

However, it is available now in Windows 7, although it seems slightly bizarre Asus would release a W7 version when ‘8’ is around the corner, particularly when the 27″ touchscreen is one of its main selling points, with its “exclusive” 10-finger multi-touch support.

The tile face Microsoft OS wont be in town til later this year, although the beta version of the anticipated fully touch ‘8’ on display at the Asus launch in Sydney last night was neat and easy to use, with the start functionality located at the right hand side of the screen as opposed to the traditional start button at the bottom left.

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The main Windows apps Asus execs seemed to be really pushing was the gaming and music (including piano playing) one which seemed slightly odd considering it is a fully functional office PC that includes a TV tuner for the home.

The 27-inch boasts a 10-point touch screen instead of the traditional two-finger multi-touch (ok, here’s where piano playing comes in handy), capable of tracking up to ten simultaneous touch inputs and can respond to multi-finger gestures including zoom, rotate, press and tap, as well as flicks.

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The ET2700 series is also kitted out with potent Intel i5 and i7 processors (model dependent), 4GB/6GB/8GB of RAM memory and a slew of ports including HDMI In to hook up other devices including set topbox, USB 2.0 and 3.0, SD card reader.

The touch screen is optional (non-touch costs less) and also comes with a keyboard and mouse. “Everything is going touch so it was only a matter of time before the PC went that way,” said one senior Asus exec I spoke to at the launch in Sydney last night.

Touch browsing and scrolling through the web and apps is certainly the novelty of this device and there’s also an onscreen keyboard for ‘touch typing’.

Asus are also pushing this $3000 machine as a home TV, useful for mums in the kitchen looking up recipies and kids playing games and even gave a delightful demo of how this can be used in practice by a typical family at last night’s event.

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Although the all in one cleary has many uses if you want to do some office work or other web tasks, doing it in a noisy living room may not be ideal, so the need for separate desktop and blow your mind  LCD 50″ flat screen telly hanging on the wall may not be redundant just yet.

And speaking of  viewing experience, the 27″ ‘home entertainment machine’ boasts a high contrast widescreen 16:9 frameless panel (3cm bezel), 1920×1080 LED backlight for lifelike pictures in full high definition (HD).

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You can also enjoy movies with the built-in Blu-ray combo drive, plus watch TV  with its full HD hybrid digital/analog TV tuner and you can download digital content, listen to radio or stream live television from [email protected] – its online entertainment store – and has USB3.0 port for the transfer files, videos and photos.

The Asus ET2700 Series has an external subwoofer with a 580cc resonance rich bass sound and SonicMaster Technology and DTS Surround Sensation for “superior” audio surround sound.

The PC comes pre-loaded with software like Instrument Suite – users can learn songs, compose tunes and perform music on the piano, drums or guitar complete with pre-set strum chords and changeable guitar orientation;

This home entertainment machine can only be bought in Harvey Norman’s costing AU$2,999 inc GST.

However, considering HP All in One starts at $2000 and Apple iMac is also around $2500 (and up) this Asus appears to be at the high end of the shelf.

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