Asus AIO V241EA review: A desktop computer with shockingly good value

I am pretty sure you are reading this review on your smartphone or laptop. If I may ask you why ain’t you using a desktop computer: you would probably say, “I am fine with my laptop.” Although this may sound ridiculous, especially when laptops offer both portability and power, Asus thinks the new AIO V241EA has the potential to change consumers’ perception of desktop computing. Asus’ latest all-in-one PC combines a 24-inch 1080p monitor, 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, stereo speakers, and a 720p web camera in a space-saving form factor. I spent the past week with the Asus AIO V241EA, and while there will always be a debate between believers in laptops and those who still like to use desktops as their primary desktop machines at home, I tried to figure out who should pay Rs 61,990 for this all-in-one computer.

Asus AIO V241EA price in India: Rs 61,990

Asus AIO V241EA specifications (as reviewed): 23.8-inch, 16:9, Wide Screen, Full HD 1920×1080 LED display| Intel 11th Generation Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM/256GB PCI-E SSD + 1TB HDD|Intel Iris Xe graphics| 2x 3W stereo speakers| Wireless keyboard and mouse included| Windows 10| 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type A) + 1 USB 2.0 + 1 HDMI-out/ HDMI-in+ Ethernet port|audio headphone/mic combo jack

Asus AIO V241EA review: Super easy setup

It took me just a few minutes to set up the Asus AIO V241EA, right from unpackaging the machine to signing in to Microsoft account. In fact, the setup is as easy as a laptop. Just plug the desktop computer into a power outlet, insert AA batteries into the mouse and keyboard and turn them on, and then fire up the PC. Given this is an all-in-one desktop computer, there is no typical desktop tower or a separate monitor that takes extra space. The idea behind buying an all-in-one desktop is to have a machine that brings a computer, a screen, a webcam, and speakers into an ultra-compact form factor. AIOs deliver the same level of performance as full-sized desktops without looking boring. They are great for compact spaces and can be used as a family PC, something Asus wants to tap into with the work from home scenario.

Asus AIO, Asus all in one computer, all in one Windows computer, Asus AIO V241EA, Asus AIO V241EA computer, AIO The AIO’s exterior shell looks impressive. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Asus AIO V241EA review: Thin bezels gives this AIO a modern look

The Asus AIO V241EA is a reflection of how the coronavirus has changed the way we work from home. With more people working from home and using devices that define their personality, it makes a lot of sense how this all-in-one desktop computer is designed. It looks contemporary with a sleek and minimal design. Its footprint is small and doesn’t take much space on the desk. The AIO measures 540x409x48mm and weighs only 5.1kg. Unlike Apple iMac which has an aluminum chassis, Asus has plastic. It’s not a deal-breaker and doesn’t make the AIO super cheap, though the stand is made of metal. That said, every bit of the Asus AIO V241EA is modern. Its 24-inch screen (more on this later) is a real head-turner, and it looks incredible. It has thin bezels on top and sides, making the display literally edge to edge. There’s a 720 HD webcam below the screen which is placed right in the middle of the aluminum-clad speaker bar, and a total of three microphones to capture audio.

While the Asus-made AIO blends in with my home décor, my issue is with the monitor stand, which can tilt back but cannot adjust the height or rotate vertically or horizontally. Thankfully, there are enough connectivity ports. On the back of the PC, you will find four USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, an HDMI 1.4 (in and out) port, an Ethernet port. It also has a single USB 2.0 port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. I’d have liked to see at least a single USB-C port and an SD card reader, but this is still a solid port connection.

Both the keyboard and the mouse ship with the AIO, so you do not need to purchase them separately. The wireless keyboard is easy to type on and feels solid. The mouse too is nice to use.

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Asus AIO V241EA review: A 1080p display that is perfect for Netflix

The 24-inch (23.8-inch to be exact) display is impressive. It offers 1920x1080p resolution, and although it lacks touch support, the 16:9 display has good colour reproduction and brightness. Until recently, I had been using a 17-inch monitor paired with my Mac Mini. I got rid of it was because it didn’t feel right for the type of work I am into. Whether I am writing an email, working on a story, or watching a movie on Netflix, I need a monitor/display that falls in between 22 and 27-inches. The 24-inch display on this personal computer feels just right. I prefer editing photos and copies on this over my old 17-inch monitor any day. Shows like Schitt’s Creek look incredible on this AIO.

The system’s stereo speakers pump out clear sound. They are better than a laptop’s speakers which is a pleasant surprise. They have a rich output and deliver beefier bass. The speakers are more than enough for Netflix movies and YouTube videos.

Oddly, I didn’t like the positioning of the web camera. It’s a bit off-angle, leaving me frustrated on many occasions while attending Zoom calls. The problem is there is no way to fix it. Anyway, the video quality is mediocre as is in most Windows PCs. The mics do an excellent job of cutting ambient sounds out though.

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Asus AIO V241EA review: Not underpowered; good for lightweight work

Asus sent me the model with a Core i5 (11th gen) processor and 8GB of RAM. It also includes a 256GB SSD as well as a 1TB HDD. With this configuration, the AIO is fast for day-to-day browsing, Google Docs editing, and even light photo editing and gaming. This AIO desktop computer handled all the tasks that I threw at it. I think this model is just fine for most people.

But I will not recommend the Asus AIO V241EA to anyone who needs heavy processing power. This type of machine is fine for attending online classes, working on PowerPoint presentations, streaming Netflix movies, and browsing the internet. Of course, it will depend on what you plan to do with the AIO. But if you are someone like me, whose work is limited to using web browsing, editing news copies, and listening to music while working, then you will do just fine with the Asus AIO V241EA.

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Asus AIO V241EA review: Should you buy it?

The Asus AIO V241EA boots up fast, runs on a Core i5 processor that is fast enough for everyday tasks, its screen is bright and colourful, and speakers are excellent. I agree its 720p is mediocre, but it’s just fine for attending online classes. The burning question, of course, is whether you should consider an AIO in the first place or not. Look, there are pros and cons of buying an all-in-one desktop computer. The advantage is that you are getting a computer that combines everything in the same frame. No massive tangle of wires, or an unappealing tower on your work table. AIOs are aimed at average users and therefore are less confusing for anyone who is not super proficient in technology. The disadvantage of this form factor is that you cannot expand the internals like a typical desktop computer. The AIO also scores low on reparability.