MSI shows off its first gaming all-in-one, the Wind Top AG2712 (hands-on)

MSI has been churning out all-in-one PCs for we don't even know how long, but until now it hasn't marketed any of them toward gamers. And we can see why: all-in-one PCs don't have the modular, expandable design of a tower, and also aren't mobile like a laptop (not that gaming notebooks are portable, per se, but you get what we mean). Nonetheless, MSI is taking a chance anyway, in the hopes that some gamers out there would prefer a slimmer, space-saving machine, even if it meant sacrificing the processing clout you'd get from a full-fledged rig.

The AG2712, which was announced a few days ago and is on display here at CeBIT, is a 27-inch desktop that generally looks and runs like any other all-in-one -- you know, one not targeted at the gaming set. On the outside, it has a few too many glossy bits, with a see-through stand at the rear and a wide speaker grille sitting just below the bezel (it makes use of THX audio technology, but there's no subwoofer for accentuating bass tones). On the inside, it runs a mobile Core i7 processor -- Ivy Bridge for now, though a company rep staffing the event here didn't rule out a Haswell refresh later on. For graphics, you've got NVIDIA's 670MX, a laptop-grade GPU announced back in October. As it happens, it's actually standard for all-in-one PCs to pack mobile components. The difference here, though, is that this was built for gamers, and the AG2712 is also kinda thick 'round back, which defeats the purpose of building a desktop with mobile bits in the first place.

On a cheerier note, we appreciate the 27-inch, 1080p touchscreen, which will be offered with a wide-angle matte finish, as pictured above. (Okay, fine, you can get a glossy version instead, if you like.) Otherwise, the remaining specs are pretty standard: HDMI in / out, VGA, Ethernet, a multi-format memory card reader, a tray-loading optical drive, headphone / mic sockets, and six USB ports, two of them USB 3.0. If, on second thought, you don't need all that, MSI is also showing off a 22-inch model, the AG2212, which will have optional discrete graphics and starts with a Core i3, not i5, CPU. Either way, pricing hasn't yet been finalized, so although we're not keen on the idea of a gaming desktop using mobile parts, we'll withhold final judgment until we see how inexpensive it is. For now, enjoy some hands-on photos past the break.


Dan Cooper contributed to this report.