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eMachines EZ1600 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £350
inc VAT

Despite limited features and performance, the EZ1600 is a neat package that's good value, but it doesn't topple our current award-winners.


1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, 1.000000 RAM, 18.5in 1,366×768 display, Windows XP Home Edition

Those who need a cheap computer for everyday office and internet use should consider a nettop instead of a traditional desktop PC.

The eMachines EZ1600 is a smart all-in-one nettop that costs just £350. Its specifications are similar to many netbooks, with a 1.6GHz N270 Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, 160GB hard disk and Windows XP. The EZ1600 is easy to move around, as it weighs less than 4kg.

The 18.5in display has a 16:9 widescreen resolution of 1,366×768. This gives you a reasonable amount of desktop space, and unlike a netbook, you also get an optical drive for enjoying DVD movies. Image quality is great, with accurate colours and even backlighting, although it’s a bit on the warm side, with a pink tint to whites. Unusually for a consumer product, the EZ1600 has a matt finish to its screen, so it won’t pick up reflections from strong light sources.

Build quality wasn’t impressive, however. The bezel isn’t flush with the screen, and rattles if tapped. The DVD tray feels flimsy and droops a bit when fully extended. It comes with a cheap-feeling Logitech ball mouse, but the keyboard isn’t too bad – it has a pleasant shape and, although the key action is a bit light, it has adequate feedback and touch-typing is comfortable. Sensibly, both the mouse and keyboard use PS/2 connections, so they don’t use up any USB ports.

The Atom processor held no surprises in our application benchmarks, with the EZ1600 scoring 17 overall. The integrated Intel graphics can’t handle 3D games, failing to run our benchmarks, nor the playback of Blu-ray quality HD video. This doesn’t compare well with similarly priced nettops, such as Acer’s Aspire Revo (see page 21) or Novatech’s Ion Fusion (below). The Revo can handle HD movies and even some games, while the Ion Fusion scored much higher in our application benchmarks and is noticeably quicker in Windows.

The five USB ports are more than adequate for adding peripherals, although you’ll probably need one to replace the ball mouse with an optical USB model. There’s a stereo line-out for audio, which is handy as the built-in speakers are poor. With limited storage, you’ll have to rely on external hard disks or DVDs if you want to store a lot of media.

Despite some misgivings, the EZ1600 is decent value. It’s a good buy if you really want a neat all-in-one PC and don’t need HD video playback. However, Novatech’s Ion Fusion has a larger monitor and better performance for slightly less money, while Acer’s Aspire Revo gives you HD video playback and the flexibility to choose your own display.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Atom N270
Processor external bus 133MHz (533MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplier x12
Processor clock speed 1.6GHz
Processor socket Socket 437
Level 1 cache 56KB
Level 2 cache 512KB
Memory 1.000000
Memory type DDR2
Maximum memory 1GB
Motherboard Acer EZ1601
Motherboard chipset Intel i945GSE
Power consumption standby 0W
Power consumption idle 33W
Power consumption active 38W


USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/3
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/0
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case mini-ITX
PCI slots (free) 0
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 0 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 0
Free memory slots 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Hitachi HTS545016B9A300
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 160GB
Spindle speed 5,400rpm


Graphics card(s) Intel GMA 950
Graphics/video ports none


Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Sound outputs stereo line out
Speakers integrated

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards SD, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Optical drive model Slimtype DS8A35
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM


Viewable size 18.5 in
Screen model integrated
Native resolution 1,366×768
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs none

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard eMachines KB-0705
Mouse Logitech M-SBN96


Software included Microsoft Works 9, Cyberlink PowerDVD 8
Operating system Windows XP Home Edition
Operating system restore option restore partition

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £350

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