If youâ€™re one of those who prefer the ergonomic and space saving benefits of an All-In-One PC, Iâ€™d be happy to introduce to you a different breed, the Great Wall Cross PC U310, a keyboard PC. Check out our full review after the jump.
Over the years we have seen the PC has evolved into different forms, coming from the powerful bulky desktop types into the modest but space saving, aesthetically inclined All-in-Ones. Common designs of All-In-One PCs are focused on the monitor where it houses all the internal parts of a normal PC then just connect other peripherals such as the keyboard and mouse. Plug it in a power socket and youâ€™re good to go.
With Great Wall, the manufacturers decided to think differently and instead focused its design on the most disposable and very much taken for granted part of the PC, the keyboard.
Design & Construction.
At first look, the Cross PC U310 looks like, well, a keyboard, but is clean-looking and has a more professional appeal compared to ordinary ones. It is made of plastic with a brushed texture but the spaces surrounding the keys have a glossy finish.
Look at the left side of the keyboard and you’ll see the power button, headphone and microphone jack, and a USB port. Located on both left and right sides are the built-in speakers but Iâ€™m sure youâ€™re better off plugging in external ones especially if youâ€™re planning to watch some movies and play music.
The rear part is where all the connectivity party starts. From the left you’ll get 3 USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, and a Serial Port. The VGA and another USB port for the mouse is present here as well but is installed within an enclosure that you can secure with a screw to avoid accidental unplugs and hide bulky ports. There is a provision for a HDMI port so I guess there is a variant that will be able to utilize this.
The U310 is built with an inclination of 7 to 8 degrees (yeah, I actually tried measuring it) to make it more wrists friendly. And since all the important parts of the PC are housed inside, it carries a reasonable amount of weight that is almost as heavy as a netbook.
This is a full-size keyboard so you’ll get all the keys youâ€™d normally see in conventional ones. The difference though is that the keys are flat, softer, and quieter. The typing experience is actually similar to a laptop but not as cramped. Half of this article as actually written using the Cross PC and I must say that typing on it is a breeze.
The Cross PC U310 doesnâ€™t have Windows pre-installed. It doesnâ€™t have a CD/DVD-ROM drive so you will need to plug in an external drive to run your installation disc. I went for the bootable USB path and the installation went well. I have Windows 7 Ultimate running in under an hour but the graphics and wireless LAN drivers need to be manually installed. So I just copied the contents of the driver disc that came with the package to a USB, plugged it then installed. After a few minutes I am running the U310 with WiFi internet connectivity and in full capacity.
Windows Experience Index gave the Cross PC U310 a score of 3.0 with the graphics department scoring the lowest. The 320GB SATA HDD scored the highest at 5.7.
Check out the complete index below.
The entire package contains the keyboard PC, a USB mouse, power cables, driver installer and user manual. You just need to plug it to your favorite display and youâ€™re good to go. I guess this is the best part of having a keyboard as your PC â€“ you can use whatever display you want. You can either use a regular PC monitor or a huge ass HD TV, whichever fit your needs. Although not as powerful as a regular computer, the U310 has enough muscle to get things done so internet surfing, Skype video calls (just attach a webcam) Facebook games, Word processing and media playback is not a problem.
So if youâ€™re the type who wants to save some desk space, with processing needs that do not require high-end specs, and you think that having a keyboard as a PC is really cool, then the Great Wall keyboard PC might just be a good match for you.
Great Wall Cross PC U310 specs:
Intel Atom D525 1.8GHz (Dual core)
Intel GMA3150 graphics
2GB DDR3 RAM
320GB SATA HDD
1x MIC In, 1x Line-Out, 5x USB v2.0, 1x VGA Port, 1xRJ45, 1xDC-In Port, 1xCOM Port
2 speakers inside
AC 110~240V, DC 19V@40W
460 x 168 x 30.1/16.1mm (dimensions)
Cryptic VGA and mouse port
What we like about the keyboard PC:
â€¢ Solid and attractive build
â€¢ Space saving
â€¢ Complete set of ports
â€¢ Decent nettop-level performance
â€¢ Comfortable to type with
What we donâ€™t like about the keyboard PC:
â€¢ Still a bit bulky to carry around
â€¢ Heavier than your normal keyboard
The Great Wall Cross PC U310 Keyboard PC sells for about Php13,500 and is being distributed in the Philippines by Jen1ne Distribution, Inc..