Vizio CA24T-A4 review: Pretty face, lacks substance

Multimedia multitasking (iTunes and QuickTime; in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Multimedia multitasking (iTunes and Handbrake; in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Vizio CA24T-A4 (2.5GHz Core i5, November 2012)
401 

Cinebench
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  
Vizio CA24T-A4 (2.5GHz Core i5, November 2012)
2.87 
1.28 

This is not to say that the Vizio is a terrible PC. In terms of raw performance, it handles itself admirably in most cases, posting competitive times on our iTunes and Photoshop tests. It falters, though, on our more-demanding multitasking tests, as well as on Cinebench, which provides a good measure of CPU horsepower. For day-to-day use, the Vizio will be acceptable to average consumers. Just don't feel surprised if it starts to drag on processor-intensive workloads.

For its peripherals, the keyboard, touch pad, and remote control all feel like average hardware. The remote control isn't as consistently responsive as I'd like. The keyboard also feels unnecessarily cramped, another sacrifice to form. The subwoofer/power brick combo device is the only real oddball.

Offloading the power supply to the sub provides Vizio with yet another way trim down the base unit. It does no real harm design-wise, adding only a little clutter that you can hide behind the system easily enough. Just don't trust the subwoofer to help the audio output much. As noted in the review of the CA27, the subwoofer's main contribution to sound quality seems to be rattling around when you put the volume up beyond the halfway point. You'd be better off connecting your own set of speakers via the analog audio output.

Although it does not have Thunderbolt ports like the Asus system, the Vizio does have a commendable assortment of connectivity options. The highlight is a pair of HDMI inputs, allowing you to connect multiple video components directly to the Vizio's display. The trio of USB 3.0 ports and a single eSATA jack are also a nice touch, as is the SD card slot.

Conclusion
As with the 27-inch model, my overall impression of the CA24T-A4 is that Vizio has designed this system for maximum retail shelf appeal. It looks nice, and it has just enough features to make its price tag seem reasonable. Further scrutiny reveals the cracks in this approach if you're shopping on strength of features for the dollar. From Asus in particular, you can buy more computer for basically the same price.

Performance testing conducted by Joseph Kaminski. Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations

Vizio CA24T-A4
Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 3210M; 6GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 32MB Intel HD Graphics 4000 (embedded); 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive

Asus ET2300INTI
Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit); 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 3330; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 630M graphics card; 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive

HP Omni 27 Quad
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-2400S; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB Intel HD Graphics 1000 (embedded); 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive

Vizio CA27
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (SP1); 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-3210M; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE graphics card; 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 shared video memory (UMA)
  • Capacity 1 x 1 TB
  • Color silver
  • Monitor Type LED