Vizio CA27T-B1 review: Touch all-in-one takes tiny step forward

The 1,920x1,080-pixel display does look crisp and bright, at least, and it's better-looking to my eyes than the 24-inch Vizio CA24T-A0's display. Sure, it's not as ultra-high-res as many PCs in this territory, but most apps and especially videos look very good. Higher-detail text and photos will suffer, as will any attempts to expand screen real estate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

As far as sound quality, here's the problem: the Vizio CA27T-B1 cheats the solution by making you use a little tabletop subwoofer that doubles as a power brick. Sure, it's nice to have extra audio oomph, but the AC cable literally plugs into and out of it, making it a necessary part of the Vizio's setup equation. It's a way of hiding the power brick, but it also makes for just a little more clutter (of course, many will probably just keep it somewhere under their desk). I'd prefer a simple integrated solution. Does it make everything sound better? Yeah, a little...but not as impressively as you'd hope.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The little IR remote has its own battery and works...but the buttons feel cheap, and the controls are pretty much limited to display on/off, volume, HDMI input switching, and some picture/sound settings, just like a TV. It won't control playback. However, the included wireless touch pad has an advantage of being lap-friendly. You could take the touch pad and the remote to the sofa and function adequately.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Much like the remote, the touch pad has a plastic feel, as does the compact wireless keyboard. They're fine as freebies but hardly system-sellers.

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Vizio CA27T-B1 (2.4GHz Core i7, May 2013)
204 
Vizio CA24T-B0 (2.3GHz AMD AM10 4600M May 2013)
320 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Vizio CA27T-B1 (2.4GHz Core i7, May 2013)
101 
Vizio CA24T-B0 (2.3GHz AMD AM10 4600M May 2013)
185 

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
iTunes and Handbrake  
Vizio CA27T-B1 (2.4GHz Core i7, May 2013)
201 
Vizio CA24T-B0 (2.3GHz AMD AM10 4600M May 2013)
599 

Performance: Above the middle of the pack
The included 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM CPU is a third-gen (not one of the upcoming fourth-gen "Haswell" processors), and it's a speedier, more powerful processor than what most touch-screen all-in-ones in this price range have. Benchmarks put this Vizio's performance at the upper end, based on this level of configuration. Of course, $2,000 PCs are out there that can do better.

One thing this Vizio does lack, besides an optical drive, is the inclusion of any sort of dedicated gaming graphics. No midrange Nvidia or AMD graphics here; just Intel HD 4000 integrated. That's common for many all-in-ones, but it would have been a nice feature to push it over the edge. Nevertheless, most everyday performance seemed very fast and capable, largely because of the quad-core Core i7 processor.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Conclusion: A fair deal, but no revolution
So, yes, the Vizio CA27T-B1 is a fine enough all-in-one, but its real value comes when used as a TV alternative. Not having more powerful graphics or a higher-res screen isn't the end of the world, but it certainly doesn't make this PC a premium product, either. Vizio's approach to its 2013 desktops was to take the 2012 formula and repeat. That works for most purposes...but don't expect anything surprising. Then again, solid and unsurprising might be exactly what you're looking for.

System configurations
Vizio CA27T-B1
Windows 8 (64-bit); 2.4GHz Intel Core i7 3630QM; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 32MB Intel HD Graphics; HD1 32GB SSD, HD2 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive

Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon
Windows 8 (64-bit) 1.8 GHz; Intel Core i5-3427U; 8GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT620M graphics card; 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive

Apple iMac 27-inch (December 2012)
Apple OS X Mountain Lion 10.8; 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-3770; 8GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M graphics card; 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive, 128GB solid-state hard drive

Asus Transformer AIO
Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit); 3.1GHz Intel Core i5-3350P; 8GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 730M graphics card; 1TB 7,200rpm hard drive

Vizio CA24T-B0
Microsoft Windows 8 (64-bit); 2.3GHz AMD AM10 4600M; 8GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1GB AMD Radeon HD 7660G graphics card; 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive

Dell XPS One 27
Microsoft Windows 8 Pro 64-bit; 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-3770S; 8GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics card; 2TB 7,200rpm hard drive

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Vizio CA27T-B1 27-inch Touch All-in-One (Core i7)

Part Number: CA27T-B1

MSRP: $1,549.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Color silver
  • OS Provided Windows 8
  • Monitor Type LED
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