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Zen AiO Pro Z240IC Review: Stunning Mac Alternative

Go to any self-discerning production house and you’ll see a recurring theme: stark, minimalist furniture, preppy office atmosphere and rows upon rows of Apple’s Mac desktops. While there’s certainly many other options available in the market that are cheaper than Apple’s offerings, there’s few that are as beautifully crafted as Cupertino’s desktop.

ASUS’ Zen AiO Pro may not be as high-profile as Apple’s Macs, but it’s as beautiful, if not prettier than the Cupertino firm’s offering. Today we’ll be taking a look at ASUS’ prettiest desktop and see if it’s for you.

ASUS Zen AiO Pro Z240IC

  • 6th-gen Intel Core i7-6700T processor
  • 16GB DDR4 2133MHz RAM (8GB x2)
  • 23.8-inch 4K LED display 3,840 x 2,160 resolution
  • 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB DDR5 GPU
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB Type-C
  • 3 x USB 3.1, 1 USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, SD/MMC Card reader
  • Windows 10

Ultra-premium design and construction, made from a single block of aluminum

ASUS has gone all out with the design and manufacturing of Zen AiO Pro. First off, the AiO sports a curved aesthetic that tapers to a sharp edge around the beautiful display. The metal is brushed aluminum, which compliments the minimalist design nicely. You can tilt the display a few degrees forward or back depending on your preference.

Because of the design of the desktop, the Zen AiO Pro is quite compact, and will fit even the smallest of spaces. Cable cutters will love the fact that the Zen AiO Pro can integrate into your space with just a single cable, since both the included mouse and keyboard are wireless, and the device has Wireless networking built in, as well as Bluetooth capability for easier integration with Bluetooth speakers like the KEF Egg speakers that we were using with it, shown in the photos above.

Most of the ports and plugs are neatly tucked away at the rear, which is both a blessing and a curse. It makes for a far neater looking AiO for sure, but you’ll be muttering under your breath whenever you have to attach, or detach, a USB cable. Speaking of ports and plugs, the Zen AiO Pro has a bunch, which include a USB 2.0 port, four USB 3.0 ports, two HDMI ports, SD card reader, Gigabit Ethernet port, and a single USB port.

The 23.8-inch display of the Zen AiO Pro is beautiful, and has a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160. There’s a few differences with Apple’s offering though – the 21.5-inch Apple iMac has a higher resolution display, coming in at 4,096 x 2,160, and is setup for the DCI-P3 color space. ASUS’ Zen AiO Pro on the other hand, uses the UHD color space similar to high-end 4K HDTVs and has a 100-percent sRGB color gamut. It’s good for enthusiast and some pro-level photographers and videographers, though many diehards will still prefer the DCI-P3 color space of Apple’s offering.

The included keyboard and mouse work off of a single USB dongle, and compliment the AiO nicely. You will have to get used to the scalloped keys and the squished layout of the wireless keyboard though, plus we’ve certainly used better mice than what’s included with the the Zen AiO.

Beefy internals that can handle most tasks, though it’s not built for gaming

The ASUS Zen AiO Pro is armed with Intel’s 6th generation Core i7 6700T processor (AKA Skylake), 16GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD paired with a 1TB HDD and NVIDIA’s GTX 960M. While the hardware combo was pretty cutting edge at the time of its release around a year ago, it’s now showing its age, thanks to the release of Kaby Lake and NVIDIA’s new Pascal-powered GPUs.

Despite that the hardware combination is still pretty strong, strong enough to edit video in AdobePremier Pro and in Adobe Photoshop. The 4K display comes to its own here since you get far bigger real-estate to work on than a typical FHD display, though you’d want to crank the resolution down two notches when you try to play games as the GTX 960M isn’t capable of running games in 4K.

The downward firing speakers are okay, though they tend to distort in higher volumes.

Verdict: A premium desktop worth every penny

ASUS’ premium Zen AiO Pro isn’t cheap. At Php 99,995 you can probably build a much more cost-effient (and powerful) desktop PC. But cost efficiency isn’t the point for this particular desktop. It’s built for discerning users who want a fairly powerful Windows-powered PC that has the looks to match. If you’re looking for a cost-efficient machine – look elsewhere. If however, you’re looking for a beautiful PC to compliment your home or your swanky office, then look no further than the ASUS Zen AiO Pro.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.


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