In an Asus Essentio CM1630 review, About.com describes this discount PC as an "average" system but notes that it does have quite a few more USB ports than most cheap desktops. The system's processor, the review continues, is a bit cheaper and slower than Intel i3 CPUs but still performs well. PC Mag is much more impressed, giving the Asus Essentio CM1630 an Editor's Choice award for its value and features, and the fact that it's free of bloatware. Users are fans of this system, as well. In Asus Essentio CM1630 reviews on Best Buy and Amazon, they comment on its easy setup and ability to run several applications at once. For purposes like downloading music, editing movies, word processing, and Internet surfing, it shines; users note that gaming is not its strong suit.
The Asus Essentio CM1630-05 runs on Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit version) and uses an AMD Athlon X2 CPU backed up by 4GB of memory. AMD's Athlon X2 CPU isn't on the same level of performance as AMD's Phenom line of processors, but it's powerful enough to take care of normal home computing tasks with ease. The system's 750GB hard drive is larger than you'll find on most discount PCs, which will please users with large multimedia libraries. The system also includes a 16-in-1 media card reader and 10 USB ports. (When devices are plugged into the ports on the front, users caution they're easily bumped.) If you want to plug a device or a card into your system, the Essentio CM1630-05 has you covered. Most budget PCs have an integrated Intel graphics chip, but the CM1630-05 has an ATI Radeon 3000 video chip, a solid alternative, though like the Intel chip it's not powerful enough to run 3D games well. This PC also includes a DVD Super Multi optical drive.
The Asus Essentio CM1630 provides just the right balance of price and features, which makes for a great value. It costs just a little more than some discount desktops but has a lot more to offer than those systems. We really like its 10 USB ports, and while most users won't use them all, we'd rather have a few extra ports available than not enough. The 16-in-1 media card reader is about as versatile as it gets when it comes to compatibility. All this in a system that only costs about $450.