capsule review

Giada A50 Fusion Ultra PC: The Name of the Game Is Storage

At a Glance
  • Giada A50 Fusion Ultra PC

    PCWorld Rating

    A decent system at a slightly higher than expected price, Giada’s A50 isn’t one Compact PC to overlook.

The A50 Fusion Ultra PC ($449 as of March 1, 2011) is the first desktop packing one AMD's new Fusion APUs (previously codenamed Brazos) to undergo PCWorld Labs testing. The Fusion E-350, a 1.6GHz dual-core compact PC, seems to perform at much the same level as the AMD Athlon II Neo Processor K125-based found in the eMachines ER1402-05. The 7.5-by-5.9-by-1-inch A50 Fusion Ultra holds 2GB of DDR3 memory plus a 320GB hard drive. The $249 Lenovo IdeaCentre Q150 beats both the A50 Fusion Ultra and the ER1402 for storage, but can't match either on general performance.

The A50 earned a WorldBench 6 score of 55--close to the eMachines ER1402-05's mark of 62.

Like most compact PCs, the A50 offers few opportunities for future upgrading. Giada put the system's front-panel connections (a multiformat card reader and a USB 3.0 port) on the top of the A50's tiny case instead of on the system's front, where we prefer them to be.

Rear connections include four USB ports, one HDMI port, a VGA port, and gigabit ethernet. Wireless-N connectivity is built into the system itself.

Our review unit arrived without a mouse or a keyboard shipped with the system, but there is an included remote control (and to our pleasure, an HDMI cable).

Ultimately, the Giada A50 Fusion Ultra PC asks prospective buyers to decide whether its additional 160GB of storage space is worth the extra $150 it costs over the eMachines ER1402-05. In other respects, the two systems are extremely similar.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    A decent system at a slightly higher than expected price, Giada’s A50 isn’t one Compact PC to overlook.

    Pros

    • Good performance for its size
    • HDMI and USB 3.0 built in

    Cons

    • Pricier than stronger competition
    • 32-bit operating system
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