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By Andrew Gould 4 July 2008

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This is not your typical home PC, far from it in fact.

You just have to look at the CX-15 to know that design-elegance was not the first thing the designers of this unit had in mind. For a start it’s bolted onto a stand made of solid steel that could probably stop bullets. The entire PC is integrated with the LCD screen as a single unit, which saves a lot of space, especially in the retail environment, where you really don ’t want hundreds of PC towers all over the place.

The AFL comes standard with a touch-screen interface, making it ideally suited for the retail environment, where applications are designed for easy input using touch buttons. On the hardware side, it has 2x serial ports, 4x USB ports and dual LAN ports. Often POS applications require serial ports to communicate with slip printers and cash drawers etc. You get a 1.5GHz Via C7 processor with 512MB of RAM, not exactly a sprint champion, but most business applications don’t even need this type of performance to run adequately, especially if your processing isn’t done on the PC itself. The good thing though is that it does come with 802.11 b/g wireless and Bluetooth.

The version we tested came with Windows XP Pro, which is the best of the lot, as far as XP is concerned. The unit is very heavy, but the upside of this is that staff will have to try very hard to break it. And with flat panels the thing that always breaks first is the base. If you break the base this thing stands on, you really should not be allowed to be near computers ever again. On the downside is the fan. It is very loud. The unit has a built-in sound card and speakers, but the speakers are only 1 watt and not very loud. There is not much in the way of graphics acceleration, but it really shouldn’t matter, this is not a gaming PC.

The AFL-15A-CX with 100GB HDD and Window XP Pro is available for R12 595 (incl VAT) from CME on 012-666-9066 or www.cme.co.za. Pentium M and Core2Duo mobile processor based versions are also available, and 17"and 19" models.

PROS
Very strong, and virtually impossible to break it???s ideal for the retail environment.
CONS
The unit is very heavy and the fan is very loud.
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