Advent, the PC World home brand, is now trying to make an impact with their new 'all-in-one' machine, the AIO200.

Sitting side-by-side with the iMac that resides on my desk (just for emergencies) it's clear where the inspiration for the AIO200 has come from.

Mac-a-like style

Where Sony and Dell with their all-in-one machines have gone for a different design ethos to try and get away from the Mac-a-like accusations, Advent has gone for the direct copy.

That's actually no bad thing as the sleek lines, smooth curves and zero-bezel finish give it a very stylish, expensive finish. And that's because it actually is quite expensive.

Sony's entry level machine is almost £200 cheaper, and the closest actual iMac proper is around £70 less - both available on the same PC World website. These are lower spec machines stuffed into 20-inch surrounds though, and the extra screen real estate on the Advent, coupled with the discrete graphics does give it the edge on that score.

Obviously this is never going to be used as a dedicated games machine, but the ability to play WoW and other, older, titles means it has some flexibility on that front.

Space-saver

As a space-saving desktop machine though it's more than happy. The quad-core processor will happily churn through productivity tasks, the decent showing in the X264 bench ably demonstrating that.

The RAM is a little on the slow side however, especially with the Vista OS greedily swallowing up vast swathes of the memory landscape in its path. The all-round nature of the beast is its greatest asset, despite it being a master of no trade.

The screen's pretty good but the glossy finish and poor viewing angle means that unless you're sitting directly in front of it, watching any media or using the in-built TV-tuner is going to be a less than satisfying experience.

You'll need some other speakers plugged in too, as the ones in the housing are thoroughly limited. The rich feature-set means that the AIO200 can fill in quite happily as a proper home computer for the style conscious or the space-light.

A bit of judicial sleuthing and you'll even be able to stick OSX on it for the ultimate faux 22-inch iMac flavour.