There's an enormous range of high-quality all-in-one computers available, and the Scan 3XS Mirage AIO245 has few of the same gimmicks that they offer. While its build quality and overall appearance isn't as good as the designs of competing manufacturers, it stands out from the crowd by beating the majority of them on value for money, given what's on offer, in terms of performance and screen size.
With most all-in-one computers, running any up-to-date games at a playable frame rate is nearly impossible, unless you've chosen a high-end model with an expensive configuration.
While it does a commendable job at gaming, an all-in-one is never the best option for serious gamers, who are better off with a desktop PC that has a more powerful discrete graphics card.
The Nvidia GeForce GT 750M, and its associated gaming performance, is offered even with the entry-level Scan 3XS Mirage AIO245. Bump the specification up with a more powerful processor and SSD, and the Scan 3XS Mirage AIO245 becomes a real powerhouse.
The GeForce has other benefits beyond its decent handling of games, when using certain software. For example, Adobe's Creative Suite receives a performance boost when applying certain filters and effects, and many video editing tools use a GPU to speed up conversion times.
The 23.6-inch screen is another addition that isn't common to all-in-one computers at this price point. Although it isn't the best display available, its picture quality beats what's available in budget all-in-one computers, and is big enough that you can watch a full movie without squinting.
Compared with rival offerings, the Scan 3XS Mirage AIO245 only suffers from its build quality. Although it's hardly ugly and the screen is more than adequate, the plastic chassis and tacky controls are more reminiscent of a computer from an unbranded Chinese all-in-one manufacturer, and a far cry from the aluminium curves of an iMac.
Intel's Haswell processors aren't yet an option, but we've no doubt that Scan will introduce them later. Relying on Haswell's integrated GPU could mean a version of the Scan 3XS Mirage AIO245 that's even more affordable and really tempting for non-gamers, and we'd like to see Nvidia's more powerful GTX series of mobile GPU offered as well.
As it stands, the Scan 3XS Mirage AIO245 is a tempting prospect. What it lacks in design glitz from all-in-one offerings from the likes of Sony and Apple it makes up for with raw performance, its wide range of optional upgrades and affordability.
First reviewed 16 August 2013