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Vizio and HP announced what can only be described as iMac rip-offs -- Windows desktops that shamelessly borrow design elements from Apple's all-in-one. Well, if you're gonna rip off someone, might as well rip off the best -- and the iMac is the industry's best-selling all-in-one desktop.
Still, I have to admit that Vizio and HP's desktops have some intriguing features, especially when it comes to using the computers as entertainment systems. Since they've borrowed so freely from Apple for their desktop's design, I wish Apple would borrow at least one feature from Vizio's desktop and -- maybe -- another from HP's computer.
For example, the Vizio device (pictured) has a 2.1 surround sound system and comes with a subwoofer that doubles as a power supply to eliminate extra cords. I haven't had a chance to get up close and personal with the All-in-One Touch (and doubt I ever will), but I hear good things about its audio quality.
HP's new Spectre One desktop has a really unique feature: an NFC chip built into its base. Once a few bundled apps are configured, you can tap an NFC-equipped phone to the base and you'll be able to log in to Windows 8 automatically, or stream music and video with a tap. Would we like that on a Mac? I'm not sure, but it may be an idea worth checking out.
Interestingly, neither of the iMac clones offers TV functionality. I'd love to have an iMac with a built-in TV tuner, accompanying software from Apple and the return of the Front Row app. After all, I'm on my iMac so much that it would be convenient to have it be able to double as my TV occasionally. A TV tuner and better speakers would suit me just fine.
-- Dennis Sellers