Customer Reviews: VIZIO All-in-One CA27-A2 27-Inch Desktop (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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on August 20, 2012
I purchased this computer directly from the manufacturer. On arrival, I soon discovered that what they had sent me was not the A2 configuration, but rather the much lower performing A0 configuration. Nothing on the exterior of the computer indicated this fact, I had to actually turn it on to discover it.

After calling customer support and answering a few questions, it turned out that the serial numbers on the packaging and on the computer itself did not match. They sent me a return shipping label, and I sent it back.

Vizio took my credit card number and placed a hold on my card so that they could ship me a new computer before the old one was received. However, it took several calls to actually get the correct machine shipped, and it took almost two weeks before I had it in hand. I never spent much time on hold, but every time I called, the representative assured me he would get back to me "within an hour" on the status of my case, and never once called me back. Being repeatedly blown off like this definitely did not leave me with a positive impression of the company.

The replacement machine was the correct model - though I still can't verify it has a 32G solid state disk - but it arrived with a defective keyboard. The space and backspace keys do not work at all. I haven't bothered contacting them about this yet, since frankly the keyboard and touchpad shipped with the computer are almost unusable anyway, and I'd had it with their customer service. (The trackpad in particular is infuriating to anyone accustomed to the smoothness of, say, an iPad - the mouse cursor is nearly impossible to control.)

[Update: It turns out the keyboard is NOT defective, but the operation of all the wireless devices included (keyboard, trackpad, remote) suffer greatly from interference from other devices. As I use this computer alongside another one with a Logitech wireless mouse and a Bluetooth keyboard, and have a wireless router nearby, I have been able to reduce the problem but not eliminate it. As there appear to be no obvious non-wireless alternatives to using Vizio's wireless devices, this may be a sticking point if you are using other wireless devices in the vicinity.)

On the plus side, it's a snappy machine that boots in just a few seconds. The color on the monitor was a bit washed out at first, but fiddling with the gamma settings improved it greatly. If you are looking for a fast, elegant, space saving, all in one computer, this is a good bet - if you get one that actually works as advertised. But it's clear that there is something very wrong with their quality control and customer service, so buying this brand is taking a risk. This is perhaps not surprising given that this is Vizio's first PC product, but buyers might be better off waiting until they get their act together.

UPDATE 2: It's now been several months that I've been using this computer, and it was working fine until this morning, when - Blink! - the monitor went black. I am in contact with customer support and they promise to call me back today. After the mis-shipment debacle and my problems with their wireless peripherials, this is pretty much the last straw, so I have asked them to let me return it for a refund. Will they actually call back this time, or will I get blown off again? Let's find out!

UPDATE 3: Well, some better news to report. Vizio did call back promptly, and agreed to a return. But there would be a 10% restocking charge, and I would have to pay shipping as well. Under the circumstances I decided that I would accept yet another replacement computer. The new one arrived fairly quickly and is up and running now. Happily, the problems the previous one was having with RF interference do not appear to affect the replacement so much; the keyboard and trackpad work just fine, while the remote still suffers interference with an HP TouchSmart being used in the same room. Hopefully there will be no further problems. If I had received this computer first, I might have been quite happy indeed with the whole experience. It's unfortunate it took so long to get to this point.
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on July 12, 2012
Vizio nailed this design right out of the gate by building all of the computer's components right into the base. It's an excellent functional and aesthetic choice, as all the ports are easy to get to while at the same time reducing the appearance of clutter from wires hanging out of the back of your screen. Additionally, the space-saving design of putting the power supply in an external box with a subwoofer is pretty slick. This machine is just straight up gorgeous sitting on a desk, it's hands down the best looking all-in-one on the market. I'm not going to bother reviewing performance; it's an Ivy Bridge Core i7 with a discrete graphics card and 8GB of RAM. You know if that's enough for you or not. The external sub really adds just enough depth and richness to make the speakers adequate for most uses. They won't blow you away but they're very good. There are a couple of quibbles that I have with it however, or that I know some other people will have based on my usage.

1) 1920x1080 isn't a super high resolution for a 27" PC monitor. Apple and HP both have computers with 2560x1440 monitors. For me it's not an issue, the resolution is just fine, but I understand that some people may wish it came with at least an option for a higher resolution screen.

2) I hate using the trackpad. Trackpads on laptops are a design necessity not a design choice, and including ONLY a trackpad for a desktop is ludicrous to me. They could easily have squeezed a small Bluetooth mouse into the packaging and given you the choice of what to use. As it is, right now I'm using a cheap wired mouse I had lying around and I'm 10x happier using the computer than I was with the trackpad. I'll be buying a Bluetooth mouse soon, but I wish they had included one with the computer that would perfectly match the rest of the set.

3) The keyboard isn't great. I don't have a problem with the lack of a number pad, but the flat, smooth keys on the keyboard are hard to type on without looking whenever you need to take your hands off the letter keys. Even just hitting "Enter" or "Tab" is a little harder than it should be. That said, the learning curve is pretty quick and I'm mostly used to using it after just a day.

4) I wish there were more USB ports. I would gladly ditch the eSATA port on the back for an additional one or even 2 more USB 3.0 ports.

Overall this is a fantastic all-in-one that could stand to have some minor improvements done in the future. I definitely recommend buying it, I love mine!
33 comments| 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Some other reviews I've seen on these new Vizios are comparing apples and oranges! These sturdy, beautiful little units are here to compete with the graphics oriented tablets, laptops and workstations at HP and Apple, and they win hands down. First, this unit is a niche product, designed for very high raster graphics and stunning vector rendering. The solid state drive is meant for fast and flawless playback, not mega storage, plus you get the terabyte hard drive with uncluttered speed too. The system is modular-- if you want optics or numeric keypads, you can add them via USB, but you're paying here for lightning speed drives access and uncluttered, fully overpaged RAM out of the box, with mercifully NO bloatware! I tested the I7 version with some very demanding software (game and 3D development software ala Maya and Unity) and it clocked as well as monster HP units designed as Alienware competitors. Other manufacturers need to take note of Vizio's philosophy: prep for Windows 8, and concentrate on powerful performance, leaving add ons and goodies to the user. Deliver a learjet out of the box-- and let the user spend time customizing rather than frustratingly (is that a word?) removing tons of bloat that will never be used.

The only downside I would have mentioned is that almost no one smart gets a desktop unit with a monitor anymore, because fully functional 3D HD TV's with PC connections are now cheaper than a lot of monitors! Luckily Vizio already makes some of the best/least expensive screens, and the quality of this combination, while not cheap, matches building your own in performance and price.

Biggest problem right now is demand: Microsoft is selling this unit hard with special upgrades to Windows 8 as low as $10. In fact, I got mine AS a demo from Microsoft, and compared to my HP and Apple-- well, I hate to return it after the performance tests! In addition to the new philosophy of no bloatware, the idea of adding another terabyte of storage via USB is also hip-- keep the speed of the processing within the unit, and get your mega storage cheaper in the aftermarket if you need that much. The RAM also is perfectly matched to the MB chipset. This is unlike HP, who will sell you a three slot 12 gig RAM machine and not tell you that of the four slots (16 gig), you need to order them in pairs for the odd board to work! You're paying for 4 that won't be used. In other words, 8 or 16, not 12. As well, the Dell and HP folks charge up to $200 to upgrade each 4 gig slot, which is actually a $35 Crucial board. Crucial themselves will tell you only to upgrade in pairs! Totally non issues with these Vizios, no garbage to bog down your ram, and you can pick add ons (like Avast instead of Mcafee or Norton) that use 10% of the ram the included bloat uses. The 8 on this unit performs far better than the 16 on the top of the line $3,000 HP out of the box.

Nice units, great philosophy, perfect if your niche is specialized and you want to customize around your own needs, not those dictated by the manufacturer.
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on November 26, 2012
First off, this is a great little all in one PC marred only by Vizio's questionable marketing decision of including a blue tooth touch pad instead of a mouse. The touch pad was totally non functional and annoying, but fortunately I had a usb mouse so I could set up the computer and move on. I purchased a Razor Bluetooth mouse and it works flawlessly with this PC. The bloatware that usually comes with these computers was thankfully absent. I called tech support regarding the touch pad, spoke with a "very helpful" gent in the USA and he lead me to the updated drivers that I will not be using, since I'm a razor mouse fan now. All in all a very nice PC and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Vizio to my friends. As for the MAC fan who dumped on this PC, all I can say is this is a Windows PC dude, and you're a MAC guy. Get over it! It's slicker and thinner that the iMac and it works!
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on March 25, 2013
Bought this computer July 2012 to do online work attracted by no bloatware and Windows 8. Win8 wasn't out yet so it came with Win7. There were problems which I was told would go away with Win 8. They did not. In 2012 Tech Support was unprofessional, hooting with laughter at my distress, ridiculing me, telling me lies, and laughing the whole time. There is a two year warranty on the machine. It does not work right and never has. They will not fix it and they will not take it back. I haven't touched it for several months as the last series of tech support experiences were so traumatic it made me physically ill. So I called tech support today and found someone professional, he didn't laugh, but he did not fix the computer either. My ISP says it has a defective network card. The Vizio tech guy says it was perfect when it was shipped. He also said the problems are customer caused and I should pay $35 to buy a version of Win7 to return it to how it was shipped. I feel, as a customer, I have a right to a computer with a working operating system as part of the $1300 I paid for the computer. They argue endlessly and heatedly. So if you want someone to argue with, call their tech support people. If you want a working computer, buy something else.
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on January 9, 2013
For an "all-in-one" PC, the price was right, but the design is odd. The keyboard and touch pad are useless, and I am using my old Dell keyboard and an optical mouse instead. The USB ports in the rear on the base are very hard to access, so I have added a USB3 Hub to the side USB port for removable drives. The power button is also hard to accesss. The monitor is fine and has sleek lines. With the modifications which I made, I am OK with this machine, but still feel that it was poorly designed.
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on June 14, 2013
I've had my Vizio all in one for about a year now. A couple of things have happened that I'm not happy about. Since having the PC, it can run very hot. Hot to the touch and after one year the hard drive starting grinding. I returned the unit under warranty, hard drive was replace, and the new one did not have my data transferred nor the Windows 8 version I upgraded to. I called immediately but they had already destroyed my data. So on any repair, as always, be sure to do a full backup. Also, any slight movement may cause the speakers to may a cracking noise. It's intermittent but can be annoying. Included touchpad is absolutely horrible as is the mini keyboard. They look nice but to me function is more important than form.
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on September 21, 2013
I really love this machine.
trust, i been through a ton of machines in my life.

this as an artist and photographer is by far the best all in one machine ive own so far.
i waiting a year to make this review
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on December 5, 2013
I bought it from Microsoft store for a good price on Black friday last year, since then my HDD failed 2 times after 5 and 6 m period.
Pros: good looking
- fast, 8 cores
- small SSD for system
- very bad cooling design like cause of failing HDDs, there is a fan inside but only tiny went holes on the bottom in the middle of the stand - what were the designers thinking ?
- speakers are totally useless, very bad sound especially so called 'subwoofer'. Better choice would be drop the speakers off design and spend those money on other improvements. I guaranty you that you are buying another speakers with this computer, even $20-30 will sound at least one level better
- touch pad is totally useless to work with, which means you are also going to buy BT mouse for at least $40-60
- if your HDD fails, there is no way to open this PC easily, good design will add a small door to allow easy swap
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on October 5, 2013
More than I expected and everything I wanted. No more wires hanging on and around my desk. The 27" screen is impressive and has a beautiful picture. I did replace the key pad and mouse. What comes with is fine but I appreciate a keyboard with the number pad and found the (mouse/sensor pad??) difficult to get used to.
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