The MSI monoblock lineup is so large that it was divided into groups according to purpose. In addition to multimedia and gaming, in the assortment of MSI there are also monoblocks of the Professional series, which can partly be attributed to the corporate segment. This series is represented by four models, one of which was in our test lab. The MSI AP16 Flex model does not boast of high-performance hardware or enhanced multimedia functions, but it has small dimensions and allows you to literally flexibly approach the issue of organizing a workspace, which can be a table, wall or even a ceiling.
The monoblock is delivered in an unremarkable cardboard box, inside which, in addition to the device itself, a minimal set of accessories was found, consisting of a power adapter with a detachable cable, printed products, including a start guide, and a CD with drivers. The presence of the latter is surprising, because there is no optical drive for this candy bar, so if necessary, drivers should still be downloaded from the manufacturer's website. The package is the smallest possible, but you will not have to overpay for not always convenient input devices, which are often supplied with monoblocks – the keyboard with the mouse is sometimes easier to buy on your own.
The monoblock is built on the Intel Bay Trail platform with a quad-core processor of the "desktop" series of Bay Trail-D Intel Celeron J1900 with Silvermont architecture. Recall, Bay Trail – a stage of evolutionary development of Atom processors, desktop versions of which Intel decided to call the word Celeron. The base clock speed of this processor is 2.0 GHz, and in Turbo mode it can reach 2.42 GHz. The cache size of the second level is 2 MB, and the TDP level is only 10 W, so the processor is bypassed by a passive cooling system.
The platform on which MSI AP16 Flex is built has a dual-channel 128-bit DDR3 memory controller with a frequency of 1333 MHz. There are two SO-DIMM slots on the motherboard of the monoblock, into which memory modules with a total capacity of up to 8 GB can be installed. In our sample, only one DDR3-1600 HMT451S6BFR8A-PB module with a capacity of 4 GB was installed by SK Hynix .
Information about the video adapter
The Intel Celeron J1900 processor has its own integrated graphics core Intel HD Graphics, operating at a base clock speed of 688 MHz with a possible increase to 854 MHz. Intel calls this way almost all of its video adapters, so it's often difficult to adequately evaluate the performance of a particular solution by name. In this case, knowledge of the number of executive devices helps – there are only four of them in the local HD Graphics, that is, we have a weak and economical video adapter. There is no possibility to install a discrete graphics card in the MSI AP16 Flex.
A 2.5-inch hard drive HGST Travelstar Z7K500 (HTS725050A7E630) manufactured by the company division Hitachi is built into the candy bar. It has a maximum capacity of 500 GB for the models of this line, a buffer memory of 32 MB and operates with a SATA 6 Gbps interface and a spindle speed of 7200 rpm. There is no optical drive for this monoblock, but there is a reader for flash cards of SD / SDHC, MMC and MS formats.
The form factor of the novelty is traditional for this type of device, but the dimensions are unusually modest. Diagonal displays most monoblocks used as home multimedia centers, usually exceeds twenty inches, but the hero of our review, this parameter is only 15.6 inches. Watching movies on such a screen from a distance of several meters is unlikely to work, but working with a novelty by placing a candy bar on a desk or hanging it on a wall above the kitchen table can be without problems.
For this purpose, a metal folding metal support of the U-shaped shape is fixed on the rear metal wall of the lightweight plastic housing MSI AP16 Flex. It unfolds at an angle of about one hundred degrees relative to the plane of the body and allows you to turn the device into a desktop, wall and even a ceiling PC. In the latter case, the candy bar will hang upside down, and the support will be fixed to the ceiling.
For the desktop version on the support provided fairly large legs of soft plastic, with through holes for fixing to the wall or ceiling. In turn, on the body of the candy bar, exactly under the holes on the support, there are recessed threaded nuts, for which it is also possible to attach the candy bar to any flat surface. The support itself has a smooth, but rather tight course, which does not allow the light housing to spontaneously fold or deviate from the user's chosen angle of inclination. Well and on the back wall of the case there is provided an n-shaped groove of appropriate dimensions, so that in the folded state the support does not protrude beyond the dimensions of the monoblock.
The power button of the device is located in the upper right corner of the case, next to the volume buttons of the built-in speakers and a pair of operation indicators. On the adjacent side face there is a connector for the power adapter, a 3.5 mm audio out, a flash card reader and two USB ports, one of which has a 3.0 specification.
Two more USB 2.0 ports and the RJ-45 network port are located on the back of the case, in a small notch. They are located in such a way that the cables approaching the monoblock are pulled down, so that you can conveniently connect a keyboard, mouse and, of course, a network cable.
The MSI AP16 Flex and the Kensington security lock slot are located on the left side panel. In conclusion, the description of the appearance of the MSI AP16 Flex can be added, which looks like a candybar is not as bright as many others, but for ergonomics deserves the highest evaluation. Convenience of the location of ports and interfaces will not cause doubt even for the most demanding user, as well as flexibility of installation possibilities.
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