Setting It Up
ViewSonic packs the VOT125 in form-fitting foam. Underneath the documentation and optical media we find the actual unit, along with its power supply. The next layer down holds the mounting hardware to affix the VOT125 to the rear of the monitor (or, ostensibly, any VESA-compatible monitor).
This is where we ran into our first problem. Namely, the screws included with the mounting hardware aren't long enough to attach the bracket to the monitor. ViewSonic does sell the computer and monitor separately. However, the product webpage touts the VOT125's ability to attach to a VESA-compliant monitor using the included hardware, so we feel it's fair to point out that it fails in this regard.
After a quick trip to the hardware store, we were back in business. After connecting all the respective cables to the computer and monitor, we tried to tame the spaghetti a bit using twist-ties to take up the slack, but it still looked a bit messy. The monitor comes with a USB cable to link one of the computer's USB ports to the USB ports on the monitor, in effect turning the monitor into a USB hub. However, this is the only feature that puts the computer's I/O within convenient reach of the user. We'd really like to see ViewSonic make the integration between computer and monitor a bit more elegant. Perhaps a way to share power between the two components in order to eliminate one of the power cords? Or even just a shorter DVI cable.
When mounted, the location of the computer's (quite small) power button towards the bottom of the unit makes for an awkward reach, especially if the audio jacks or front USB ports have any cables sticking out from them. The same goes for the card reader. We'd much prefer to access such functions while seated in front of the monitor.
The computer's physical dimensions rule out the inclusion of an internal optical drive, which is fine-going this small requires some compromise. However, ViewSonic supplies the System Recovery software, User Guide and Drivers on CD-ROMs. Granted, external optical drives are cheap and readily available, and you'll need one anyway if you plan to rip any music to the computer, but we'd really prefer that ViewSonic supply these things on a memory card or thumb drive, just so everything works together right out of the box.
The package does also include a stand for the computer, should you choose to leave it freestanding.
The system booted up on the first try without any issues and with minimal bloatware. The only demo products on the desktop were a Microsoft Office 60-day trial and a Trend Micro 30-day anti-virus trial.
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