PCS Mystiiq: Great Home PC

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The Mystiiq is a well-designed desktop, ideal for home users.

Design

Both the PC and its peripherals come in an elegant black and silver color scheme. The 10 cm wide silver cabinet housing the motherboard, CD-ROM drive, and floppy drive is mounted on a 14 cm wide black base, which has the hard disk and the SMPS. The positioning of the bulkier components in the wider base provides a stable foundation to the unit.

On first looks, the cabinet looks like a sealed unit, but pressing on an indicated mark exposes a vertically positioned 52x CD ROM and floppy drive. The unconventional positioning makes this drive difficult to operate.

Most ports are at the back of the cabinet. They are pictorially labeled and color-coded. Two USB ports, one parallel, and a serial port are provided here. Two additional USB ports, a speaker and a mic ports are at the side of the base. Opening the silver cabinet is a matter of unscrewing a single screw.

PCS Mystiiq
Price: Rs 48,599
Warranty: One year
Features: PIII/866 MHz, 128 MB 133 MHz SDRAM, built-in graphics, audio, LAN and integrated modem
Pros: Elegant colors, good performance, four USB ports, five-speaker set including a subwoofer
Cons: No provision for add-on cards, CD-ROM drive difficult to operate
Contact: PCS. www.pcsil.com  
Tel: 022-852177, 852636/35 
Fax: 8503721/8520193. 4, 
PCS House, Saki-Vihar Road
Saki Naka, Andheri (East)
Mumbai 400072 
E-mail: arunnarayan@pcsil.com 

At first glance, you will see two PCI slots. But we could not insert even a low-profile PCI card into these because of the hindering cabinet design. Two DIMM slots on the mainboard give the option of upgrading the RAM to 512 MB. But to insert the RAM you have to first unscrew the base and then slide away the front metallic portion of the cabinet. There are also no free external bays, to plug in a CD Writer or DVD drive. You would have to replace the CD-ROM drive or go for an external one. However, there is place for a second hard disk in the front portion, right below the floppy drive.

The keyboard features 17 hotkeys—audio, power management, WWW, e-mail, etc. It comes with a powerful speaker set with four speakers and a sub-woofer. Though this gives you above average performance and a surround sound effect, don’t expect EAX or A3D environmental sound extensions, as the built-in sound card does not support these. Also bundled is a good-quality headphone with a built-in mic. Bundled software includes a product-recovery CD, motherboard and keyboard drivers, and Sulipi word processor. The model we reviewed came preinstalled with Windows Me, and had a PIII/866 MHz processor, 128 MB 133 MHz SDRAM, 15” monitor, and a 20 GB hard disk. The motherboard is based on the Intel i810e chipset and features built-in sound, video, network adapter and an integrated 56 K modem.

Performance

The Mystiiq performed very well, scoring 30.8 in Business Winstone 2001 (the highest among the reviews) and 28.8 in Content Creation Winstone 2001 (the second best score in this test). In terms of looks and pricing too, this home PC emerges as very attractive.

Shekhar Govindarajan

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