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Avocor Series One Desk 27 review: Meeting halfway

A versatile all-in-one Google Meet desktop solution but missing some important features

Price
£1,474 exc VAT
  • Nicely designed
  • Great video quality
  • Meet and BYOD modes
  • Auto-framing
  • HDMI output and voice commands not currently supported by Meet

The pandemic forced businesses to rapidly adopt new working practices and nearly three years after the first lockdown many are finding the hybrid model works so well, it's likely here to stay. Video conferencing (VC) plays a pivotal role in this new distributed workplace and has evolved just as quickly with vendors now providing a comprehensive choice of products for every meeting space and budget.

Avocor is a prime example as this US company offers an impressive range of VC solutions covering personal spaces and home offices all the way up to large meeting rooms. Central to this portfolio are its interactive displays which include all-in-one (AIO) touchscreen and non-touch models with integral cameras plus soundbars and in sizes up to an enormous 105in.

The Series One family is the culmination of a partnership between Avocor and Google Workspace and is designed to offer a complete AIO collaboration solution that combines a classy touchscreen with seamless Google Meet integration. The Desk 27 on review provides a personal meeting device for up to two people and is also a fully functional desktop monitor, docking station and digital whiteboard.

Avocor Series One Desk 27 review: Design and features

The Desk 27 looks good on the desktop thanks to its excellent design and build quality. The kit includes a solid desktop stand which clips neatly into a recess at the back or it can be wall mounted using a standard Vesa 100 bracket.

Google Meet services are powered by the embedded Chrome OS and there's plenty of power on tap as the Desk 27 employs an Intel Core i5 CPU. This is teamed up with a Google Edge TPU which handles the AI-based TrueVoice noise cancellation and 'Hey Google' voice command processing.

The 27in. capacitive touchscreen impresses as it incorporates a Nano IPS Quad HD (QHD) LCD display with a top 2560 x 1440 resolution. The above-average 300 cd/m2 brightness and wide 178-degree viewing angle means meeting participants sitting to one side won't miss out on the action.

A 5MP camera with digital pan, tilt and zoom functions is positioned centrally at the top of the screen but a remote control handset isn't provided so you can't manually control the view. Down below the screen is a fabric-covered soundbar with two internal speakers, an eight-mic array for auto-framing and a magnetic holder for the passive stylus.

The Desk 27 is well connected as it offers a Gigabit Ethernet port and integral 2.4/5GHz 11ac wireless services. All other ports are located to one side and include a USB-C input with 45W PD, two USB 3.2, HDMI-out to a second monitor and 3.5mm headphone jack.

Avocor Series One Desk 27 review: Meet mode

The device needs to be enrolled in your Google Workspace account and will require a Google Meet hardware licence which costs around £211 per year. Once activated, the Desk 27 can be remotely managed from your Google Admin portal with options including changing settings, status monitoring, connecting to or disconnecting from meetings and assigning Google Calendar resources.

Using the Desk 27 in meet mode only requires power and network connections and the screen presents a simple interface with options for starting or joining meetings, calling a phone and using the Google Jamboard to run whiteboard sessions. If a calendar has been associated, you'll receive notifications of the day's planned events to the right.

We had no problems starting or joining meetings and found the touchscreen very responsive to finger and stylus taps. Google Meet may only support a maximum 720p resolution but our remote meeting participants commended the Desk 27 camera for its clean, sharp image and good colour balance.

The mic array worked well with other participants saying they could hear us clearly and TrueVoice proved very capable at removing unwanted background noises such as paper rustling and keyboard tapping. The integral speakers aren't very powerful and lack any decent bass – sound output is good enough for a small huddle room but nothing larger. 

During testing, we found that auto-framing wasn't working and were advised by Avocor that although it is enabled in hardware, the required Meet update has yet to be provided by Google. Likewise with the HDMI output and Google AI voice commands as these are other Desk 27 features not yet supported by Meet. 

Avocor Series One Desk 27 review: BYOD mode

BYOD mode is simple to use and for testing, we connected a Windows 10 Intel NUC to the Desk 27 using its USB-C port and the supplied cable. It uses the DisplayPort alternate mode which was automatically selected after which we were presented with an Avocor AVM-2770 camera, speakers and microphone.

Full touchscreen services are also provided and from here on, we could use any UVC-compliant conferencing application. We had no problems running meetings using Microsoft Teams and Skype but although noise cancellation was enabled, auto-framing was not available for either app.

The video output selection button on the side of the monitor proved to be very useful as we could swap between meet and BYOD modes without needing to unplug the PC. Furthermore, if you unplug the attached device or power it off, the Desk 27 automatically switches back to meet mode.

Avocor Series One Desk 27 review: Verdict

Businesses investing in Google Workspace with Meet as their preferred conferencing platform will find Avocor's Series One Desk 27 can fit seamlessly into their environment. It's easy to use as meetings can be started with a single tap, video quality is very good and the BYOD mode adds extra versatility as you can use it to run any conferencing app.

Our main concerns with the Desk 27 are that the auto-framing, HDMI output and Google AI voice commands were not functional during our review. These will only be enabled when Google delivers the necessary Meet updates through the Workspace Admin portal with Avocor advising us this could be in the next couple of months. 

Avocor Series One Desk 27 specifications

Screen size

27in. QHD LCD capacitive touchscreen

Screen resolution

2560 x 1440

Camera

5MP CMOS 1080p with 100 degree FoV

Audio

Sound bar with dual speakers and 8-mic array

CPU

Intel Core i5, Google Edge TPU

Software

Chrome OS

Network

Gigabit Ethernet, 2.4/5GHz 11ac wireless

Ports

USB-C input with 45W PD, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI-out to 4K @ 60Hz

Power

External PSU

Mounts

Desktop stand (included), VESA 100 x 100 

Other

2m Ethernet cable, 1m USB-C cable, stylus

Warranty

1Yr limited hardware 

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