Summary: For its first big Ivy Bridge desktop, Asus has packed a good deal of fun into a system that just squeaks its way into the definition of a “budget” PC. The CM6870 is a fine, general system that performs admirably for most tasks you throw its way. You can’t do much awesome gaming or easy upgrading, but the CM6870’s Blu-ray support and ample storage help soften the blow.
Conclusion: As a family PC or an entertainment system with some serious productivity prowess and impressive upgrade potential, it's a great choice at its $999 price. That said, we're sure to see plenty of other systems soon with similar new Intel processors. Expect stiff competition on the market imminently, but know that this PC is a solid value by any measure, circa spring 2012.
Pros: Fast productivity performance, thanks to new Ivy Bridge processor, Large 2TB hard drive, Great expansion options
Cons: Gaming performance could be better for a system in this price range, Internal fans are noticeably noisy during bootup