Asus throws in its SonicMaster Subwoofer to provide better sound at higher volumes. It has its own special port on the side that is designed especially for the subwoofer, and a removable sticker protects it to make sure you know it's proprietary. The subwoofer resembles a UFO and is large enough to be a prominent object on any desk. It indeed boosts volume, making even the halfway mark seem loud, and it helps the ET2701 INKI transcend other similar desktops when people are choosing a media-centric PC, because good sound is certainly considered part of the high-definition experience.
The HP Omni 27 101-T seems nearly identical to the Asus E2701 INKI in its components. They have the same screen size and same hard-drive capacity, and the graphics card and processor are near-equivalent. The Asus runs a bit stronger with its Core i7 instead of the Core i5 that the HP has; however, the Asus is over $200 cheaper (the HP is priced at $1549). The HP does have an extra USB port and a minimally better Worldbench 7 score at 115 (versus the Asus's above-mentioned 111), due to slightly faster hard-drive processing. But you would miss out on the Blu-ray drive, the extra powerful processor, and the slightly smoother gameplay of the Asus, not to mention a couple of Benjamin Franklins from your wallet. These advantages make the Asus is a home run in comparison.
The Asus's configuration is also similar to that of the Dell XPS One 27, though the Asus is priced lower. The Dell fares a bit better on WorldBench 7, and it ships with 2GB of video memory. What really differentiates the two is the Dell's higher resolution: 2560 by 1440 pixels, compared with the more-standard 1920 by 1080 pixels of the INKI.
The Asus E2701 INKI is an excellent media machine, especially for such a low list price. You will no doubt get your money's worth in terms of a computer, a good if less-intensive gaming machine, and a high-definition television. If you are a media maven to whom a touchscreen seems to be an unnecessary gimmick, this Asus may be a great fit.