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Acer Aspire C24-1651 review: Versatile and reasonably-priced

Stuart Andrews
10 Jun 2022
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
899
in VAT

Get over the dull 1080p screen and you have a capable, versatile, mid-range all in one

Pros 
Convenient, space-saving design
Good all-round performance
Strong connectivity
Cons 
Screen could be brighter
Audio is just OK
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The Acer Aspire C24-1651 seems like a great example of the advantages of a good all-in-one PC. It may be bigger than a laptop but it’s still space-saving and convenient and you get all the ergonomic benefits of a bigger screen at a more comfortable height and a full-sized keyboard and mouse.

On the other hand, while it doesn’t have the horsepower of a desktop PC, it’s still fast enough and versatile enough to cover a range of different roles. What’s more, it’s significantly cheaper than most of its rivals, so you’re not paying through the nose for the premium design.

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Acer Aspire C24-1651 review: What you need to know

This is a mid-range all-in-one PC with a built-in 24in, Full HD touchscreen display. It’s based on an Intel 11th generation Core i5-1135G7 CPU, with four cores running eight threads at 2.4GHz to 4.2GHz, comes with 8GB of RAM and has a discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX450 GPU.

For storage, Acer has gone for a 256GB NVME PCIe M.2 SSD and a 1TB Western Digital Blue HDD, giving you a balance of high-performance for your core software and high capacity for files, media and games. All in all, it’s a smart, cost-conscious specification, although not one without compromise.

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Acer Aspire C24-1651 review: Price and competition

No prizes for guessing the ten-ton gorilla in this room. Apple’s latest iMac offers an incredible combination of speed (courtesy of Apple’s M1 chip), style and 4.5K screen quality, making it the all-in-one PC to beat. However, it’s also substantially more expensive than the Acer, at £1,249 for the 8GB base model versus £899.

However, the Aspire C24 does have some similarly-priced rivals, including the Dell Inspiron 24 5000, at around £620 for the Core i3/8GB version or £799 for the Core i7 model, or the HP Pavilion 24-K0043na, with a Ryzen 7 4800 model available for around £900. Just note that neither of these come with a discrete GPU.

Acer Aspire C24-1651 review: Design and key features

The Aspire C25-1651 doesn’t have the design flair of Apple’s colourful new iMacs but it is stylish in its own simple, understated way. In fact, it looks more like a monitor than an all-in-one PC, with all the components squirrelled away in a bulge behind the screen, and a V-shaped stand that holds the screen about 7cm from the desktop. There’s no height adjustment available, just a -5-degree to 25-degree tilt.

The screen has narrow vertical borders but a wider silver strip on top to house the webcam and a 25mm black and silver band at the bottom with the Acer logo. The power button can be found just underneath and all the connectivity in a panel at the rear. This includes one HDMI input and one output, a single USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 socket with Thunderbolt 4, one USB-A 2.0 port, one gigabit Ethernet port and one USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 socket. More USB ports would have been good but if you’re desperate for more you can always add a USB hub.

As for wireless connectivity, the Aspire C24-1651 has Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 support, so you’re equipped to connect to the latest Wi-Fi kit, Bluetooth headphones, controllers and more.

Acer Aspire C24-1651 review: Peripherals

Acer supplies a slimline, chiclet-style keyboard and a rather diminutive ergonomic mouse of the type usually sold for laptop use, both connecting through a USB dongle. The latter might be on the small side but it’s light and comfortable, although users with bigger hands will probably prefer something larger.

The keyboard is, well, OK. The keys have plenty of travel but not much snap, and some of the major keys on the left-hand side, including the Shift and Ctrl keys, are rather small and look like they’ve been crammed in. Personally, I’d rather have seen something without the numeric keypad, but a more spacious layout.

You can, of course, also use the touchscreen for input scrolling, panning and the like but I don’t think this makes much sense on an all-in-one. It works perfectly well, even with precise taps and multi touch swipes but is this something that people actually want?

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Acer Aspire C24-1651 review: Display and speakers

The screen isn’t the C24-1651’s strongest point. The 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD resolution is standard issue at this price point but a little coarse at the 23.7in size. What’s more, it’s not particularly bright or vibrant.

My colorimeter measured a maximum brightness of just 230cd/m2, although low black levels of 0.17 helped it reach a contrast ratio of 1,323:1. Colour accuracy isn’t a problem – it covers 90.6% of the sRGB gamut and the average Delta E is 1.1 – but if you’re looking for rich colours a display with zing, then you might want to look elsewhere. It’s fine for browsing and office work, while movies, TV shows and games look good enough if you’re viewing at night, but I’d rather sit in front of something with a bit more punch.

It’s a similar story with the speakers. For all the talk of DTS surround sound, the sound never gets all that wide or all that loud and there’s only so far it can go in terms of bass. Put it this way: it’s perfectly adequate for watching YouTube or some background music but would I watch the new series of Stranger Things on the C24-1651? Probably not.

That’s a slight shame, as one plus point of the C24-1651 is that you can connect an external source through HDMI and use the AIO as a screen. This could be a handy feature for, say, students or kids without their own TV, as you can plug in a games console or even your choice of streaming stick.

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Acer Aspire C24-1651 review: Performance

Like many all-in-ones, the Aspire C24-1651 uses laptop rather than desktop components inside, so you’re not going to get quite the same level of performance you might expect from a desktop PC.

Within those restrictions, however, it’s a good performer, its 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 delivering higher benchmark scores than the MSI AM241P-11M we looked at last year, despite that machine having a Core i7 CPU and double the RAM at 16GB.

The Geekbench 5 scores aren’t hugely impressive – 1,192 single core and 4,246 multicore aren’t the results of a powerhouse PC – but neither are they slow. Office tasks and basic web browsing won’t be a problem and nor will image-editing, video editing or just about anything else outside professional video and design work.

The presence of the GeForce MX450 GPU might also leave you hopeful of some gaming performance but you should restrain your expectations. On older titles, such as Metro: Last Light, you can get 60fps or more at the screen’s 1080p resolution with detail settings set to High, but on any more modern game you’ll have to start tweaking to make the game playable. With Metro Exodus, for example, I had to switch from Normal to Low to take the frame rate from 19fps to 34.82fps. The same applied with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, bringing the frame rate from 16fps to 40fps.

As for the more challenging Hitman 2 benchmark, it wouldn’t even run at our normal settings, thanks to the GPU’s restrictive 2GB of RAM. Even dropping settings across the board, I was only able to boost the average frame rate to 33.5fps, with drops as low as 6.5fps. You can just about game on this AIO, but get ready to spend a lot of time in the low zone.

One final note on gaming: with a 256GB SSD, there’s precious little room for anything more than Windows and a handful of applications on the faster drive. That meant we had to install our test games on the HDD and even though the SSD here is clearly not the fastest (as you can see from the chart below), it’s still quicker than loading games from the painfully slow mechanical drive. You’d be better off loading them onto a cheap external SSD and running them from there.

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Acer Aspire C24-1651 review: Verdict

Still, the fact that you can play modern games at all shows that the Aspire C24-1651 gives you a little more than most all-in-one PCs at this price point. It’s a capable and versatile machine. And while I’d rather see it with a brighter screen and more impressive audio, what is here is perfectly usable.

A crisper, more vibrant QHD screen might have lifted this all-in-one to greatness. As it is, it’s more of a solid effort, with some real strengths to make up for the areas where it’s weak.

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