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Acer Aspire Z5600-GB1 review

Acer Aspire Z5600-GB1
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 699
inc VAT

This all-in-one touchscreen PC is beautiful to look at and lovingly designed, but you can get more powerful all-in-one computers for a similar price.

Specifications

2.7GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E5400, 3.000000 RAM, 23in 1,920×1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

http://www.pcworld.co.uk

Acer’s Aspire Z5600-GB1 all-in-one touchscreen PC is a genuinely beautiful piece of design. Although its metallic silver colour scheme looks a little science-fiction inspired, it could fit comfortably in any living room. It consumes remarkably little power (92W active including the screen, compared to 150W plus for normal desktops not including their monitors), runs almost silently and is a real pleasure to use.

A sturdy metal stand makes it easy to adjust the PC’s angle and doubles as a handle if you need to move it around. The bright 23in Full-HD touchscreen invites attention, particularly with Acer’s TouchPortal interface, an alternative desktop that provides easy access to a range of touch-friendly applications, from games to photo albums. It’s this approachability that makes the Z5600 particularly family-friendly. The screen’s fantastic, producing a bright, evenly-lit image with fantastic vibrant colours.

A built-in 802.11n wireless network adaptor means that you only need to connect one lead for power. It even has a wireless keyboard and mouse for when the touchscreen alone isn’t enough. These Acer branded models are comfortable to use.

In terms of raw computing power, however, it leaves something to be desired. It uses a 2.7GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5400, with 3GB of 1,333MHz DDR3 RAM. The PC’s overall score of 41 in our benchmarks shows it’s good enough for standard office and web applications, but not ideal for video editing or other processor-intensive tasks.

Graphics are provided by an integrated Intel GMA X4500HD GPU, which is up to decoding High Definition video files to watch on the 1,920×1,080 screen, but can’t handle 3D games. It failed our Call of Duty 4 test and only managed 1.6fps in Crysis.

There’s no room for internal upgrades and we couldn’t find any way to take the case apart to get access to memory or the 500GB hard disk. The case is extremely well designed. On the sides you’ll find a pair of USB ports, headphone and mic connections and a memory card reader that can handle SDHC and MemoryStick PRO formats.

At the back are another four USB ports, an eSATA port, Ethernet port and 3.5mm 5.1 audio line outputs. There are no video ports to let you connect the Z5600 to an external display, or inputs to let you connect other devices to the excellent screen. It’s a shame the Z5600 lacks the integrated TV tuner we’ve seen on many similar PCs, although USB TV tuners are cheap and easy to install. A Blu-ray drive would also have been a welcome addition, although it would have brought either an accompanying increase in price or reduced specification.

We really like the Z5600. It looks fantastic and is incredibly easy to use. It’s relatively small size makes it brilliant for use in a family room or a student’s bedroom. However, it’s not quite perfect. Asus’ slightly more expensive Eee PC is faster and has a built-in Blu-ray player. If you’ve got room for a full-sized desktop, Yoyotech’s powerful Warbird i650cs is the better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Pentium Dual Core E5400
Processor external bus 200MHz (800MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplier x13.5
Processor clock speed 2.7GHz
Processor socket LGA775
Level 1 cache 2x 64KB
Level 2 cache 2,048KB
Memory 3.000000
Memory type PC3-10600
Maximum memory 8GB
Motherboard Acer Aspire Z5600
Motherboard chipset Intel G45 + ICH10

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear) 2/4
Firewire ports (front/rear) 0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear) 0/1
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
Other ports none

Internal Expansion

Case all-in-one
PCI slots (free) 0
PCI-E x1 slots (free) 0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free) 0 (0)
Free Serial ATA ports 0
Free 3.5in drive bays 0

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s) Seagate Barracuda (ST3500418AS)
Interface SATA 300
Total storage capacity 500GB
Spindle speed 7,200rpm

Graphics

Graphics card(s) Intel GMA X4500HD
Graphics/video ports none

Sound

Sound Realtec ALC888
Sound outputs 5.1 line out
Speakers integrated

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy drive no
Supported memory cards SD, SDHC MemoryStick, MemoryStick Pro, MMC
Optical drive model Optiarc AD-7643S
Optical drive type(s) DVD+/-RW

Display

Viewable size 23 in
Screen model integrated
Native resolution 1,920×1,080
Response time 5ms
Screen inputs none

Other Hardware

Modem No
Keyboard Acer KG-0766
Mouse Acer MG-0766

Software

Software included Acer TouchPortal suite, Acer Games Suite, CyberLink YouCam, Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows 7, Norton Online Backup, Norton Internet Security 2010
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option Windows disc

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £699
Supplier http://www.pcworld.co.uk
Details www.acer.co.uk

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