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Acer Aspire U5-620 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £980
inc VAT

The Acer Aspire U5-620 is a well-specified multimedia machine, but clunky software and so-so design limits its appeal


Processor: Quad-core 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-4702MQ, RAM: 8GB, Front USB ports : 1xUSB3, Rear USB ports: 1x USB3, 3xUSB2, Total storage: 1TB hard disk, Display: 23in IPS, Operating system: Windows 8.1

Acer’s U5-620 is an all-in-one PC with a 23in screen, a built-in TV tuner and a Blu-ray player, and it could well be ideal for those looking for an all-in-one media centre. It isn’t as pretty as an Apple iMac or Dell XPS 18, though, and we found its easel-like design hard to love.

The Acer Aspire U5-620 sits too low on the desk, and while there’s a generous amount of screen angle adjustment, almost to the point where the device becomes a large, horizontal tablet, we can’t shake the feeling that this device looks like a TV from the early 2000s, and it feels a bit bulky.

The design is utilitarian, with squared-off edges, and there’s a tray-loading Blu-ray drive on the side. We’d much prefer a slot-loader on this type of device. On the left edge of the Aspire U5-620 is a HDMI input, a 3.5mm headset jack, an SD card reader and a solitary USB3 port. The other USB ports are found on the rear of the machine, pointing downwards, and consist of three USB ports and one USB3 port. These ports, along with a HDMI output and a TV tuner input are very poorly placed because they have very little clearance from the desk. This means that larger USB drives and other unwieldy connectors are very difficult to plug in. It would have made more sense for these ports to be rear-facing ports, and these downward-facing ports do put a dent in the Aspire U5-620’s versatility.

A wireless keyboard and mouse set is included with the Aspire U5-620. The mouse is small compared to a typical mouse, but it’s responsive and fairly light. The keyboard is also very light and thin, and this means there’s very little travel from the keys which makes it uncomfortable to type on for long periods. It would work well as a media keyboard, but you get a remote control for media and TV functions, so we don’t see the point of having such a light and flimsy keyboard. We’d recommend investing in something a little more substantial if you’re planning to do keyboard-heavy work.

The U5-620’s Full HD 1,920×1,080 touchscreen is bright and colourful, and our colour calibrator reported that it was showing 95.1 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, which is an excellent result. Solid reds, blues and greens beautifully vivid. We were less impressed by the contrast ratio of the screen; our tests found it could only manage a contrast ratio of 264:1. The amount of light leaking through what should be a pure black screen was also pretty high, at 0.61cd/m2. This meant blacks weren’t as sumptuous as we’d have liked, and some of the darker details in our test images looked a little grey.

Annoyingly, the bundled remote control is very unreliable and sometimes it’s unclear whether the machine has simply missed the signal or is taking a long time to load the feature you requested. This leads to multiple, frustrated button presses which further ruins the experience.

Aver, the included TV tuner software, looks very dated, and the tuner doesn’t support HD channels. You can set up recordings, but an annoying, flashing Play icon appears at the top left of the screen whenever you’re playing video, and this is hugely distracting. The integrated speakers, which are located just below the screen, are loud but produce nothing special in terms of sound quality. This is a little disappointing for a media PC.

Processor performance is fair. The quad-core Intel Core i7-4702MQ CPU runs at 2.2GHz, and it’ll Turbo Boost to 3.2GHz when conditions allow. The Aspire U5-620 scored 67 overall in our PC benchmark tests. This you’ll have no problem having multiple browser windows or common applications open, but activities such as video rendering and image editing may take longer than on a more powerful, full-sized desktop. We found the Aspire U5-620’s 1TB hard disk to be a little too hesitant for our liking, particularly when opening applications and performing searches.

The U5-620 isn’t short on graphical power, thanks to the installed Nvidia GeForce GTX 850M graphics processor. This is just one step below the GeForce GTX 860M you find on many mid-range gaming laptops, and we were impressed to find it on a sub-£1,000 all-in-one PC. In our laptop Dirt Showdown benchmark, which runs the game at a resolution of 1,280×720 with High graphics quality, the Aspire U5-620 produced an average frame rate of 86.5fps, which is a great result. At its native 1,920×1,080 resolution with Dirt Showdown set to Ultra graphics quality, the Aspire U5-620 still produced a playable 31fps. While the Aspire U5-620 isn’t a high-end gaming machine, it’s certainly powerful enough to play some older, less graphics-intensive games at higher graphics settings and, even when the PC’s working hard, fan noise isn’t intrusive.

The Acer Aspire U5-620 is a good all-in-one PC for media consumption and a bit of light gaming. While its built-in TV software is clunky and its bundled keyboard and mouse could do with improvement, the U5-620 is a well-specified device which should handle most multimedia tasks with relative ease. If you’re not interested the Aspire U5-620’s media functions, you should consider buying the late 2013 21.5in iMac. The iMac costs a little more but it does have a more powerful processor and moderately good graphics hardware. The iMac is also much more attractive.

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-4702MQ
Processor socketMobile Intel HM86 Express
Memory typeDDR3L
Maximum memory16GB
Motherboard chipsetN/A
Ports and expansion
Front USB ports1xUSB3
Rear USB ports1x USB3, 3xUSB2
Other portsTV tuner
Networking802.11ac Wi-Fi, gigabit Ethernet
Case typeAll-in-one
Case size HxWxD560x35x398mm
PCI (free)N/A
PCIe x1 (free)N/A
PCIe x16 (free)N/A
Serial ATA (free)N/A
Memory slots (free)N/A
Drive bays 2 1/2″ (free)N/A
Drive bays 3 1/2″ (free)N/A
Drive bays 5 1/4″ (free)N/A
Total storage1TB hard disk
Memory card readerSD, SDHC, SDXC
Optical drive typeBlu-Ray
Graphics cardNvidia GeForce GTX 850M
Graphics/video portsHDMI out, HDMI in
Sound cardRealtek HD Audio
Sound card outputsHDMI
Speakers2x 3W
Display23in IPS
Native resolution1,920×1,080
Other hardware
KeyboardAcer Wireless Keyboard
MouseAcer Wireless Optical Mouse
ExtrasRemote control
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionRestore partition
Buying information
WarrantyOne-year carry-in
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£980
Price excluding monitor (inc VAT and delivery)N/A
Part CodeDQ.SUPEK.003

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