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Acer Aspire Z3-615 review

Michael Passingham
25 Dec 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
800
inc VAT

The Acer Z3-615 has good internal components but it's ugly and its peripherals are hopeless

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 1.9GHz Intel Core i5-4460T, RAM: 8GB, Side USB ports : 1x USB3, 1x USB2 (wireless peripherals only), Rear USB ports: 2x USB2, 1x USB3, Total storage: 2TB hard disk, Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 840M, Display: 23in, Operating system: Windows 8.1

Acer's Z3-615 range of all-in-one PCs come in a bewildering array of specifications, so you should be absolutely clear which model you're looking at before you buy it. Annoyingly, our review model (DQ.SVBEK.004) isn't listed on Acer's website, especially so because it has the highest specification, with an Intel Core i5 processor, a dedicated graphics chip and a whopping 2TB hard disk. This makes it suitable for use as a media centre PC, with the capacity to do a bit of gaming too.

We’re not keen on the styling of the Z3-615. The stand is an iMac-style silver, while the rest of the Z3-615’s front portion is made up of cheap-looking glossy black plastic and a thin layer of fabric covering up the speaker grille. It's not ugly, but it's far from the prettiest PC we’ve seen. On the left edge of the device is a USB3 port and a USB port for the wireless mouse and keyboard dongle. There’s also an SD card reader and a headphone jack with a further USB3 port and two USB2 ports on the rear. You’ll also find gigabit Ethernet connectors and 3.5mm audio input and output jacks on the rear.

We're happy that at least one USB port has found its way into an easily accessible position, but putting the rest of the ports at the rear makes them hard to access, causing the same problems that iMac owners have. You'll also find an HDMI port at the back, this can be used as an input for devices such as games consoles and set-top boxes, greatly increasing the Z3's flexibility. There's a Blu-ray drive on the right-hand side of the Z3-615, which is a welcome and handy addition if you have an extensive collection of discs.

The centrepiece of any all-in-one PC is the screen, and the Full HD touchscreen panel on the Z3-615 is reasonably good. Our calibration hardware measured sRGB gamut coverage of 88.9 per cent, which is about what'd you expect from a relatively cheap standalone monitor. Contrast levels of 1200:1 and low black light levels of 0.15cd/m2 make for a pleasing overall image with plenty of detail visible in darker scenes. The screen is glossy, though, and it picks up fingerprints if you slide your fingers around it.

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