The Acer Aspire X3400 is a budget PC that's inexpensive enough to make it a compelling - but not perfect - package.

Part of the reason for the Acer system's low cost is its triple-core AMD Athlon II X3 435 processor, clocked at 2.9GHz. There is 3GB DDR3 memory and a 640GB hard drive.

The Acer X3400 hits a score of 104 on our WorldBench 6 test suite, but couldn't deliver playable frame rates on our gaming benchmarks.

Overall, the Acer Aspire X3400 looks less appealing than similar priced desktip PCs. Nevertheless, we appreciated Acer's design decision to conceal the system's DVD burner and front-side ports beneath those panels.

The Acer Aspire X3400's interior is less impressive. You can't access the hard drive area without first removing the optical drive. More annoyingly, you can't remove or insert memory without doing the same thing. There are no free bays for additional 3.5- or 5.25-inch devices, though two open slots remain on the motherboard for a PCI Express x16 and PCI Express x1 add-on card. No part of the system is screwless.

Acer's X3400 has five USB ports and a multiformat card reader on the front, and four more USB ports, a gigabit ethernet port, an eSATA port, a VGA port, an HDMI port, and integrated 5.1 surround sound on the rear. HDMI essentially replaces what would otherwise be a standard DVI port, leaving but one eSATA port as the only real "next-generation" offering.

We enjoyed the keyboard that comes bundled with the Acer X3400; it includes a few additional buttons - and a volume wheel built directly into the keyboard's side - for one-touch application launching and media control. The mouse is a generic two-button model, serviceable but uninteresting.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

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Acer Aspire X3400: Specs

  • AMD Athlon II X4, 2.9GHz
  • 3GB RAM
  • 640GB hard drive
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Nvidia GF9200 1024 MB
  • optical drive (CD, DVD)
  • 9x USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, eSATA, gigabit ethernet, DVI
  • 5.1 surround sound
  • built-in sound card
  • wired keyboard, wired mouse
  • AMD Athlon II X4, 2.9GHz
  • 3GB RAM
  • 640GB hard drive
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Nvidia GF9200 1024 MB
  • optical drive (CD, DVD)
  • 9x USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, eSATA, gigabit ethernet, DVI
  • 5.1 surround sound
  • built-in sound card
  • wired keyboard, wired mouse

OUR VERDICT

The Acer Aspire X3400 is reasonably well blessed in terms of features and performance. It could use a little more storage capacity, but the the X3400 is very well priced. The X3400 also beats the only even cheaper category of desktop PCs: compact desktops.

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