The Acer Veriton X270 does a fine job of combining attributes that rarely work well together: tiny, inexpensive, and fast. This compact (315x100x265mm) PC raises the bar for sub-£500 mini-systems, offering impressive functionality and performance despite its minute dimensions.

In performance, the Acer Veriton X270 - which unites a 2.8GHz Core 2 Duo E7400 and 2GB of DDR2-800 memory - falls well short of the Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p, with its 3.16GHz Core 2 Duo E8500 processor and 2GB of DDR3-1066 memory. But at a mere £399, the X270 also costs much less.

The M58p does throw in 250GB of storage (versus the Acer Veriton X270's 160GB), but both machines offer standard DVD burners that lack Blu-ray support.

The Acer Veriton X270 is the fastest sub-£400 PC we've tested, desktop or all-in-one; its WorldBench 6 score of 96 is significantly lower than the mark of 117 earned by the fastest compact desktop we've tested - the Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p. Nevertheless, its general performance is far below that of other, pricier value desktop PCs, and you shouldn't expect to play games on it.

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This PC comes with an impressive array of ports. On the rear are four USB, one eSATA, gigabit ethernet, integrated 7.1 surround sound, S/PDIF, VGA, and HDMI connections. And Acer slaps five additional USB ports, one FireWire 400 port, and a multicard reader on the system's front.

You can only replace - not supplement - the Acer Veriton X270's optical and hard drives, but surprisingly the machine's motherboard has a free PCI Express x16 slot and a free PCI x1 slot. Just don't expect an nVidia 8800-size graphics card to fit in this little rig.

The Acer Veriton X270's all-black case is sleek and stylish. But the matching mouse and keyboard are strictly generic, lacking any extra keys or buttons.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

PCworld.com

Acer Veriton X270: Specs

  • Intel Pentium Dual Core E2220/2.4GHz, 1MB L2 Cache
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7100/nForce 630i, 800MHz
  • 1GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Business
  • 160GB Serial ATA-300 hard drive
  • DVD-RW
  • High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)
  • 5.1 channel surround
  • Realtek RTL8211BL ethernet connector
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD, Adobe Reader, Acer Empowering Technology, AntiVirus software, NTI Media Maker
  • 315x100x265mm
  • Intel Pentium Dual Core E2220/2.4GHz, 1MB L2 Cache
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7100/nForce 630i, 800MHz
  • 1GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Business
  • 160GB Serial ATA-300 hard drive
  • DVD-RW
  • High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)
  • 5.1 channel surround
  • Realtek RTL8211BL ethernet connector
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD, Adobe Reader, Acer Empowering Technology, AntiVirus software, NTI Media Maker
  • 315x100x265mm

OUR VERDICT

The Acer Veriton X270 is a miniature system that has a lot going for it. You can connect a wide range of devices, add components, and accomplish many living-room PC tasks, all while enjoying the fastest performance of any sub-£400 PC. Acer's affordable Veriton X270 is the best compact system that a small amount of money can buy.

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