Sitting at the low end of the price range, Acer’s Aspire 5600U is a pleasantly stylish 23in all-in-one with some great features.
Its body is very thin – not mind-bogglingly thin like one of the new iMacs – but certainly much thinner than most. And when the stand is tucked away, it’ll fold completely flat. At other angles in-between, the stand adjustment lets you lean the PC from vertical to a laid-back 80-degree tilt, better for touch control of the 10-point multi-touch IPS screen.
See: more reviews of all-in-one PCs.
Its design incorporates a transparent plastic frame which reaches all the way down to the desk to form the front support. It makes the PC appear to float in mid-air. The slimline keyboard echoes this transparent border design and therefore appears slimmer than it actually is.
Our review model came with an adequate, although unimpressive 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive – each below what you’ll find from any other PC in this group. It does however come with a discrete graphics processor, in the form of an nVidia GeForce GT 630M – something you don’t get from either of the other two sub-£1000 machines.
The Aspire 5600U is powered by a dual-core 2.4GHz Intel Core i3-3110M laptop processor which is not very fast. And the PCMark7 score of 2413 points puts this PC at the bottom of the performance pile.
Worse, its lack of speed was frustratingly noticeable. There was plenty of waiting for a response, which we didn’t notice on systems measured to be only a little faster. This sluggishness may have been exaggerated by the burden of a lot of pre-loaded extra software.
The nVidia GPU did give it a noticeable graphics-speed edge over systems relying on Intel alone, but it was still pretty weak – certainly not fast enough to transform the PC into a gaming system.