Unlike most of the competition, Aria has turned its back on the latest Intel Haswell processors in favour of a tried-and-tested – and slightly cheaper – Ivy Bridge chip from the previous generation of CPUs. It’s from the lower-spec Core i3 range rather than the benchmark-busting Core i5 chips we’re accustomed to seeing in our PC Charts, and is better suited to office work – extreme performance simply isn’t needed by most office workers and saving money on the processor makes sensible economic sense. Take a look at Group test: What's the best office PC?
Aria clearly still cares about system performance, established by a 60 GB Toshiba HG5D SSD to improve system responsiveness, alongside a 500 GB hard disk for sizable local application and document storage. Take a look at our PC Specialist MPC-2100 review.
We would generally prefer to see SSDs with more than 60 GB capacity however, as these can cause headaches when they start to become full. See also The 7 best tablets with expandable memory.
In our performance tests, the Gladiator Logic scored a relatively unimpressive 3524 points in PCMark 7. This is due to the slower Core i3 processor which is limited to 3.3 GHz and doesn’t offer any Turbo boost capability. But that SSD ensures the system really feels slick and responsive.
A small 21.5in AOC display has been included, which offers a widescreen full-HD 1920-by-1080 pixel resolution. This does mean rather small text and we would recommend a larger display where possible, to cut down on eye strain and make life easier for those whose eyesight is less than perfect.
Despite the low price, Aria’s build quality here is good. The Cooler Master N200 case features tidy internal cable management, a high-quality Corsair power supply and easy access to drive bays. We were also surprised to find a memory-card reader and basic Wi-Fi adaptor installed. The company has skimped on the Windows tax though, supplying Windows 7 Home Premium rather than the business-ready Professional edition.