The Bottom Line
Mar 20 2013 - Acer's Aspire AXC is more of a cosmetic change than a major redesign of their slim desktop. It receives a number of small upgrades including larger hard drive, more RAM, slightly faster hard drive and most importantly, wireless networking. The problem is that that they didn't upgrade the base motherboard so that it could support USB 3.0 which puts it at a disadvantage against its competitors. Acer also needs to look at not installing so much software that clutters up the system and the start screen.
- Wireless Networking
- No USB 3.0 Ports
- Limited Internal Upgrade Options
- Lots of Preinstalled Software
- Intel Core i3-3220 Dual Core Desktop Processor
- 6GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 16x Dual Layer DVD+/-RW DL Burner
- Intel HD Graphics 2500 Integrated Graphics
- Intel HD 5.1 Audio Support
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n
- Eight USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 6-in-1 Card Reader
- 10.6" x 3.9" x 14.4"
- Windows 8
Review - Acer Aspire AXC600-UR12P
Mar 20 2013 - The new Acer Aspire AXC slim desktops are more about an external design change than a major new release. On the exterior the system gets a new look that is a bit more rounded then is past Aspire X1 desktop design even though it is laid out very similarly. It should be noted that the new system while roughly the same height and width is about a half inch deeper than the past model.
The Acer Aspire AXC600-UR12P gets a minor sped upgrade from the past models thanks to the Intel Core i3-3220 dual core processor. This is certainly not a high speed offering but frankly it provides sufficient performance for the average users needs. It can do most of the tasks one might use a PC for but it will just be slower in more demanding tasks like desktop video work. The memory on the system has been upgraded from the past 4GB to 6GB which provides a nice smooth experience with Windows 8. It should be noted that both memory slots are used within the system and upgrading can be difficult due to the memory slot location being under the optical drive.
Probably the biggest change for the Aspire ACX600-UR12P from the past models is the amount of storage space provided. This new $500 system comes with a one terabyte hard drive that is double what they offered in the past model and brings it more in line with what the average desktop provides now. Performance from the drive is good thanks to the traditional 7200rpm spin rate from the drive rather than the green class drives most often found in many of the low cost desktops. The big downside here though is that the system still lacks any USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage drives. With the hard drive installed under the optical drive, this makes it very difficult to get a high performance storage upgrade for the system.
With its low price point, the Acer Aspire AXC600-UR12P still relies on the Intel HD Graphics 2500 that are built in to the Core i3 processor. This is fine for basic computer usage but provides very limited 3D performance such that it is not really suitable even for casual PC gaming. Now it does provide some benefits for those that will be doing a lot of video work if the programs they use can take advantage of the Quick Sync video. Now there is space within the system for a PCI-Express x16 graphics card but there at some big limits. First, the power supply within the system is a very low 220 watts. This means that the only graphics cards that can be used are those that don't require an additional PCI-Express power connector. In addition to this, there is a wireless networking card and optical drive that will prevent any double slot sized cards from fitting inside.
Speaking of wireless networking, it is nice to see this feature being included in the Aspire AXC600-UR12P. The feature is becoming more common on desktop computers due to the number of wireless devices that are shared within a home and it makes it much easier to connect to that network. It is nice to see this in a desktop that costs under $500.
With HP now no longer producing slim desktop systems and Acer scaling back its Gateway brand, there is very limited competition for low cost slim desktops now. The only big competitor that is left for slim desktops under $500 segment is Dell with its Inspiron 660s. Dell's offering is roughly the same size and comes with the same basic features for roughly the same price. The only big difference is that Dell comes with two USB 3.0 ports which Acer still lacks.