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Anyone looking to spend around $1,000 on an all-in-one desktop has wide selection of quality machine to choose from these days. Almost very mainstream PC maker has something to offer for about a grand, mostly in the 23-inch display category. We are not surprised that even Apple is flirting with this concept, with its new 21.5-inch iMac.
In this class, Acer is now offering a competitively priced Aspire C24-865-ACi5NT AIO desktop, that seems to take the battle to another level altogether. Our review unit has an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 12 GB RAM, and a 1TB mechanical hard drive. The price tag is hard to beat for such a sleek system, with impressive hardware.
Does the Aspire make you feel at peace knowing you won’t have a hole in your bank account?
ACER ASPIRE C24-865-ACI5NT – DESIGN
Simple design, but very practical. That’s how best to describe the Aspire C24’s design. It doesn’t sport the sleek aluminum chassis of an iMac, a signature black of the Dell XPS 27, or the exquisite work-horse look of the HP Envy AIO. Rather, it is a simple, silver system that looks every bit humble as its brand suggests.
All that adds up to an all-in-one PC that will fit perfectly into any home office, college dorm, or living room, and remain relevant for years to come.
The original Aspire’s worst aesthetic was its minimalist kickstand. A few years later, Acer has tweaked the stand into something sweet for the eyes – a silver V-stand that lets you rotate the screen lightly up to 45 degrees. It doesn’t allow for height and swivel adjustments, but we’re still OK with the amount of adjustment it offers. And, it does provide a vantage point when you place the Aspire C24 on a kitchen counter or office desk.
The Aspire has thin bezels around the screen, with a bottom that’s fairly wider than the top and sides, bearing a silver trim that matches the stand. The thin profile (only 0.46-inches) is as a result of an Intel Core i5-8250U that’s mostly used on portable notebooks, as well as the integrated graphics processor, that allow for a slim AIO desktop. One small downside is the lack of a VESA mount, which makes it difficult to switch to a third-party stand.
ACER ASPIRE C24-865-ACI5NT – PORTS
The Aspire C24 uses extremely thin bezels that don’t allow for space to place a webcam. As a work-around, Acer uses an external webcam and microphone that are mounted on the top bezel, but connects via a pair of USB 2.0 ports on the upper-back panel, next to the built-in speakers.
Around the back, there’s a port panel that’s as functional as the aesthetic suggests. It includes two USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI-out port, and a Gigabit Ethernet ports, complemented by built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.3. The thin profile doesn’t allow for an optical drive, of which, you’ll have to do with an external DVD drive. Also bundled into the package are a wireless keyboard and mouse.
ACER ASPIRE C24-865-ACI5NT – DISPLAY
Fitting with its theme of functionality, the Acer Aspire ships with a non-gloss display. The base model offers 1080p resolution, which looks great on our review unit. The thin bezels give the Full HD display a pleasant look, with sharp, accurate picture that’s true of the content displayed. The display looks particularly best for photos or movies, where its accurate picture suffices for extremely pleasant picture. Games also look great on this monitor, though, the screen’s modest contrast limit darker titles.
A good screen, though, the price haunts the entire experience. As mentioned earlier, our unit is expected to compete with the likes of Apple iMac with Retina, which absolutely leads the pack for high image quality. The 1080p is one area where Acer reveals itself to be an upgraded version of a much less expensive system, rather than a luxury PC offered at a low price.
ACER ASPIRE C24-865-ACI5NT – PERFORMANCE
Our review unit comes with Intel’s Core i5-8250U, a low-voltage dual-core CPU with a base clock of 1.6 GHz and a Turbo Boost maximum of 3.4 GHz. At least on all daily productivity tasks you’ll likely perform with this PC, the newer CPU and 12GB will be more than sufficient. Those tasks include web browsing, video conferencing (via the included webcam), MS Office Suite projects including word and spreadsheets. Provided you don’t throw in complex media encoding tasks, the Aspire C24 is a capable machine.
While being a strong performer, the included 1TB (5,400rpm) hard drive doesn’t make for fast startup times. The same is experienced in other tasks, for example, switching between Chrome and MS Office can be a little sluggish, with Windows interface animations occasionally lagging. That’s expected of the traditional spinning hard drives, that don’t benefit from the snappy performance of solid-state-drives (SSD), used in most systems lately.
An SSD has little effect on execution time for processor-intensive activities, but it does boost the user experience on things like app launch and refresh, smooth resizing of windows as well as restarting the PC.
ACER ASPIRE C24-865-ACI5NT – GAMING
The Aspire uses an integrated UHD Graphics 620, which only works to keep the screen apps running, but a bad candidate for gamers. After all, AIO are meant for productivity, and rarely re they used for gaming, but they are still a fine platform for kids to play web-based games.
If you must play on an AIO, the discrete graphics on the 34-inch HP Envy 34-b110 offer class-leading gaming performance, while the 21.5-inch Apple iMac’s Retina 4K display offers the best experience for professional creatives who need to edit image and videos on the flip. In addition to the 4096-by-2304 resolution, the iMac Retina uses Intel’s Iris Plus Graphics 640 in addition to good overall connectivity including Thunderbolt 3.
The Acer Aspire C24-865-ACi5NT is what a respectable, affordable All-In-One desktop PC should be – have strong performance, pack useful connectivity and a beautiful design. The processor used here is more than sufficient for most owners and provides a strong overall package and does so at a very competitive price.
Is there a better alternative?
We can’t run short of competitors for the Aspire C24 AIO. Apple’s newest 21.5-inch iMac is a big name, and it is for a good reason. It costs a few hundred dollars more, but its good value considering its fast hardware and outstanding 4K Retina display.
The other alternative must be the Lenovo Ideacentre AIO 520-24AST, which features the same 23-inch display, an AMD A 12-9720P processor, a Full HD touchscreen, Radeon R7 graphics card and a 1TB (7200rpm), which is a better configuration than what the Aspire delivers, for around the same price.
Should you buy it?
Yes. The Acer Aspire C24-865-ACi5NT is a great choice for people who need a chic-looking, versatile all-in-one, and don’t care about a discrete graphics card. This is true at every price point this all-in-one competes, though, an upgrade to a solid state is recommended. It may not look like much, but the Acer Aspire C24 has class – and a fast processor, too.