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Acer Aspire AU5-620-U12 All-in-One PC review: Pretty, but ultimately underwhelming

Yardena Arar | July 29, 2014
Acer seems to be putting a lot of resources into its industrial design team lately, perhaps at the expense of the folks who work on what's inside the box. Case in point: the Aspire AU5-620-U12, a sleek $1020 all-in-one that's better suited for a receptionist's desk than the workspace of someone who needs to crunch numbers or perform any other type of heavy-duty computing.

Performance is lacking

But the real downside of this model is its performance. Acer's component choices aren't all bad. There's an Intel Core i5-4200M (a Haswell-class mobile processor) and 8GB of DDR3/1600 memory, but the system relies on an integrated Intel HD 4600 graphics processor and a 1TB mechanical hard drive that spins its platters at just 5400rpm. A hybrid drive or — better yet — a true SSD would open up the Aspire AU5-620-U12's potential. As it stands, this all-in-one eked out a meager Desktop WorldBench 9 score of 51. That's one of the lowest scores we've seen lately; in fact, it's just two points ahead of Toshiba's PX35t-A2210, which is powered by a lesser Intel Core i3 processor (the Toshiba'S 7200rpm hard drive is the key difference here).

The Acer was slow at almost every task we tested, but its performance was particularly poor with PCMark 8: Office, which evaluates performance with Microsoft Office applications. And while Intel has made great strides with its integrated video architecture, it still can't deliver a satisfying experience with a game like BioShock Infinite — even with resolution dialed down to 1024x768.

Should you buy one?

The Acer Aspire AU5-620-U12 shapes up as a tool for light use — Skype calls, YouTube videos, and routine business tasks — in an environment where looks matter and money isn't terribly tight. You can pay less for superior desktop performance these days, and even a starving student might want to sacrifice a bit of PC chic for at least minimal gaming chops.

 

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