Even though these days portable, compact desktops are the latest fashion, some still prefer traditional system units. It might be you’re looking for better price-performance ratio, or just want your computer to look like, eh, computer. Having recently reviewed a Chromebox, it was now time to take a look at an old-school desktop called Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR2E from the same manufacturer…
Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR2E can be dubbed as budget desktop, but it doesn’t feature all-cheap components. The processor is not Celeron, a CPU often found in budget desktops (especially Chromeboxes), but an Intel Pentium J2900 with four cores and 2.4GHz base speed with up to 2.7GHz turbo. Granted, it’s still not a performance monster, but works very well for home & office use, and even tackles many games with the help of Intel HD Graphics chip provided they are not state-of-the-art ones. For example, Minecraft should have non-laggy FPS on this system.
Memory-wise, the Acer does alright. It has 4GB RAM installed and can be doubled in case you want more. There should be one free memory slot available for convenient upgrade.
Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR2E has lots of storage space. The 1TB will take you far, even if you’re used to store huge files on your computer. As a reference, a one terabyte drive could hold DVD movies in low hundreds. A minor advantage, the hard drive spins at 7200RPM as opposed to slower 5400RPM ones, although the difference is negligible if you compare any hard drives to newer solid-state drives.
The Acer comes with a typical budget desktop connectivity. It features 4 USB 2.0 ports and just one USB 3.0 port. On top of that, HDMI and VGA outs are present which translate to a dual-monitor capacity.
For communications, there’s only Ethernet (RJ-45). Getting a WiFi USB dongle is good idea if you want to enjoy wireless.
Media card reader supporting SD format is installed in the front panel.
Something else to keep in mind?
Happy thing for some, Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR2E’s operating system is Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition. It’s obviously not Microsoft’s flagship anymore, but is still used as a selling point due to many people understandably wanting a solid operating system they’re used to. I use Windows 8 every day and admittedly prefer Windows 7 over “the eight”.
There is also Microsoft Office Starter pre-installed which lets you use Word and Excel with some quirks like no table of contents support, but for basic editing they’re fine.
As the computer case is small (3.9″ H x 14.6″ W x 10.5″ D) the motherboard offers just one Mini PCI Express slot for expansions. The small case can’t take much more, and wattage of power supply at 220W would also have hard times giving power for large, powerful components.
To my eye, Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR2E looks like a quintessential budget desktop. It’s good choice for use where great performance is not needed (like home, small office, student) but if you’re power hungry user with lots of fancy games, the Pentium processor and its integrated graphics chip won’t please you. In any case, for everyday use at home such a cheap desktop is an obvious choice. It comes with the best OS, a Windows 7, and fits nicely to any room due to small size and unobtrusive design.