With a glass-front design, a giant HD touch screen, and a bevy of entertainment options, the Acer Aspire 7600U will get plenty of shoppers imagining this beauty sitting atop their desk or hanging on a wall, and with good reason. From the 27-inch touch screen to the slot-loading Blu-ray drive, the Aspire 7600U is worthy of your affections, but it comes at a steep price.
Design and Features
The Aspire 7600U features edge-to-edge glass across its 27-inch display, but the glass doesn’t stop there. Extending a full 2.5 inches below the bottom of the display, a pane of transparent acrylic also serves as part of the monitor stand, resting on the edge the clear plastic instead of two feet or a metal bar. In back, propping up the all-in-one, is a single support arm which adjusts to let the AIO sit at anywhere between 30 and 80 degrees. The combination of glass, acrylic, and the single support arm leaves an impression of weightlessness, and gives the Aspire 7600U a futuristic air that is quite striking.
The glass motif is repeated again in the bundled wireless keyboard and mouse, where an extended clear acrylic panel makes up the wrist rest of the keyboard and the palm rest of the mouse. It’s not the only smart design element, however. Some clever designer put the power connection in the end of the easel stand bar, which makes the cable look much less cluttered. The system uses an AC adapter power brick, but the cable is four feet long, so you may be able to leave that on the floor when plugged in.
On the left side of the system you’ll find two USB 3.0 ports, a memory card reader (SD/SDHC, MS/Pro Duo, MMC), and Audio Line In and Out connections. On the back of the system you’ll find four USB 2.0 ports for connecting various peripherals, along with a Gigabit Ethernet port, but that’s not all. Asus has equipped the Aspire 7600U with two HDMI input ports, letting you connect a cable box and a gaming console to the system, as well as an HDMI out, for using the desktop with a second monitor, and SPDIF for connecting a digital audio system. Wireless technologies include 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, along with an NFC reader for easily pairing NFC-enabled mobile devices (such as tablets and smartphones) and sharing data.
The 27-inch display isn’t just a pretty face, though its 1,920-by-1,080 resolution is gorgeous. It’s also touch-enabled, tracking 10-touch points to provide all of the touch support needed to make the most of Windows 8. Taking advantage of the high-definition display is a Blu-ray optical drive, which will read and play Blu-ray discs, and burn to blank DVDs and CDs. A VESA mount and included mounting bracket also allows mounting on a wall for use as a TV or HTPC.
Inside the slim system is a 1TB 5400rpm hard drive, offering plenty of storage space. While the Aspire 7600U may have a slim and airy design, it’s weighed down heavily with preloaded software. On the tiled Start Screen you’ll find numerous apps, including TuneIn Radio, Evernote, HuluPlus, Amazon’s Kindle Reader, Encyclopedia Britannica, Skitch, and Skype. There are also tiles for links to eBay, Netflix, Amazon, and Stumble Upon. Surprisingly, there’s even a tile for Cha-Cha, which I hadn’t seen in several years.
On the desktop side, you’ll find even more trialware, with a 60-day trial of McAfee Internet Security Suite, a trial version of Norton Online Backup, and Microsoft’s limited functionality ad-supported Office Starter 2010. There’s also a handful of game samples from WildTangent. It’s a stunning amount of bloatware, but an hour of uninstalling programs will give you a nice, clean system. On a more helpful note, Acer does cover the Aspire 7600U with a one-year warranty.
The Aspire 7600U is equipped with a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-3210M dual-core mobile processor, a step up from the ultra low-voltage processors used in the Sony VAIO Tap 20 (SVJ20215CXW) , but well below the Core i7 processor found in the Editors’ Choice Dell XPS One 27 . Acer pairs this processor with 8GB of memory, offering a slight performance bump when compared with the Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 , which features the same CPU but only 6GB of memory. As a result, the Aspire 7600U scored 2,613 points in PCMark 7 while the Lenovo A720 fell slightly behind with 2,131 points, even though both scored similarly in Cinebench R11.5 (2.88 points and 2.82 points, respectively).
The desktop is also outfitted with an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M discrete graphics processor and 2GB of dedicated memory, offering slightly better performance in graphics and gaming than the Asus ET2300INTI-B022K , which uses the GT 630 and 1GB of memory. As a result, the Aspire 7600U topped the Asus ET2300INTI in gaming tests, producing 31 frame per second (fps) in Alien vs. Predator, and 26 fps in Heaven (both at medium detail and resolution settings). By comparison, the Asus ET2300INTI-B022K only managed 25 fps and 20 fps, respectively. The Aspire 7600U also led in 3DMark 11, scoring 2,887 points (at Entry settings) as compared to the the Asus’ 2,244 points in the same test. The result is a system that can handle not only all of your regular video and web browsing capabilities; it will also do a fair amount of gaming, albeit not high-end 3D titles.
The Acer Aspire 7600U may not blow away the competition in performance, but it does hold its own. Figure in the enticing array of entertainment features, from the Blu-ray drive to HDMI inputs—not to mention a design that you’ll want to hang on your wall as art—and it will tempt plenty of shoppers. The Editors’ Choice Dell XPS One 27 may offer better performance and overall value, but the Acer Aspire 7600U certainly is an all-in-one PC that will get your pulse racing.
BENCHMARK TEST RESULTS:
Check out the test scores for the Acer Aspire 7600U (A7600U-UR308)
Compare the Acer Aspire 7600U (A7600U-UR308) with several other desktops side by side.
More desktop reviews:
|Primary Optical Drive||Blu-Ray Disc|
|Processor Family||Intel Core i5|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE|
|Screen Size||27 inches|
|Monitor Type||LCD Widescreen|
|Type||All-in-one, Touchscreen All-In-One|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||1000 GB|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc