Acer Aspire AZC-605-UR21 review

The Acer Aspire AZC-605-UR21 is a decent sub $600 all-in-one PC, though for the money there are alternatives that also merit consideration.
Photo of Acer Aspire AZC-605-UR21

The Acer Aspire AZC-605-UR21 is a respectable all-in-one desktop that won’t cost you much more than a tablet. It’s running full Windows 8, and can be upgraded to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store. For the non-picky user, it will help you get on the full Internet (x86 Windows plug-ins included), and let you use all those Windows apps you’ve grown accustomed to. The AZC-605-UR21 is a decent entry level all-in-one PC, though for the money there are alternatives that also merit consideration.

Design and Features
The AZC-605-UR21 looks like the little brother of the 23-inch Acer Aspire AZ3-605-UR23 ($999.99). The AZC-605-UR21 has a smaller 19.5-inch widescreen, running at a smaller 1,600-by-900 resolution. Most 21-inch and larger all-in-one desktops come with a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution screen, but we understand why Acer used this panel to reduce overall cost. The display itself is bright and clear, with a decent viewing angle for a LCD panel. This is important, because it makes the screen sharable among a small group of people. Viewing online videos and DVDs was fine, with decent sound from the built-in stereo speakers. The speakers have a Dolby Home Theater logo on them. They don’t have rump-shaking bass, but sound effects and dialog were equally clear while watching the latest Marvel Studios trailers.

The AZC-605-UR21 doesn’t have a touch screen, again this is understandable because of the cost savings, but they are a differentiator between the budget all-in-ones under $600 that don’t have touchscreens, and the $800-1,000 systems that do. For example, the AZC-065-UR21′s business brother Acer Veriton VZ2640G-UP2117X, the Lenovo C540, and the Editors’ Choice for budget all-in-one desktops Gateway One ZX4970G-UW308 all lack touch screens.

The system comes with a wired keyboard and mouse, which plug into the two USB 2.0 ports in the back (make sure you plug them into the black colored ports, so you can save the blue-colored USB 3.0 port for a hard drive. The AZC-605-UR21 has an Ethernet port and audio ports in the back as well. The front panel has conveniently placed ports, including a headset jack, SD card reader, the second USB 3.0 port, SD card reader, and a button to turn the display off to save power. Notably absent is an HDMI-in port, so you could use the system as an external monitor for a laptop or game console.

The system comes with a 1TB hard drive with ample storage space and a DVD burner, so you can access those old CDs and DVDs if needed. The built-in webcam is notable because it tilts independently of the screen. This way you don’t have to reposition the screen just to have a Skype conversation. 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi is standard, so you can connect to routers using both the older 2.4GHz and less crowded 5GHz bands.

The system comes with a bunch of pre-loaded apps, like 7digital, Didlr, Kindle, eBay, Zinio, Amazon, WildTangent Games, Xbox Live games, Netflix, iCookbook, Hulu Plus, Tunein Radio, Chacha, Stumbleupon, NewsXpresso, Skype, Spotify, McAfee Internet Security, and Microsoft Office (ad). They do clutter up the Start screen a bit, but thankfully they don’t take up too much space on the hard drive. The AZC-605-UR21 comes with a standard one-year warranty.

Performance

The AZC-605-UR21 has an Intel Pentium 2127U processor built on the Ivy Bridge architecture, 4GB of memory, and that 1TB 7,200rpm SATA hard drive. Together, they power the system to respectable, if unexciting benchmark results. The AZC-605-UR21 scores a middling 2,322 points at the day-to-day PCMark7 test, (compare this to 3,008 points for the Gateway One ZX4970G-UW308). That said, the Gateway One ZX4970G-UW308 matches the AZC-605-UR21 on the Handbrake video encoding test, but the EC again wins on the Photoshop CS6 test, by almost three minutes total time. Essentially, the AZC-605-UR21 will keep you happy for a while, and should last you the next three to five years before you replace it.

The Acer Aspire AZC-605-UR21 is a middle-of-the-road system, with its price tag being its most attractive feature. It’s fast enough and large enough to keep our home use happy for a while. For the money, if you simply need a Windows PC and value portability, the convertible tablet Asus Transformer Book T100TA (64GB) ($399) is a much better value. However, the added features in our Editors’ Choice winning Gateway One ZX4970G-UW308, like an HDMI-in port, better benchmark performance, wireless keyboard/mouse, and a 1080p display keep it on top of the entry-level all-in-one desktop category for a while longer.

Specifications
Touchscreen No
Operating System Microsoft Windows 8
Storage Type HDD
Graphics Card Intel HD Graphics
Type All-in-one
RAM 4 GB
Processor Family Intel Pentium
Monitor Type LCD Widescreen
Primary Optical Drive Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW
Screen Size 19.5 inches
Storage Capacity (as Tested) 1000 GB

Verdict
The AZC-605-UR21 is a decent entry level all-in-one PC, though for the money there are alternatives that also merit consideration.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
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