Acer AX3300 – U1322 Desktop PC review
If you’ve ever seen a business desktop, you’ll know exactly what the Acer AX3300-U1322 Desktop PC looks like. About a third the size of a traditional mid-tower computer, this upright desktop computer is sleek and compact and offers a number of affinity functions for your entire home. Sporting an all-black look with a glossy surface on the front cover, the desktop looks great with a durable metal casing full of cooling holes. The bundled USB keyboard and optical mouse also look good, but they’re a bit generic in terms of overall design.
Running on a quad-core AMD Athlon II X4 processor and integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9200 graphics, the Acer AX3300-U1322 is powerful enough to run most office applications, watch movies, listen to music, surf the Internet, and play some casual games; Basically everything a home computer can do. With 4GB of DDR2 RAM, the desktop is very stable and can handle heavy image editing tasks. The 1TB hard drive gives you plenty of space to keep all your home movies, digital photos and downloaded content while the Super Multi DVD drive lets you watch DVD movies, listen to CDs and burn archive media.
On the connectivity side, the Acer AX3300-U1322 offers nine USB ports, one FireWire port, one eSATA port, one HDMI port, one VGA port, and two 5.1-channel surround sound jacks to go along with an Ethernet port for wired connections. The system runs on Windows 7 Home Premium and also has an all-in-one flash media card reader for CompactFlash, MMC, RSMMC, SD, xD, Memory Stick and Memory Stick PRO flash media. Expansion capabilities include one PCI-e x1 slot and one PCI-e x16 slot.
The Acer AX3300-U1322 performs well if all you use it for are the basic home computing tasks mentioned above. While the system offers an HDMI port, the lack of a Blu-ray drive and low-cost integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9200 graphics mean you won’t be watching any HD movies on your HDTV. However, thanks to the free PCI-e x16 slot, you can add a low-end discrete graphics card like the ATI HD 5570 which can turn your desktop into a live home theater PC with good gaming capabilities. You can also add a wireless network adapter via the free PCI-e x1 slot so you can easily connect to your wireless network.
By itself, the Acer AX3300-U1322 really makes a great converged PC for home computing as it can connect all your digital cameras and camcorders and play your photos, movies, and music on an HDMI-enabled HDTV. However, its expansion capabilities provide more flexibility and with the right choices in add-ons, you can end up with a high-end HTPC and gaming PC for much less than if you were to buy one outright.