Acer joins the tabletop parade

The 21.5-inch Aspire Z3-600 is a battery-powered all-in-one with a kickstand.


When is an all-in-one desktop not an all-in-one desktop? When it's one of the newish breed of portable big-screen computers we call tabletop PCs. That's essentially either an all-in-one PC with a battery in it, or a giant lap-size tablet, depending on your point of view.

Acer is joining HP, Lenovo, Sony, and others in releasing one of these hybrid systems with the just-announced Aspire Z3-600. While most of the other tabletops we've seen have 20-inch screens, the Z3 has a 21.5-inch display (only the 27-inch Lenovo Horizon 27 goes much larger), and a folding hinge to either keep it upright, or else lie down flat on a table or desk (in practical experience, these often end up on ottomans, where a lot of two-player air hockey is played).

At under $800, that sounds like a good deal for a tabletop PC, especially for one with a full-HD display, Harman Kardon speakers, and an HDMI input for using the display with a game console, Blu-ray player, or other external source. The catch is twofold: the battery is only rated for 2.5 hours (but realistically, most tabletop PCs aren't meant for long-term battery use); and the CPU isn't even a low-end Core i3, it's an Intel Pentium processor. The included 4GB of RAM and 750GB HDD are standard enough, no complaints there.

The Acer Aspire Z3-600 will be available later in December for $779.

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.


Discuss Acer joins the tabletop parade

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Articles from CNET
The gates are open -- the Edyn Garden Sensor hits online retailers