We were also happy enough with the Aspire Z5700 as an HD video playback device. In PCs with lesser CPUs, the integrated Intel graphics chip might be an issue, but we tried HD content from YouTube, Netflix, and in QuickTime and had relatively smooth experiences with each. We noticed a few hitches here and there, depending on the stream, but the content was still for the most part watchable. It's worth noting that you can ensure smooth playback if you connect a video device to the Aspire Z5700 through the HDMI port, as the video input acts independently of the system processing. Playback in that case will be just as smooth as the source device allows on any standard television.
In addition to the HDMI input, Acer included a useful assortment of other inputs on the back of the Aspire Z5700. You get two USB 2.0 jacks on the left side of the case. The right side features an SD card slot, and headphone and microphone jacks, as well as a light to cycle through a few down-facing LED settings, a feature designed to help light up the keyboard. The back of the PC features four additional USB 2.0 jacks, as well as TV tuner and IR blaster inputs, an Ethernet port, an eSATA port, and also a set of 5.1 analog audio jacks, a feature that's not overly common on all-in-ones. You might reasonably want to connect the Aspire Z5700 to an external audio device, but we found that the built-in audio had sufficient volume and quality to project clearly across most smaller rooms.
|Acer Aspire Z5700-U3112||Average watts per hour|
|Off (60 percent)||0.73|
|Sleep (10 percent)||1.61|
|Idle (25 percent)||28.25|
|Load (5 percent)||107.94|
|Annual energy cost||$15.68|
We're happily surprised by Acer's power consumption ratings, as it's rare for a Windows PC vendor to challenge Apple in power efficiency. Perhaps the Acer's advantage has to do with the new iMac's discrete graphics card, a more power-hungry component than the Acer's integrated Intel graphics chip. Regardless, the Aspire Z5700-U3112 is acceptably efficient for its price and specs.
Acer's standard warranty grants you a year of parts-and-labor coverage. You can also find driver downloads and a variety of other support resources if you're willing to suffer through Acer's circuitous Web site. Going by the Web site alone, you'd have no idea that standard phone support was available with this PC. The number, 800-816-2237, is listed in small type in the included manual, or you can register the system online with the serial number (located on the bottom edge of the system).
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Acer Aspire Z5700-U3112
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 650; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 1TB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive
Apple iMac 21.5-inch (Summer 2010)
Apple OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.4; 3.06GHz Intel Core i3; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics card; 500GB 7,200rpm Seagate hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 550; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 640GB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive
HP TouchSmart 310z
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.53GHz AMD Athlon II X4 615e; 6GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) AMD Radeon HD 4270 integrated graphics chip; 1TB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive
Sony Vaio J114FX
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Pentium P6000; 4GB 1,066MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics chip; 500GB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive