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Acer shows off compact new 64-bit PC

Acer unveils the Aspire X1200

Like new models from its Gateway subsidiary, Acer's new Aspire X1200 small-design PC looks like an all-64-bit affair. Three models come out this month, at $450, $460, and $699 (with a 22-inch LCD), and both the pricing and the distinct design separate them from Gateway's traditional midtower desktops.

The $700 Aspire X1200 comes with a 22-inch LCD. Acer

The Aspire X1200 looks similar to HP's SlimLines, so much so that their dimensions are nearly identical. At 10.6 inches high, 4 inches wide, and 14.4 inches long, the new Acer chassis is only about half an inch longer. Unlike the more compact (and overripe) Mac Mini, these systems offer internal expandability by way of a few half-height expansion slots along with the standard memory, hard drive, and CPU access.

All of these systems will come with dual-core Athlon CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and 64-bit Windows Vista. Our expectation is that by going the 64-bit route, which can use all of that memory, these little PCs will deliver some uncommonly fast performance for this price range, especially in digital media editing apps.

Other features include media card readers, dual-layer DVD burners and HDMI outputs on all three models. The $699 system gets a 500GB hard drive, while the other two get 320GB drives. None of them has a Blu-ray drive (which, along with aggressive pricing, won us over on HP's SlimLine S3330f), and we also have no information on wireless networking or Bluetooth capability. It would be a shame if Acer didn't at least include basic 802.11 b/g. Expect them in stores next week.