Acer Aspire X1200-U1520A review:

Acer Aspire X1200-U1520A

(Longer bars indicate better performance)
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Rendering Single CPU  
Gateway GT5692
ZT Affinity 7221Xa
eMachines T5274
Acer Aspire X1200-U1520A

The Acer X1200 shined brightest when we compared its speed in several tests with its competitors. The combination of its 2.5GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 CPU and 4GB of RAM landed it behind only the more expensive Gateway GT5692 on our Photoshop benchmark. The Acer system also trailed the pricier HP Pavilion Slimline s3500f and its 2.8GHz AMD Athlon chip on our iTunes test, but it outpaced the Gateway and its other competition. We're underwhelmed by its multitasking capabilities, but our hunch is that you might not throw very demanding workloads at this system to begin with. In general, it was as fast as we expected, and in some cases it overachieved. We wouldn't use the Aspire X1200 for any kind of demanding digital media work, but it's more than up to light photo editing and audio encoding.

Finally, the noise level during operation and in idle are what you'd expect from a PC destined for the living room--the only audible sound is a slight hum from the fan as it cools down the machine.

Acer's service and support is on par with the competition. The X1200 is protected by a standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty, with toll-free technical support over the phone from weekdays from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT, and on the weekends from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. The warranty provides buyers with one year of carry-in support to an authorized service provider or they can ship the computer to the Acer Repair Depot. Additional help including driver downloads, FAQs, and the Acer eSupport site can be found on the Acer Web page. Extended warranties are also available starting at $68 for two additional years of mail-in service.

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:

Acer Aspire X1200-U1520A
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.5GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 4850e; 4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 8200 integrated graphics chip; 500GB, 7,200rpm hard drive.

HP Pavilion Slimline s3500f
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.8GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5400; 2GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 6150SE integrated graphics chip; 500GB, 7,200rpm hard drive.

ZT Affinity 7221Xa
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.1GHz AMD Phenom X3 8450; 4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics card; 500GB, 7,200rpm hard drive.

eMachines T5274
Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E2180; 2GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 64MB shared Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics chip; 320GB 7,200rpm Western Digital hard drive.

Gateway GT5692
Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.1GHz AMD Phenom 8450 Triple Core; 4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; shared ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics chip; 500GB 7,200rpm hard drive.

What you'll pay

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