The AcerPower 1000 is an ultra-compact desktop PC designed to appeal to small businesses and corporate users, but we feel its compactness, performance and price may find it some fans in the home as well.
This PC really is tiny, with a volume of only three litres, but it's not at the expense of looks or performance. The industrial design of the Power is pretty special -- the build quality is excellent, and engineered so that all the ports are within reach. There are a total of eight USB ports, with a welcome number of four being front-mounted. The slot-loading DVD and cool-blue power light add a classy touch to the unit. Unlike most other corporate desktops it's got an almost svelte appearance, despite its angular front panel. You could argue that it's even more attractive than the . The casing is tough, and you could stand your monitor on it if you really wanted -- though we'd recommend using the PlayStation-style stand for mounting it vertically.
The unit is quiet -- and though it's rated at only 26dB, you can faintly hear its two 5cm fans whirring in a still room. But in the usual SOHO environment you would never notice it.
For a business-centric desktop the AcerPower is actually quite powerful -- it boasts a 2.1GHz dual-core Athlon X2 processor, a massive 2GB of RAM, and a roomy 250GB hard drive. This broadens its appeal to include desktop publishing, video editing, and other multimedia-hungry tasks. But if you don't need these specifications the design is also configurable, with the basic unit starting at only AU$799 -- and you also have a choice of either Windows Vista or Windows XP.
The AcerPower comes without an LCD monitor, which some people may baulk at, considering there are plenty of AU$1,000 systems available with widescreen LCDs. But there are none as elegant or compact as this.
The Acer is bundled with a USB keyboard -- which is actually quite comfortable to type on, and includes several media shortcuts -- and a rebadged Logitech mouse which is also a good fit in the hand -- if a little ugly.
With so many grunty components on board it's no surprise that the AcerPower is quite a performer. Using our PCMark05 benchmark we were able to extract a score of 3585 marks. This is a decent score for an economical desktop, and certainly holds its head up high on notebooks that cost up to twice the price. Graphically, though, it's another matter. The NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE chipset may be a cut above onboard graphics, but it's not quite a gaming solution. The AcerPower managed a relatively meagre 185 marks in the 3DMark06 benchmark. This is a difficult test for most systems, and considering this model's business focus its poor performance here is not really an issue.