Acer Aspire M5630 review: Acer Aspire m5630

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The Good Nice design. Combo Blu-ray/HD DVD drive.

The Bad Anachronistic components. No DVI > HDMI adaptor bundled.

The Bottom Line The M5630 seems unable to decide if it's an entry level or a multimedia PC -- but might be a good first foray for entry level users who want to do both.

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7.9 Overall

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Acer's Aspire M5630 is the second machine to cross our paths with a dual HD DVD/Blu-ray reader, and interestingly despite the early adopter optical drive and quad core CPU, is focused firmly at the mainstream.

Packed in a generally appealing chassis with a futuristic bend, Acer has put some effort into giving the mainstream more than they're used to, with even a blue "Aspire" logo lighting up when the machine is turned on, and blue hard drive and network activity lights above this.

The visual aspiration seems to be to present a completely flat front, with optical drive stealth covers and even a semi-transparent bay door that covers the media bay, which features xD/SD/MS/CF card readers and a mini-firewire port.

As seems to be the trend these days no reset button is included, relying on the user to know that holding down the power button for five seconds will force shut it down. Otherwise the chassis is completely void of any other buttons, save the optical drive ejects. A raised area on the top supports two USB ports and headphone/microphone jacks, but unlike its recent competitors no gadgets bay/cable management is incorporated here.

Powered by a quad core Intel Core 2 Q6600 and packing 2GB RAM, the Aspire 5630 will certainly be up to most tasks, with the dual 250GB hard drives likely to be suitable for the majority of users.

While the Radeon 2400 Pro graphics card is perfect for playback of both formats, the optional DVI > HDMI connector has been left out, which would have been a nice addition for multimedia pundits, especially considering Acer has already gone halfway there with the Blu-ray/HD DVD combo drive, its easy to use AcerPlay software and wireless keyboard/mouse. The 2400 Pro certainly isn't worth considering for gaming, but that's not where this desktop is aimed.

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