Acer Aspire Z5700-U3112 review: Acer Aspire Z5700-U3112

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The Good 23-inch, 1080p display uncommon at this price; fast Intel Core i5 CPU; HDMI input lets you connect other video devices.

The Bad Clunky design; no Blu-ray drive; obfuscated support phone number and user-unfriendly online.

The Bottom Line Acer's Aspire Z5700 is a fast, media-friendly all-in-one that would serve well as a media hub in a dorm or a den. We'd like to see a bit more polish in its design, and a Blu-ray drive would make it a home run, but on balance we can recommend this system for its speed, its large screen, and its digital media versatility.

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7.2 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 7
  • Support 5

Editors' Note: The Acer Aspire Z5700-U3112 is identical to the U2112 released this summer. We've republished most of that original review here, although we've updated the text to put the U3112 in proper competitive context with more recent all-in-ones in its price range.

Acer's Aspire Z5700 U3112 all-in-one picks up where the older Z5600 model left off at the end of 2009. By offering a 23-inch, 1080p-capable all-in-one for $1,099, Acer can make a compelling argument against Apple's more expensive, entry-level 21.5-inch iMac on screen size alone. It also boasts competitive performance with the $1,199 iMac, as well as better home entertainment versatility thanks to its HDMI input. Apple maintains a clear design lead over this Acer PC, and other all-in-ones in this price range feature Blu-ray, which the Aspire Z5700 lacks. We're willing to forgive the former, and the latter is easily remedied thanks to the HDMI input. We recommend this desktop to anyone looking for a versatile, large-screen all-in-one for a reasonable price.

Our gripe with the Acer's design has to do with its front support posts. They work as intended, but they look cheap, like the product of a homemade repair job. The rest of the system's design is fine, and, most importantly, the posts don't interfere with the overall functionality of the Aspire Z5700. We would encourage Acer to pay greater heed to design in the future.

As with the Z5600, the Z5700 is a touch-screen all-in-one. You can still use the system with the included wireless mouse and keyboard, but Acer has updated the touch software for the better. The big changes come with the home screen for the touch apps. Acer has done away with the animated "peel down" corner on the Windows desktops that brings you to a page with floating application icons. Instead you get a carousel-style home screen that makes it easier to sort through the various media players, games, and other programs. None of the touch applications is particularly revolutionary, and you won't likely spend much time with any but the media players. We're still glad to see a better way to interact with them.

Acer Aspire Z5700-U3112 Gateway One ZX6951-53
Price $1,099 $999
Display size/resolution 23-inch, 1,920x1,080 23-inch, 1,920x1,080
CPU 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 650 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 550
Memory 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics 128MB (shared) Intel GMA 4500 integrated graphics chip 64MB (shared) Intel GMA 4500 integrated graphics chip
Hard drives 1TB, 7,200rpm 640GB, 7,200rpm
Optical drive dual-layer DVD burner Blu-ray/DVD burner combo
Networking Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

In addition to the 21.5-inch iMac, Acer's biggest competition might be from Gateway, its own sister brand. The Gateway One Z6951-53's Blu-ray drive makes it a stronger multimedia system out of the box, although unlike the Aspire Z5700, the Gateway system lacks an HDMI input. If we could mash these two PC's together, we'd have the perfect competitor to the iMac. For now, both systems require some sort of compromise. Either you lose drive space, and the HDMI port with the Gateway One ZX6951-53, or you miss out on Blu-ray in the Acer Aspire Z5700. Both, however, offer larger screens and more home entertainment capability than Apple's $1,199 iMac.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Multimedia multitasking (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Cinebench 11.5 (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  
HP TouchSmart 310z
Acer Aspire Z5700-U3112
Gateway One ZX6951-53
Sony Vaio J114FX

We'll credit the Acer's Core i5 650 CPU for its solid performance across our application tests. The iMac remains a formidable competitor here, especially in terms of multitasking, but that the Aspire Z5700-U3112 is able to post similar or faster performance on our other tests speaks very well of this Acer system, especially considering its lower price. Anyone with serious productivity needs in the $900 to $1,200 price range would still be wise to look for a traditional desktop, but we at least can say with confidence that the Aspire Z5700-U3112 is among the fastest midrange all-in-ones.

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.

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