Acer Aspire X1920-UR20P - P E6700 3.2GHz
Usually we can reconcile a budget desktop with less than exciting features because of its low price and its equally boring competition. In the case of the $499 Acer X1920-UR20P, we can think of no one for whom this would make an appropriate desktop. As has often plagued Acer, subsidiary Gateway offers more-competitive features in similar systems for less. Its updated chassis is inoffensive, but we have little else to say about the Acer X1920-UR20P that isn't negative, and we suggest you avoid it.
Before we dive into this PC's shortcomings, we can at least say that we don't mind the X1920's slim-tower case. The matte black is par for the industry, but the design is tidy enough, with the DVD burner and lower I/O segment hidden away behind two simple plastic doors.
|Acer Aspire X1920-UR20P||Gateway SX2803-US20P|
|3.2GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E6700||3.2GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E5800|
|4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM||4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM|
|64MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500HD integrated graphics chip||64MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500HD integrated graphics chip|
|1TB, 5,400rpm||1TB, 5,400rpm|
|dual-layer DVD-burner||dual-layer DVD-burner|
|Gigabit Ethernet||Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n|
|Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)||Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)|
Our comparison chart makes a fairly clear argument against the Acer system. You can find it for less than its $499 listed price, but even at $389, the lowest we've seen the Aspire X1920, the Gateway SX2803-US20P is still a better computer for the price. For one, the Gateway offers wireless networking, where the Acer only features a wired Ethernet jack. That alone makes up the $10 difference on the Acer's lowest available price. Then consider that the Gateway has both HDMI and VGA outputs, an eSATA jack, and nine USB 2.0 ports. The Acer has only four USB 2.0 jacks, a single VGA output for video, and no alternative data outputs.
In short, the X1920 costs roughly the same as the comparable Gateway, but offers fewer features. The only difference between the similar CPUs comes down to the front side bus, where the Acer's Pentium E6700 has a 1,066MHz bus, to the Gateway's 800MHz rating. That performance difference would barely register for most users, and given both the cost of these two PCs, as well as the living-room-friendly slim-tower design, the value of the Gateway's other features--particularly its HDMI output and its wireless networking--far outweigh any performance boost you might see from the Acer's faster data bus.
We're particularly galled by the lack of a digital video output on the Acer. With only analog-based VGA output, you can't connect this system to an HDTV, which wastes a large part of the appeal of a slim-tower PC.
We have not reviewed the Gateway SX2803-US20P, so we cannot compare its performance directly with this Acer. Instead, the closest comparison we have is the slightly higher-end Gateway SX2851-41 from earlier this year. That PC uses a first-generation Core i3 550 processor, so its large performance advantage over the Acer isn't so surprising. Note that the SX2851-41, which launched at $549, now sells for $449 from Amazon. That's quite a performance drop-off for the Acer, considering it costs only $50 less.
We've mentioned the Acer's external connectivity shortcomings already, but its interior expandability also fails to impress. Its expansion card slots are all open, providing you options for both 1x and 16x half-height PCI Express cards. That's reasonable for this price range, and we also don't expect to find room for a second hard drive in a slim tower. What we do expect is room for four memory sticks, like you'll find with the Gateway models. Instead, Acer only provides two memory slots in this system, which means you'll need to throw out the included RAM if you want to upgrade.
|Acer Aspire X1920-UR20P||Average watts per hour|
|Raw (annual kWh)||155.35422|
|Energy Star compliant||Yes|
|Annual operating cost (@$0.1135/kWh)||$17.63|
The Acer's power consumption is not completely out of line with that of its competition, but usually we like to see more-efficient energy use from PCs that post slower benchmark scores. The fact that we're not seeing that here is largely the result of the Acer's comparatively old processor technology, which is not as efficient as new Intel CPUs.
Acer's standard warranty grants you a year of parts-and-labor coverage. You can also find driver downloads and a variety of other support resources if you're willing to suffer through Acer's circuitous Web site. Going by the Web site alone, you'd have no idea that standard phone support was available with this PC. The number, 800-816-2237, is listed in small type in the included manual, or you can register the system online with the serial number (located on the bottom edge of the system).
The decidedly uninspiring Aspire X1920-UR20P suggests that Acer either has too many configurations between its Acer and Gateway brands to manage properly, or that it is making the cynical assumption that consumers won't comparison shop. In either case, this system suffers from an uncompetitive feature set, and thus we cannot recommend it.
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Acer Aspire X1920-UR20P
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 3.2GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E6700; 4GB 1,066MHz DDR# SDRAM; 64MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics; 1TB 5,400rpm Western Digital hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 3.2GHz Intel Core i3 550; 4GB 800MHZ DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics; 1TB, 7,200rpm hard drive
HP Pavilion Slimline S5-1060 (Core i5 2310, Summer 2011)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit); 3.2GHz Intel Core i3 550; 4GB 800MHZ DDR3 SDRAM; 64MB (shared) Intel GMA X4500 HD integrated graphics chip; 640GB, 7,200rpm hard drive
HP Pavilion P7-1070T
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100; 8GB 1,066MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 64MB (shared) Intel HD Graphics 2000 integrated graphics; 1TB 7,200rpm Hitachi hard drive