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Acer Aspire 5600U review: Acer Aspire 5600U

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The Good Sleek and attractive design; bold, high-definition screen; HDMI input allows it to function as a screen for games consoles.

The Bad Quite pricey; only average performance; no Blu-ray drive.

The Bottom Line The Acer Aspire 5600U packs a vivid high-definition touch-enabled screen into a slim and attractive body, making it a good choice for family computing in the living room. It's sadly let down by only average performance that doesn't help justify the relatively high asking price.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.5 Overall

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If you want a new PC but space is limited in your flat, an all-in-one is the thing for you. Rather than use a regular tower with a separate monitor, all the components are crammed behind the screen, leaving room under your desk for your feet and your cat.

The Acer Aspire 5600U comes with an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, but at the relatively high price of £850, it'll cost you. It does, however, boast a Full HD 23-inch screen and an HDMI input to let you use it as a screen for your games console. Does it justify the price though?

Should I buy the Acer Aspire 5600U?

Unlike many desktop all-in-ones, the 5600U is attractive enough that you could happily display it in your living room. It's ideal if you want a computer the whole family can use, without feeling like you need to hide it away in a study.

It's got a Full HD resolution, letting you take advantage of high-definition video while the HDMI input allows you to hook up a games console or Blu-ray player, using it as a regular TV. If space is tight -- perhaps in a student's bedroom -- the 5600U could be a good combination of TV and computer.

Sadly though, it's running on fairly low-end specs, which gave only an average performance and can't justify the £850 price tag. If you need a powerful computer for photo editing and gaming, you'll get a better performance from cheaper desktops like the Packard Bell OneTwo M.

If you're happy knowing that a good chunk of your money has gone specifically on the design however, and you only need power for Web browsing and video playback, the 5600U is worth your consideration.

Design and build quality

The front of the 5600U is clad in a single piece of glass that stretches over the entire surface. This gives it a superior, more high-end appearance to many other all-in-ones such as Acer's own Z5771, which make use of wide, plastic bezels.

The screen sits on a sliver of clear perspex which Acer claims gives it a 'floating design'. That's wishful thinking really -- at no point will you be able to convince yourself that the screen is hanging in mid-air. Even so, it's still rather attractive. It might be perspex, but it manages to avoid looking cheap.

Acer Aspire 5600U
Look at it float, like a fallen leaf on a crisp autumn bree... oh, wait.

Beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder, but I personally found it to be attractive enough to sit in a living room, rather than tucked away in a dim office. It's therefore a good choice to use as a family computer or even as a main display in a student bedroom. It has an HDMI input too so you can hook up your games consoles or Blu-ray players to it.

It's supported by an angled, fold-out stand, which is a continuation of the minimalist design scheme. It's sturdy and can be folded far out, letting the screen lay low against the table so you can use the touchscreen like a tablet. You're not going to be carrying it on your travels so it doesn't need to be too burly, but it still feels like it could put up with a few over-excited pokes from a toddler.

In total you'll find five USB ports (three USB 2.0, two USB 3.0), HDMI in and HDMI out, headphone and microphone jacks, S/PDIF for home theatre systems, an SD card slot and an Ethernet port.

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