AT A GLANCE
If you don't run RAM and Graphics intensive apps, and performance isn't your main concern—and for many users, it isn't—then the Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR10 offers a good blend of basic capability, compact size, and an affordable price.
There are plenty of desktop PCs that can be had for far less and offer decent performance for the Facebook and Pinterest addicts, the college kid, and the basic user, but the Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR10 still comes in as one of the cheapest desktops. In addition to the low price, the system is very compact, featuring a small form-factor (SFF) design that can conveniently fit almost anywhere.
While you don’t get the same bang for the buck as with our previous reviewed desktops, in our top pick for budget desktops, it’s still a contender, thanks to the insanely low prices we’ve seen all year.
Design and Features
The Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR10 measures just 10.49 by 3.9 by 14.55 inches (HWD). While that’s larger than most tiny PCs, it’s still a food deal smaller than most full-siz desktops. In the Aspire AXC, the simple metal construction is well dressed up with a stylish plastic formal panel with a light touch of a silvery gray finish, that mimics the look of brushed metal. The compact desktop also comes bundled with a wired keyboard and mouse at no extra cost.
The Intel Pentium J2900 2.41 GHz CPU in the system isn’t the latest and greatest—it debuted a while back—but it will do the job, and it helps keep the price of the desktop low. As should be expected at this price point, the performance isn’t fantastic but its quite okay among competitors. This makes it ideal for basic users, ardent surfers and anyone who wants to run a few apps on a cheap PC, but the SFF design is superb
Connectivity on the Acer Aspire is quite standard for the price range, with an SD card slot, two USB 2.0 ports, and jacks for headphones and a microphone conveniently placed at the bottom of the gently curved front panel. On the top-left corner is the Power button, and to the right of a vertical gray stripe is a hatch covering a tray-loading optical drive (DVD±RW/CD-RW). On the rear of the system are two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, an HDMI (with 5.1 surround sound) port, a VGA-out port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and some audio connectors.
On the inside of the small tower Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR10 is an Intel Pentium J2900 2.41 GHz Processor (2 MB cache), 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM, Intel HD graphics and a 1TB, 7,200rpm SATA hard drive. There exist a few open slot for adding components two full-size PCIe slots (one x1, the other x16) and a single Mini PCIe slot—but there’s not a lot of room physically, and the system’s 220-watt power supply won’t support a lot more than what’s already in the case.You could however need to add a Wi-Fi card in order to enjoy great speeds with the supported AcerCloud technology.
The 1TB offers a ton of storage, considering that most competitors offer a paltry 500GB hard disk space, which is never quite enough for loading video files or games. The Acer Aspire comes with Windows 8.1 preinstalled, alongside one-month trials of both McAfee Internet Security Suite and Microsoft Office 365.
You’ll be able to use your system out of the box as thee are a number of apps already on your Start screen as when you first fire up the desktop, like like Acer Cloud, AccuWeather, Amazon Kindle Reader, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and a collection of game samples from WildTangent. Acer covers the Aspire AXC-603-UR10 with a one-year warranty on parts and labor, with 12 months of free tech support.
If you don’t run RAM and Graphics intensive apps, and performance isn’t your main concern—and for many users, it isn’t—then the Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR10 offers a good blend of basic capability, compact size, and an affordable price. There are other Editors’ Choice desktop PCs reviewed earlier, with more memory, faster processors and a faster hard drive, but even with their better overall value, the list price is slightly higher. If price is your biggest concern in getting a decent PC, with great capability, the Acer Aspire AXC-603-UR10 does the job and saves you a bundle.