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Economy shoppers are looking for a pc that offers the best value, and we’ve so far reviewed the crème-de-la-crème of the current crop. The Acer Aspire TC-865-UR13 is a new entrant into that lost, offering the best combination of price, build, and performance that any budget PC we’ve reviewed in 2020, including a horde of competitors from Acer, HP, and Lenovo. Very few alternatives cost slightly less, but the Aspire shines both of those and some pricey competitors while still hitting the price sweet spot.
As with budget machines, there must be aspects to complain about; surprisingly, with the TC-865-UR13, there’s very little to complain about for the cost, as its peppy Intel Core i3-9100 CPU, 8GB RAM, and 1TB storage (but we expected an SSD here) will have you run home tasks as quickly as possible.
The Aspire TC-865-UR13 is housed in a midrange tower that measures 13.39 by 6.42 by 13.78 inches (HWD), making it slightly smaller than the Ryzen 7-powered Dell Inspiron i5676 that measures 18.08 by 8.5 by 17.23 inches (HWD). The chassis is fashioned from black painted steel, but unlike last year’s model, this one adds some flair to an otherwise boring design. It features a black front panel, with an Acer logo, a tray-loading DVD drive below the logo, and a few easy-access ports on the right side.
Overall, the new design looks great, is compact, and manages to offer some real estate for future upgrades (PCIe x16, PCIe X1, one M.2 for SSD, and one M.2 for WLAN/Bluetooth), but the system works well out-of-the-box even without the upgrades. One thing you’ll notice is that the Aspire TC-865-UR14 isn’t quite a small-form-factor (SFF) that is usually tiny like the Dell Inspiron 3470, which is a good thing if you plan on throwing in more storage and RAM later.
Port selection is excellent, at least for the price. On the front panel, there is a single USB 3.1 port, one USB port, an SD card reader, and separate microphone and headphone jacks. The rear panel holds an additional pair of USB 3.1 ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI ports and a single VGA port. It even includes an optical drive that most manufacturers are simply dropping, since you can now get most services via the cloud, including Operating Systems and updates.
To connect to the internet, you can do with an available Ethernet port, while wireless connections come in way of 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. Also bundled into the package are a wired, Acer-branded keyboard and mouse. If you’ll be using the Aspire as an entertainment hub in the living room, the wired inputs can be limiting, something like, say, the Logitech MK270 wireless keyboard+mouse combo is preferable.
Aspire TC-865-UR13 Performance
The star of the show for this refresh of the Acer Aspire Series is, of course, the Intel Coffee Lake processor, the Core i3-9100 processor. This is an upgrade over its predecessor, meaning you’re getting a quad-core processor that’s now powerful enough for mainstream tasks, for less money. If you need more processing power, Acer offers another configuration of this model, the Aspire TC-865-UR14, with an Intel Core i5-9400 CPU and all the other features remain similar.
Apart from a powerful CPU, the system packs 8GB memory and a 1TB hard drive for storage, but a solid-state drive (SSD) would have been great as it offers speed processing faster over traditional hard drives. For day-to-day use, the Acer Aspire TC-865 stacks well against the competition, as it should with one of the best entry-level processors in the bunch. Rest assured this desktop can be your home office PC and will be able to handle everyday tasks for years to come, and its storage is also snappy.
You’ll enjoy swift boot and load times, only that you may not play modern games here when not working. The integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics card here isn’t cut for gaming, but you can get away with casual games at very low frame rates per second (FPS). While at it, Dell’s Inspiron i5676-A696Blu offers the best of both worlds in an office-centric design but packs a dedicated AMD Radeon RX 580 (4GB DDR5) graphics card. If you often wander into PC gaming after work, the Inspiron is worth a long look.
The Aspire TC-865-UR13 is a great mid-size package all around. It is a great choice for a budget general-use desktop, especially if you want an option to upgrade in the future. Nonetheless, the peppy Intel Core i3 CPU and lots of storage add to more reasons to like the Aspire TC-885 as a home-office system that costs less but delivers more in terms of performance and upgradability.
That said, the Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92 remains our Editors’ Choice with its 9th Generation Intel Core i5-9400 processor, 12GB RAM, and 512GB SSD, a combination that’s perfect for general or business use.
If you’re buying for a small office, home use, or deploying a couple of units for your small office, the Acer Aspire TC-865-UR13 easily makes it to the top of the list.
Acer Aspire TC-865-UR13
The Acer Aspire TC-865-UR13 is an easy choice to recommend among budget desktops for its excellent value, delivering decent performance and a solid feature set at a very reasonable price.
- Good amount of memory
- Affordable price
- Solid overall performance
- SSD storage would be better