When shopping for a desktop on a tight budget, sometimes you’re forced to swallow a few flaws like bulky cases or painfully slow drives. However, with the Acer Aspire TC-885-UA91, you don’t have to settle for anything that doesn’t excite you. It cleverly balances form and function, by offering the best combination of price, power and design than any budget desktop PC out there.
Well, this Aspire isn’t the best out there, you have more powerful alternatives like the HP Pavillion 690-0073w and the Lenovo ThinkCentre V530s, but our review unit triumphs over both those by offering a strong feature set at a very reasonable price. If any of those alternatives were to be had at this price, you’d be sure of pedestrian performance and hum-hum designs.
For average home/office users, the Aspire TC-885-UA91 offers the very best, at least for now, thanks to a speedy Intel core i3-9100U CPU, 8GB of RAM and 512GB solid-state-drive that will be sufficient enough to execute all your daily home tasks without slowing down.
The Aspire has a sleek styling, and is far from being plain like most budget home desktops. Its angular design and plastic front panel looks great, and it will surely blend into any office setup. If design is at the top of your short list, you might favor the Dell G5 desktop, with its LED front design, but both look great on any desk. Measuring 13.4 x 6.4 x 13.8 inches (HWD) and weighs 14.9 pounds, it takes up very little surface and can easily fit a small desk cutout if space is quite limited.
In addition to the good design, there are other features that round up the solid component selection, including a DVD-RW drive on the front panel alongside one USB-C port, one USB 3.1 port, an SD card slot, and headphone and mic jack. Around the back, there are two more USB 3.1 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI connections, a VGA port, and a Gigabit Ethernet jack.
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. For a straight comparison to the previous generation, we are looking at a PassMark CPU score of 11,614 on a single-thread rating, which is much better than an Haswell 3.6GHz Intel Core i7-4790K CPU (11,164). That means you’re getting a quad-core processor that’s now powerful enough for mainstream tasks, for less money.
Apart from a powerful CPU, the system packs 8GB memory and a 512GB solid state drive (SSD) that makes things even faster over traditional hard drives. For day-to-day use, the Acer Aspire TC-885-UA91 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 Acer Aspire TC-885-UA91 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 SSD makes for 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 (review here) 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-885-UA91 easily makes to the top of the list.