Acer Aspire TC-885-UA91 Review
The Acer Aspire TC-885-UA91 is an efficient and compact system with a fast CPU and plenty of power for general productivity. It shares a design with the Core i5-powered Acer Aspire TC-885-UA92 – a compact, easily accessible design with some headroom for expansion – but our review unit steps down into an Intel Core i3 CPU, 8GB RAM, snappy SSD storage and features excellent connectivity including a USB-C port. If you’re looking for a do-it-all desktop that can be had for less cash, there’s real value to be found here.
The Aspire TC-885 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.
Unlike before, now you don’t have a plain back front panel, instead, there’s an illuminated V-shaped orange LED surrounding the power button next to a silver ‘Acer’ logo. Just below the lower tip of the V-shaped LED, there is a silver trim that cuts all the way to the bottom. On the bottom flank, there’s an Aspire logo, a tray-loading DVD drive 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-885-UA91 isn’t quite a small-form-factor (SFF) that are 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 reap 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 more preferable.
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 11,914 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 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 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.