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The Apple iMac has always been the gold-standard for the all-in-one desktop concept. As such, its near impossible to review an AIO desktop without looking at what Apple is offering in its latest offering. The 21.5-inch iMac is not very expensive, and next to it is the Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 that looks good at first glance, has a bigger 24-inch screen, a superior CPU and extra storage for much less than the iMac.
Our review unit loses to the Apple on design, by delivering a basic plastic enclosure against the iMac’s brushed-aluminum construction and minimalist sleekness. Despite its advantages in display size and superior hardware, the Aspire Z 24 comes at a much lower price than the Apple iMac and offers the convenience of Windows OS.
Design – Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91
The Aspire Z24 looks relatively sleek and attractive for an all-in-one, with a black-and-silver color scheme that looks easy on the eyes. It measures a svelte 17.3 x 21.3 x 1.4 inches, making it about the same size as the 21-inch Apple iMac (20.8 x 17.7 x 6.9 inches), despite the Acer’s larger 23.8-inch display. Acer manages to have a small footprint due to the narrow bezels around the display, while computers in Apple’s lineup still have the widest bezels available on an all-in-one.
The construction is a bit discerning, as most of the silver-colored trim is plastic and not the aluminum as it looks. You only get an all-metal build in the iMac, and the faux-metal extends to the whole machine: the trim, stand and base, all made of silver plastic, while the back is all black. The stand’s mounting bracket is the only metallic external metallic piece on this all in one.
The Aspire all-in-one attaches to a Y-shaped base that hooks to the back, providing an acceptable range of vertical-angle adjustment, while horizontal adjustment means moving the entire unit, and there’s no way to adjust the height, but lacks all other ergonomic adjustments. Not surprising, though, even expensive all-in-one systems, even costly workstations lack height options, but we’d like to see improved ergonomics on central AIO machines.
The Z24 is outfitted with almost all the ports you might need, including a trio of USB 3 ports (one blue USB 3.1 Gen 1 port and two red USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports), a single USB-C port and even a DVD optical drive. Also, there are two HDMI connector, one you can use to connect a second display, and the other, an input that lets you use the all-in-one as a monitor.
A few other connections are tucked on the bottom edge of the chassis, right below the chassis. Here you’ll find an SD card slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB 2.0 port, which is to be used with the wireless dongle for the included keyboard and mouse.
Internet connectivity comes via both a wired LAN port and 802.11ac Wi-Fi built in, along with Bluetooth for connecting wireless peripherals including headphones, keyboards and other devices.
The Aspire Z24-890-UA91 boasts a 24-inch full-HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, with a matte finish that cuts down on glare from nearby lights and windows. The screen offers capacitive touch support, meaning you can tap and swipe for intuitive interaction. This is one feature where Windows systems offer a better experience than Macs, which lack a touch option.
Watching the trailer for Money Heist: Season 3, every detail of the 1080p picture comes out very clear, including the scenes when Rio is captured and a distraught Tokyo turn to the Professor for help and the team reuniting to rescue him. The Aspire Z24 produced vibrant colors averaging 251 nits, edging competitors like was bright enough to edge competitors like Asus Zen AiO Pro Z240IE (247 nits) and the Acer Aspire S 24 (236 nits).
However, but it doesn’t beat the more premium displays found on the Dell XPS 27 7760 (344 nits) and the21.5-inch Apple iMac (436 nits). Color quality isn’t as impressive, with the Acer producing only 95.1% of the sRGB color spectrum, a far cry from the competition that deliver better than 100%, with fuller, visibly more-vibrant colors. Audio quality is good from the Aspire Z24’s downward firing internal speakers.
Keyboard and Mouse
This Aspire all-in-one comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse, both of which connect through an included wireless dongle. It is the same dongle we mentioned that goes into the USB 2.0 port on the bottom edge of the display chassis, and it remain inconspicuous when plugged in. Simply said, you will plug it in and, forget that it’s even there.
Though not the best around, the included keyboard is still reasonably comfortable to type on, with chiclet keys and adjustable feet that allow you shift between two heights and angles. It offers a numeric pad and a full complement of function buttons but would have been better if the keys had better vertical travel. The included mouse is easy to setup and runs on a single AA battery.
Our review unit, the Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 is equipped with an Intel Core i5-9400T, an 9th generation hexa-core processor, clocked at 3.4GHz, along with 12GB of RAM and 512GB solid state drive. It’s a capable combination, and during regular use, you can regularly have 20 browser tabs open, and you can you can do everything from type in Google Docs to streaming full-HD video on YouTube, without necessarily slowing down.
The 512GB SSD has a marginal effect on performance on both productivity and during intense gaming, allowing you easily switch between apps, smoothly resize Windows and fast booting. It doesn’t offer the best Photoshop experience, but you can still do basic media editing and encode videos at fairly good speeds.
The integrated UHD Graphics 630 chip won’t suffice for spirited gaming, but kids can play web-based games with ease. If you need a gaming PC at this price, an all in one may not be the best option, but you can get something like our Editors’ Choice CYBERPOWERPC Gamer GXiVR8060A7 and pair it with a value monitor like the Acer SB220Q Bi and you will easily get playing modern titles. For professional artists who need the best graphics performance, the 21.5-inch Apple iMac is an excellent choice.
Our Take -Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91
The Acer Aspire Z24 all in one is a fairly robust desktop, offering strong productivity thanks to a 9th-Gen hexacore processor paired with plenty of SSD storage and high-performance memory. The lack of a graphics card does hamper things a bit, especially if you had hopes of gaming. But for a daily use household or office system that can be used for everything from completing basic college papers to editing simple home papers, the Aspire Z24 is an excellent buy.
Is there a better alternative?
Acer’s competitors in the AIO line are few, but top in the list is the 21.5-inch Apple iMac that offers a premium, aluminum construction and the best graphics around. If you are a professional artist in the market for an all in one desktop for media creation, Apple got you covered. Otherwise, for general productivity the Aspire Z24 is the best you can get at a very reasonable price.
Should you buy it?
Yes. Combine the strong performance with the affordable price and a stylish design, and the Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 replaces the dated Acer Aspire S 24 AS our favorite budget all-in-one.
Acer Aspire Z24
The Acer Aspire Z24 all in one is a fairly robust desktop, offering strong productivity thanks to a 9th-Gen hexacore processor paired with plenty of SSD storage and high-performance memory.
- Strong 9th-Gen., six-core processor performance
- Built-in microphone for Amazon Alexa
- No discrete graphics option
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