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Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
Very lightweight and portable
Easy-tilting HD display
Thin display bezel
Built-in blue-light reduction
Wireless peripherals included
Rear-facing speakers produce muffled audio
Poor camera quality
The Acer Aspire C27 is an all-in-one desktop that offers well-rounded performance in a space-saving, budget-friendly build.
If you’re limited on space and want to avoid emptying your pockets for a versatile desktop computer, the Acer Aspire C27 could be exactly what you’re looking for. This all-in-one machine sports a lightweight build and bundles wireless peripherals with a slim-bezel, 27-inch, tilting display, a competent solid state drive, and a respectable graphics card for enjoyable lightweight gaming and video editing. This desktop doesn’t promise game-changing performance, but it performs all the essentials with flying colors.
You probably don’t think of desktops as portable, but the Aspire C27 is surprisingly easy to move around at will since it weighs less than 9 pounds. Despite being so lightweight, this all-in-one doesn’t give the impression of fragility. The single-piece base matches the slim profile of the main body and offers enough stability without overwhelming your desk. The accompanying fully wireless keyboard and mouse are relatively small as well and get the job done if you’d rather not shop around for these accessories.
The Aspire C27 is surprisingly easy to move around at will since it weighs less than 9 pounds.
Another benefit of the manageable weight is access to the ports on the back of the display, which are similar to the options you’ll find on more traditionally sized desktops—including an HDMI out port to extend your display. Two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 Type-A ports should cover your peripherals, though one of them will be taken by the nano-USB required to operate the wireless mouse that comes with the machine. And the provided cord organizer that snaps easily onto the arm of the monitor helps tame all of your extras. If you don’t have a great deal of free space or access behind the computer, moving the machine to reveal the ports takes little effort.
One of the most exceptional aspects of the Acer Aspire C27 is the 1920x1080 Full HD IPS display. It’s easy on the eyes, thanks to a matte design and LED backlighting, and while it measures 27 inches on the diagonal, it appears even more generous, thanks to a low-profile .14-inch bezel. The manufacturer claims that this distribution of bezel to display means users enjoy 92% more screen across a range of viewing angles.
It’s very easy to adjust the display, which tilts up and down with minimal effort between -5 degrees and 25 degrees. It still required two hands to adjust since the base weight and overall weight is so low, but very minimal handling overall.
And while the quality of the display was generally crisp and clear for some lightweight gaming and photo editing, I did notice that streaming video content appeared slightly washed out. Colors were more muted and a slight vignette/shadow effect appeared around the edges of the display, very similar to a laptop.
The Acer Aspire C27 operates on a modest Intel Core i5 quad-core, 1GHz speed processor and a NVIDIA GeForce MX130 graphics card, which is similar to what you’ll find on many laptops. While it won’t satisfy your search for one of the best gaming desktops or top picks for video editing or graphic design, the Aspire C27 is suited for the general tasks you expect from your desktop PC. Plus, the 512 GB of SSD storage capacity should be more than adequate for storing all your files, including a few games.
PCMark 10 benchmarking scores came in slightly under the company’s recommendations for a general score, which is 4100 for general computing. The Aspire C27 earned a 3265 overall score but a 5731 combined score for productivity. If you need a computer for a lot of photo editing, the score of 2879 is slightly underwhelming. PCMark recommends at least a 3450.
Graphics performance in GFXBench garnered similar modest results. The high-level Aztec Ruins benchmark scored the Aspire at 31.5fps and a Car Chase total of 46.7fps. Other noteworthy benchmarks for Manhattan and T Rex were stronger at 67.2fps and 68.6 fps. But all of these scores passed the generally accepted opinion that at least 30fps is decent for gaming and 60fps is more optimal.
The 27-inch display appears even more generous, thanks to a low-profile .14-inch bezel.
This Acer all-in-one is compatible for the modern office, student, or family. It’s quick to start, navigate, and does all of the usual modern computing tasks without a hitch. Whether you need a machine that can help you multitask with email, web browsing, and word processing or you’d like to stream video, music, and do some light photo editing and gaming too, you won’t be disappointed.
And if you spend long hours working in front of the screen, the Acer Bluelight Shield offers several bluelight reduction settings to reduce eye strain. I felt noticeably less fatigued during sessions when I used this feature versus when I didn’t have it on.
While this desktop features two stereo speakers, they’re on the back of the machine. This created a muffled tin-can effect when I placed the computer on a desk facing the wall. If you have enough free space to keep this unit away from the wall, this will reduce this effect. When I placed it on a free-standing table, the sound quality definitely improved. It was less tinny and rounder, but still on the flat side.
Regardless of what I listened to, whether it was a podcast, hip hop, game audio, or a show on Netflix or Hulu, everything sounded slightly muted and obstructed. The best general audio experience was with headphones and the definitively better choice for listening to any kind of music.
The Acer Aspire C27 is capable of Gigabit Ethernet performance and uses the 802.11ac wireless standard. Ookla Speedtest results consistently delivered at the high end of my 200Mbps ISP download speed capacity. Over Wi-Fi, I saw an average of 107Mbps and Ethernet speeds floated around 200Mbps.
Whether you telecommute on a full-time basis or on occasion, a decent built-in camera is becoming something of a must-have on modern laptops and the best desktop PCs. Unfortunately, the Aspire C27 720-pixel HD webcam is lackluster. Video conferencing delivers just clear-enough video quality and the audio is just okay. It’s grainy and washed out and on the darker side of the spectrum. If you spend a lot of time chatting over Zoom or Hangouts or other platforms, this won’t provide the best-looking chatting experience.
Windows 10 Home offers a desirable mix of standard protective, productivity, and creative features. Microsoft emphasizes improved overall security with this OS, and you’ll see that in built-in virus, network, and firewall protection and parental controls too. It also supports creative endeavors with a Microsoft 365 subscription and an updated camera app for taking photos and editing them too. The Paint 3D app is a compelling upgrade over the basic Paint application. There’s also a new screen capture tool and smartphone (both Android and iOS) integration and Cortana voice assistance.
While it’s compulsory at setup to create/use a Microsoft account to use the Windows 10 Home OS, you can opt out of this after the fact if you’d rather not be logged in to your cloud account at all times. It’s not dissimilar to logging in to a Chromebook or an Apple account on a MacBook Pro. But the system will urge you to connect to your account at all times to ensure maximum security. To some, this isn’t a burden, but others will find it a bit of a hassle.
Even if you’re not logged in to your account, you’ll want to double check your privacy settings with history, ad, and other types of tracking that’s automatically on by default.
The Acer Aspire C27 retails for about $900. This price point makes this AIO a more affordable option for a range of shoppers, especially those who want to cut down on the amount of desk clutter or like the idea of portability—whether that’s required by a move or a desire for a change of scenery. There are less expensive all-in-one desktops on the market, at or even below $500, but it’s challenging to find an equivalent that offers the same slim and lightweight form factor and screen and overall quality.
The HP All-in-One 27-dp0170z (view on HP) overlaps in many of the same areas as and surpasses the Acer Aspire C27 in others. This HP AIO also operates in Windows 10 Home, but it comes standard with 16GB of memory, which is slightly more than the Aspire C27 starts out with (12GB). The HP also features a slightly faster processor, a 10-point touchscreen, and an extra USB port.
But it’s also a great example of a similarly priced model (starting at $850) that just can’t compete with the uniquely unassuming build of the Acer Aspire C27. There’s some trade-off on convenience since the provided peripherals are wired only. The HP All-in-One also weighs almost double what the Aspire C27 weighs and is significantly thicker at 8.04 inches, which far surpasses the 0.3-inch depth of the Acer’s display.
A budget-friendly AIO that gets most jobs done and saves space.
The Acer Aspire C27 all-in-one is so slim at first glance you might mistake it for a mere computer monitor. Its unimposing and flexible form factor betrays its hidden ability as a desktop PC that can handle most computing demands with ease and perform a few extra demanding tasks as well.
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