January 17, 2014
- Family-friendly design
- Wide viewing angles
- Quality set of wireless peripherals
- Built-in battery
- Dim display
- Very heavy for a "portable" AIO
- Much below average performance
The Acer Aspire Z3 is another portable all-in-one desktop on the market. It has a 21-inch 1080p HD touch screen and a good set of wireless peripherals. Performance could be much better and the display could have more brightness.
Acer markets this Aspire Z3 all-in-one desktop as a family computer with a multimedia focus. The design of the desktop is also pleasing on the eye. It has a black front with rounded edges and a white plastic backside. The back has an aluminum kickstand and can be folded in so you can lay the Z3 completely flat. Overall the design is both family- and kid-friendly, which is important considering the market Acer is aiming for. It measures 21.0 x 14.6 x 1.9-inches (whd) and weighs 14.6-pounds, so it's rather heavy for a portable all-in-one.
Acer includes a wireless keyboard and mouse with this PC. The mouse is all black and has curved edges that make it quite comfortable to use and hold. The keyboard has keys that are adequately sized and offered minimal flexing.
The front has a 21.5-inch display with a 1920 x 1080-pixel resolution. We liked the overall quality of the display but found it to be rather dim. Viewing angles were wide, which is important for this type of PC. The screen also supports up to 10 simultaneous touch points. The touch screen was both responsive and accurate.
For ports, the Acer Aspire Z3 offers a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI-input, Ethernet, a headphone jack and an SD card slot. The HDMI-input means you can use the 21.5-inch display as a monitor for a gaming console or other video source.
Our review unit had a configuration that included a quad-core Intel Pentium J2850 (2.41GHz) CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 750GB 5400RPM hard drive and integrated Intel HD graphics. In a PCMark 7 benchmark, the Z3 scored 1,719, which is far below the category average for other all-in-ones. It would have faired better with an Intel Core i5 (or even an i3) CPU. In real-world use, it performed just fine for everyday tasks but for gaming or any intense uses, it will be sluggish and/or unusable.
Thanks to a six-cell battery, you can use the Aspire Z3 away from a power outlet. We were able to squeeze out 2 hours (barely!), so it's definitely not something you can use all day.