Windows 8 All-In-One PCs On Test (Part 3) - Acer Aspire 7600U, Logitech t400/t620/t650

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Acer Aspire 7600U

THE ASPIRE U’S attractive, modern ‘picture frame’ design stands out, a 60mm high, 5mm wide clear acrylic panel gives the impression that the screen is floating in mid-air throughout its 30-80 degree tilt range.

Acer carried that design through to the bundled wireless keyboard and mouse. Both peripherals are a little plasticky, and the keyboard’s travel is too shallow to be comfortable for marathon typing, but they’re functional and look great. The media remote control includes a full QWERTY keyboard on the back.

Description: High style, but not short on substance

High style, but not short on substance

The 1920 x 1080-pixel (83ppi) LED-backlit LCD screen has good color uniformity and contrast, scoring four out of five with the Spyder4Elite. On a 27-inch panel, at standard screen viewing distance, the screen looks pixelated. At a distance, comfortable for touchscreen operation, it’s a shortcoming.

Powering the Aspire U is an Intel Core i7-3630QM quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics card. Storage if a 1TB hard drive, and there’s a slot-loading Blu-ray reader/DVD writer.

Connectivity is goof, with four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, two HDMI inputs, separate headphone and microphone sockets, SP/DIF optical audio output and Ethernet. Wireless functionality includes 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC.

The Aspire U is practical and stylish for home or office. However, we could only get the Core i5 model in for review, and until we can get our hands on the Core i7-based New Zealand version and put in through our test suite, we’ll have to sit on our find verdict.


·         Price: $3,299

·         Web:

·         Intel Core i7-3630QM quad-core CPU

·         Memory size: 8GB RAM

·         Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics (2GB)

·         1TB hard drive

Logitech t400/t620/t650

Windows 8 touch peripherals

Stuck using Windows 8 on a desktop PC or all-in-one with a non-touch monitor? You’ve probably noticed that it isn’t the most intuitive of computing experiences.

Description: Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard

Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard

Microsoft has a range of touch-enabled Windows 8 peripherals designed to address this issue, and now Logitech has come to the party with a similar range. We tested out the t500 Zone Touch Mouse, t620 Touch Mouse and t650 Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad.

The t500 is a conventional two-button mouse, with a touch-based scroll ‘pad’ instead of a scroll wheel. It works extremely well, and the pad provides both vertical and horizontal scrolling. It also serves as a dedicated windows 8 ‘start’ button, which works identically to the Windows key on most keyboards. Highly recommended.

The t620 is an entirely touch-based mouse, like Microsoft’s Touch Mouse or Apple’s Magic Mouse. It allows you to use up to six gestures, including scrolling, app switching, accessing the Windows 8 charms menu and start screen. It’s as uncomfortable and clumsy as any of its competitors, and doesn’t have separate left and right click buttons – making it entirely useless for gamers. Avoid.

Finally, the t650 is Logitech’s answer to Apple’s Magic Trackpad. It’s a 134mm square wireless touchpad, with rounded corners and edge-to-edge glass. It works like a giant version of a regular laptop touchpad, and allows you to perform Windows 8 gestures to show the charms menu, start screen and so forth. Though it lacks the precision of a mouse, it’s comfortable and intuitive. If you prefer a touchpad to a mouse (perhaps for ergonomic reasons), it’s worth a try.


OF THE ALL-IN-ONES tested, Dell’s XPS One 27 is a clear winner. It’s an Intel Core i7-based powerhouse that will be overkill for many users, but the Dell scores so high primarily because its flexible stand and high-resolution display combine to make it the most touch-friendly all-in-one. It makes no compromises: adjustability and a sharp picture also benefit those who never use the touchscreen.

Description: Dell’s XPS One 27 is a clear winner

Dell’s XPS One 27 is a clear winner

For the $3,599 though, you could build or buy a performance/gaming Pc to leave the XPS One in the dust. If you need power, that’s what you should do. If you want the touch interface and the space-saving convenience of an all-in-one, the XPS One 27 is highly recommended.

Windows 8’s touch accessibility came down to the PC’s stand and screen.

We found touch-centric apps, particularly drawing apps and games, uncomfortable to use for long periods on a vertical screen. Tilting the screen to a shallow angle improves things greatly. All-in-ones that don’t provide much adjustability, such as Samsung’s Series 7 or HP’s Envy 23 TouchSmart, are far better suited to conventional use.

While acceptable on a 23-inch screen at normal desktop distance, 1080p resolution started to appear blocky when leaning in close to the screen.

On a 27-inch screen, the effect was more pronounced. If you intend to use touch a lot, a higher resolution screen is highly recommended.

Overall, Windows 8 is easier to use on a touchscreen all-in-one than a standard desktop PC. This was most obvious in ‘tablet friendly’ areas such as the charms bar, start screen and Windows 8 app-store apps. Touch-friendly peripherals such as those offered by Microsoft and Logitech are not nearly as useful as a touchscreen. If you’re considering an all-in-one PC to use with Windows 8, pay the premium for touch – we think it’ll help you avoid yelling at your PC.