Acer's first Media Center PC: Aspire T620

As with all Windows Media Center Edition PCs, watching and re-cording TV, listening to FM radio or just flicking through digital happy snaps has never been more convenient.

The T620 features a 17in LCD monitor and black and silver styling that's pleasing to the eye, but the tower form factor won't endear it to everyone's lounge room. Nor will the fact that the keyboard and optical mouse aren't wireless. However, the T620 is bundled with a full featured back-lit remote with Infrared receiver.

Within the case itself, all drives are neatly arranged via slot-loading bays and are kept secure with a plastic locking mechanism.

The Gigabyte GA-8I195P-MF mother­board is based on Intel's new 915P chipset, offering S/PDIF audio-in and out, seven-channel audio, Gigabit networking and PCI Express graphics (a 128MB DDR ATI Radeon X300SE is supplied).

Acer has gone with an Intel Pentium 4 processor running at 3GHz (supporting an 800MHz front-side bus and Hyper-Threading) that's cooled by a sizeable 120mm fan. A spacious 160GB SATA 7200 hard disk and Hauppauge PVR 250 MCE analog TV tuner/FM radio card facilitate the TV recording and time-shift functions so important to Media Center PCs. Also included are a 16x dual-layer DVD+/-RW drive, 56K PCI-modem and a set of stereo speakers.

The T620 returned a score of 285 under SYSMark 2001 (powerful enough for everyday productivity) and 6537 in 3DMark 2001 (basic gaming should be fine).

The Aspire T620 should interest those wishing to merge their digital obsessions with lifestyle aspirations, but there's plenty of scope for future improvement.

In brief: Acer Aspire T620

A convenient entertainment box and regular Windows PC in one that's more likely suited to student bedrooms than most lounge rooms.
Price: $2799
Vendor: Acer
Phone: 1300 366 567
URL: www.acer.com.au

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Ryan Shaw

PC World
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