Acer Veriton T661 review

£447
Price when reviewed

Of the six business systems in the group, Acer’s Veriton T661 differs the least from a standard consumer PC. The large case sports intelligent design and oodles of expansion potential, but with most of it empty you’ll soon wonder why it needs so much of your workspace.

The front of the case houses four 5.25in front drive bays and there are a further four for internal hard disks, so adding to the standard 160GB of storage isn’t a problem. Every bay has a simple clip for screw-free installation, and the rear expansion slots are fitted with a plastic lock for the same purpose. It’s the only PC here with a 16x DVD writer, and the same goes for its floppy drive.

But the remaining bays lie unused. The choice of a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo E4500 on a micro-ATX motherboard doesn’t quite fit with the cavernous interior. A huge plastic funnel directs what little heat is being produced by the CPU out of a vent in the side panel, yet the Acer is the quietest here at 17dBA when idle. The BIOS also offers open-case detection as an added security measure.

Performance is decent enough, the T661 scoring 1.26 in our benchmarks, and the 2GB of RAM kept multiple apps running smoothly throughout our testing. It comes with XP Professional installed and also features Acer’s Empowering Suite of utilities: eDataSecurity Management provides encryption using the TPM chip, along with ePerformance, eRecovery and eSettings Management utilities for all sorts of useful tweaking.

In the unlikely event that anything goes wrong with the PC, Acer offers a year of on-site cover, followed by two years of return-to-base warranty, and this can be upgraded to three years on-site for just £29. Acer also earned a Highly Commended award in our 2007 Reliability & Service awards.

But others here offer similar power and features in much smaller cases, and the Acer’s main strength – its expansion potential – just won’t appeal to that many businesses. It may be affordable and quiet, but unless you plan to add to it regularly there are more appropriate business PCs this month.

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