Acer Aspire 5600U review

Price when reviewed

Webcams aren’t usually the most exciting part of a computer, but Acer’s Aspire 5600U does something different with its 2-megapixel snapper – it uses it for gesture control.

Waving an open palm at the camera moves the cursor, pinching fingers together replicates a click, and waving in from the right, left and top of the screen opens up the Windows 8 edge menus.

We like the idea, but it’s flawed. Waving a hand in front of the webcam soon becomes tiring, and the Acer’s default settings are too sensitive; even with its options adjusted, it’s unreliable.

Acer Aspire 5600U

Elsewhere, the 5600U is more traditional, using a kickstand to prop up the display. The screen rests on a transparent plastic “chin”, which makes it look like it’s hovering over the desk. The chassis is slim: at its thickest point, the screen measures a mere 34mm. Despite this, the rear panel can be removed to provide access to every internal component – and the display can be tilted right back for use while standing.

The 23in screen falls in the middle of the pack when it comes to quality. Black levels are fine, as is the 227cd/m2 brightness, and the resulting 1,194:1 contrast ratio lends images and movies a decent amount of depth. Colours are reasonably accurate, but they look a touch insipid.

Acer Aspire 5600U

The speakers are similarly uninspiring, lacking bass, and although the keyboard and mouse look good, they feel cheap.

The Acer’s most notable component is its Nvidia GeForce GT 630M graphics core. It’s the most powerful chip we’ve seen in a 23in all-in-one: a 40fps result in our 1,600 x 900 Medium quality benchmark is excellent.

The Blu-ray reader, TV tuner, dual-band 802.11n wireless and 1TB hard disk all impress, too, but the processor lets the side down. The Intel Core i5-3210M is a mobile chip, and a 0.63 result in our Real World Benchmarks is poor.

The Acer makes a good first impression, and in many ways it’s a fine all-in-one. However, its main rival – the Asus ET2300 – costs almost £200 less and is better in most areas. Ultimately, that’s the machine we recommend you buy


Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,000GB
RAM capacity 8.00GB
Screen size 23.0in


CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 2.50GHz


Motherboard chipset Intel HM77
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec


Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 0
Memory sockets total 2

Graphics card

Graphics card Nvidia GeForce GT 630M
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Medium
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GT 630M
DVI-I outputs 0
HDMI outputs 1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Hard disk Seagate Momentus ST1000LM024
Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM


Optical disc technology Blu-ray reader


Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080

Additional Peripherals

Peripherals AVerMedia A373 dual DVB-T TV tuner


Case format All-in-one
Dimensions 574 x 184 x 422mm (WDH)

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 2
3.5mm audio jacks 2

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard Acer wireless keyboard and mouse

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 8

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 44W
Peak power consumption 118W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 40fps
3D performance setting Medium
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.63
Responsiveness score 0.69
Media score 0.71
Multitasking score 0.50

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