Acer Aspire M5630 AT370
- DVD-RW (+/-R DL)/HD-DVD/Blu-ray drive, HDCP HDMI output possible
- Small speakers
If you're in need of a new PC and are already buzzing to watch the latest movies in high definition, then the Acer Aspire M5630 is a brilliant choice.
Price$ 2,299.00 (AUD)
Not unlike the rest of us, it seems that Acer has become tired of waiting for the high-definition format war to end and has released the Acer Aspire M5630 desktop PC, a quad-core machine with a combination Blu-ray/HD-DVD drive -- nullifying the need to make a choice between the two competing formats.
Movies filmed at high resolutions (up to 1920x1080) with high quality digital audio require considerably more storage space than a DVD can hold. Two different formats have sprung from this necessity, HD-DVD created by Toshiba, and Blu-ray created by a conglomerate lead by Sony. Both formats use essentially the same technology (a blue-violet laser, rather than the red laser in DVD players, with a shorter wave-length), but vary enough to make them both competitive choices as the replacement for the current DVD technology.
No doubt this situation is far from ideal for Sony and Toshiba, but it's also left us, the end-user, in a state of confusion. On one side there's Blu-ray, which offers greater storage capacities (25GB for a single-layer disc), but costs more per disc to manufacture, and is also considered to be a more fragile physical media. On the other side there's HD-DVD, which can only store 15GB per single-layer disc, but costs less to make. Then there are the studios and other organisations to consider. Each format has its own posse of backers, and we're looking at a situation where one movie release might be on Blu-ray only, while another will be on HD-DVD.
What this system offers is the ability to read high-definition media from both sides of the camp. Acer's Aspire M5630 uses a combination DVD-RW (+/-R DL)/BRD/HD-DVD-ROM drive to allow users the freedom to watch any high-definition movie from either format, without a second thought.
Acer's Acerplay software takes care of everything for you. We inserted Casino Royale on Blu-ray and Windows Vista Autoplay picked it up and had it playing in one click. The same occurred with King Kong on HD-DVD.
The M5630 puts Intel's Quad Core Q6600 2.4GHz CPU to use, a good value option with a 1066MHz front side bus and a 4MB L2 cache. There is 2GB of DDR2 RAM installed and a Radeon HD2400 Pro with 256MB of memory. There is no HDMI output on the rear port cluster, but the Radeon card can output HDMI (HDCP) audio and video via a special DVI to HDMI adapter.
This is especially useful as the Aspire M5630 does not ship with particularly powerful speakers so you'll want to output via HDMI to a large TV and sound system for the best experience.
Also included in the package are a 500GB Western Digital hard drive, a media card reader, which includes support for Smartmedia, xD, MS, MS-Pro, MMC, SD and CF cards and a wireless keyboard and mouse.
In our Benchmarks we saw fairly reasonable results. In WorldBench 6 the Acer Aspire M5630 achieved a total score of 104, a fair effort and enough for some video or audio encoding as well as the usual set of day-to-day applications. In our MP3 encoding test it took 68 seconds to encode 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files using iTunes, and 111 seconds in Cdex.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 2 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 3 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 4 Ford Focus ST (2015) review: Absolutely mental styling, engine, handling
- 5 LG 65-inch UHD TV (65UF950T) review
Deals on Good Gear Guide
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- 3D scanning Sprout by HP computer provides tactile immersion for only $4,598
- Raspberry Pi gets its first official touchscreen display
- Lenovo debuts a dozen PCs with Skylake, from ThinkCentre Tiny to huge AiOs
- This week in PC gaming: Cliff Bleszinski’s LawBreakers defies gravity, XCOM 2 defies release
- High-quality 1080p Xbox One-to-PC streaming now live for all
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- FTSales SpecialistNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC
- FTField EngineerNSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- FTDigital ManagerNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW