So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Acer Veriton L670G
A small yet potent Acer desktop PC for business users.
- Tiny dimensions, 7200rpm hard drive, slot-loading DVD burner, eSATA, DVI
- External power supply is bulky, case isn't tool-less, no memory card reader
The Veriton L670G is one of the smallest business PC on the market. It has a useful amount of ports — including eSATA and DVI — and it's well designed.
Price$ 1,526.00 (AUD)
It's small and inexpensive yet Acer's Veriton L670G is based on an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU, so it has plenty of power for running the applications in your small office or large corporate workplace.
The Acer Veriton L670G uses a combination of desktop and notebook parts, giving it the best of both worlds; you get a full-sized (3.5in) desktop hard drive that runs at 7200rpm, while memory is handled by two SO-DIMM slots. There is a slimline slot-loading DVD burner installed, which helps keep the unit thin.
Our review model came with the 3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU (the Veriton L670G has a LGA775 CPU socket), as well as 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320GB hard drive and integrated Intel graphics. It scored 99 in our WorldBench 6 productivity suite, which is it a little slower than we were expecting. In the Blender 3D test it took 1min 1sec to render a two-threaded job, which is 2sec longer than we were expecting. However, its 57sec to encode 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3s is actually faster than we expected (by about 1sec). Numbers aside, the bottom line is that this PC will run office and Web applications, and even Photoshop, without any problems, and it will be a swift machine when multitasking.
The Acer Veriton L670G is only 6cm thick, 21cm deep and 26cm tall (when using the supplied base so that it can stand up on your desk) — making it one of the most compact desktop PCs on the market. It makes use of a power brick, rather than an internal power supply; this makes it a little more difficult to manage its cables, but it helps cut down on the noise and heat that the unit will emit while on your desk. There are two small extraction fans at the rear of the unit, near the CPU, but they don't create much noise. It's a quiet unit overall.
When switched off but still plugged in to an outlet the Veriton L670G will consume 6W of electricity. When it's on but idling it will consume 40W, and under a full CPU load it will consume 75W. The PC ships with the Acer PowerSaver utility, which shaved 2W off the idle consumption when it was enabled and still allowed the PC to run at full speed (again it consumed up to 75W when the CPU was fully utilised).
The number of ports on the Veriton L670G is generous; you get eight USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, eSATA, DVI and D-Sub. There are also analog surround sound ports and a serial port. There are headphone and microphone ports as well as four USB 2.0 ports within easy reach on the front; thankfully there is no awkward door to conceal these ports.
We like the slot-loading DVD drive, which feels less clumsy to use than a tray-based one, but we wish the PC's fascia also had a reset button in addition to its huge power button.
The Acer Veriton L670G is based on the Intel vPro platform, which means IT personnel will be able to manage it remotely at the BIOS level. Acer has also installed some useful user-level tools. For example, there is the afore-mentioned Acer PowerSaver utility, and there is also the SmartBoot utility that lets users elect which programs they want to start up automatically when the computer boots. Users still need to log in before the programs load, but it's a handy little program that lets you take a coffee break while your programs load.
Without a monitor, the small and well-featured Veriton L670G costs $1526 so it's not expensive, and you also get a 3-year on-site warranty.
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