Despite sitting at number 5 in our £750 desktop PC chart, Acer’s ASDM3201 is a good little PC with some unique features.

For £150 less than the top-scoring PCs, you get a 2.4GHz quad-core processor, a 640GB hard drive and a DVD burner that can play back Blu-ray Discs – the Acer ASM3201 is a very rare find indeed at this price level.

The Q6600 processor, however, is now starting to show its age and struggles to compete with Intel’s latest models. The Acer ASM3201 therefore turned in a WorldBench 6 speed score of 109, well behind the rest of the field.

Perhaps more significantly, the Acer ASM3201 uses a motherboard with an onboard graphics processor. This means playing games is simply out of the question, with framerates so low you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching a slide show. Onboard graphics also eat into your system memory.

The Acer ASM3201 comes loaded with a huge amount of software, which is something you’ll either love or hate. First-timers may be delighted to find antivirus, backup and entertainment software to help them get up and running. More experienced users may resent the effort needed to remove it all.

The Acer ASM3201's supplied Advent flat-panel is only a 19in model, but it’s a high-calibre, glossy display. It features dual VGA and DVI inputs and impressive build quality.

The system case is topped with a handy row of four USB ports, while a memory card reader adds a fifth, along with FireWire. Another nice touch is that the Acer ASM3201 has an HDMI output so you can hook it up to your TV and start watching Blu-ray movies.

Chart ranking: Budget desktop PCs (Feb 09 issue)

  1. Chillblast Fusion Osiris
  2. Arbico Elite 8850 Pro
  3. CyberPower Gamer Infinity XT Elite
  4. Mesh Elite 9600 GT
  5. Acer ASM3201