The Acer Aspire X3900 has a mini-ITX form factor, and the cabinet measures 265x100x352mm: significantly smaller than your traditional desktop PCs, even smaller than the HP Compaq dc5800s. The Aspire X3900's cabinet doesn't weigh too much and it can be easily carried around in one hand. The X3900's cabinet has an all-black exterior and it comes with a cabinet lock to prevent access to its innards. Acer has done a good job with distributing ports around the X3900 cabinet's front and back.

The Acer Aspire X3900's optical drive pops out vertically at the front, and just below the drive bay is a flap which hides an abundance of ports: five USB ports, FireWire port, multicard reader, CF port and audio jacks. The power on-off button resides in the form of a transparent plastic strip along the cabinet's top and right edge that glows blue underneath when you switch on the Aspire X3900.

The cabinet has grilled exhaust vents at the top, side and back - enough to dissipate heat efficiently. At the Acer Aspire X3900's back lies 5.1 channel audio support ports, HDMI, eSATA, SPDIF, VGA, PS2 mouse and keyboard ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and four USB ports. That's a lot of ports!

The Acer Aspire X3900's cabinet is cramped on the inside, due to its small dimensions. Accessing the RAM slots, for example, isn't very easy. But the wires are neatly directed around the motherboard and there's no haphazard criss-cross of wires leading to clutter inside the desktop cabinet.

The Acer Aspire X3900 has an Intel Core i3-530 2.93GHz processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM (upgradeable to 8GB), 320GB 7200rpm hard drive, and onboard Intel GMA HD graphics. Obvious advantages over older Intel GMA graphics is less heat inside the cabinet and better cooling. But not only good onboard graphics, the Aspire X3900 desktop has a very good basic hardware building blocks. There's no wireless connectivity, but Gigabit Ethernet, eSATA, HDMI, SPDIF, FireWire and CF port. The Acer Aspire X3900 also supports 5.1 channel audio - great to take your home audio experience to the next level.

Apart from the cabinet, the Acer Aspire X3900 desktop PC also bundles in a keyboard, mouse, and two speakers. It comes with an 18.5-inch monitor if you're interested; however our review unit didn't come with one. The Acer AX3900 desktop comes with 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium. In terms of internal hardware, the only thing the Aspire X3900 lacks is maybe a dedicated graphics card. But other than that, Acer has done a great job of packing in every feature and port you would want on a home desktop PC.

The Acer Aspire X3900 sports Intel's Clarkdale IGP. With a WorldBench 6 score of 115, PC Mark Vantage, PC Mark 05 and Cinebench score of 5671, 7072, and 9182, respectively, the X3900 packs quite an impressive punch. Its onboard Intel GMA HD graphics, with a 3D Mark 06 score of 1530, is good but not really meant for gaming - DOOM 3 at High settings managed only 22.1 average fps. But we faced no multitasking issues on the Aspire X3900.

We hooked up a Benq V2220H LED-backlit monitor (capable of displaying 1920x1080 pixel resolution) to the Acer Aspire X3900 to play some HD videos. The desktop had no trouble playing both 720p and 1080p HD files - the processor and RAM consumption was roughly around 70-75 percent.

Listening to audio on the two bundled speakers was pretty good, but we feel Acer could have bundled in better quality speakers. The USB connected keyboard comes with quick launch multimedia buttons at the top and a volume jog dial at the right edge. The keys are well laid out and nice to type on. No complaints from the mouse, too. Throughout our testing, the Acer Aspire X3900 didn't overheat unduly and ran fairly quiet.

OUR VERDICT

The Acer Aspire X3900 desktop PC feels slightly overpriced compared to similar offerings from some of its competitors. It may not come with a dedicated graphics card, but it has an outstanding feature set, especially multimedia, and offers very good performance. We highly recommend it if you need a small desktop computer for home and entertainment usage.