When we last reviewed the £759 Acer Aspire Z5610, this all-in-one system was suffering from the dreaded good-but-not-great designation. General speeds were excellent, but the system's other omissions - including a less-than-appealing 320GB of storage and no scope for upgrades - added some scuffs to what would otherwise have been a picture-perfect desktop device.
With the updated £877 Aspire Z5610, Acer has jumped into quad-core territory with an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 CPU. There's also 4GB of DDR3 memory and a huge terabyte (1TB) hard drive. The new Acer Aspire Z5610 all-in-one PC scored 98 points in our WorldBench 6 real-world speed test (the original model scored 101).
The US model we reviewed here doesn't offer great support for gaming - the all-in-one PC's integrated ATI Radeon HD 4570 graphics wouldn't even run Unreal Tournament 3 at its standard setting of 2560x2100 resolution, high quality. The UK version of the Acer Aspire Z5610 isn't likely to far any better, with a 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon 4530 chip.
The Acer Aspire Z5610 all-in-one PC's 23in display matches the beautiful look of its predecessor with strong saturation, which gives images and movies an excellent, lifelike representation. The beauty's also in the details: this system's contrasts do much to highlight bits of scenes that would otherwise be obscured or muddled in a less impressive display.
You won't find this kind of detail on the system's external connections, as Acer continues to deliver the same ho-hum loadout on its Aspire Z5610 all-in-one PC. The system's rear hosts four USB ports, a gigabit ethernet port (and included 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity), an eSATA port and integrated 5.1-channel surround sound. Only two USB ports and a single multiformat card reader can be found on the Z5610's side. Where are the next-generation display connectors? Where are the optical inputs for improved integration into an entertainment setup? These are all questions Acer should have asked itself between desktop revisions.
The updated Acer Aspire Z5610 all-in-one PC is more of a minor revision than a completely new experience. Mouse? Same. Keyboard? Same. They're good devices, wireless and full of extra functions (for the keyboard, at least), but no different than what was seen previously.
Input devices are just a few of the many improvements Acer could have made with its updated Aspire Z5610 all-in-one PC. The new machine's chief selling points are its quad-core processor and increased storage capacity. That's it. The former doesn't improve general benchmarks, while the latter is a great upgrade for the £120 price difference between the two systems.