Acer Veriton Z410G: Business All-in-One Touts Function Over Form
At a Glance
Acer Veriton Z410G
The Veriton Z410G is well connected, but it lacks some of the bells and whistles of its counterparts.
The Veriton Z410G is a budget-friendly ($720 as of December 4, 2010) all-in-one desktop geared toward small businesses. It's a well-connected machine with eight USB ports, two PS/2 serial connections, and DVI and VGA output ports, but it lacks the feature set (and aesthetic appeal) of its pricier counterparts.
The Z410G's innards are rather humble. It packs a 3GHz dual-core Pentium E5700 processor, a 320GB hard drive, and 2GB of RAM. Saddled with an integrated Intel G45 Express chipset, it isn't the slickest multimedia machine, but it does have a 21.5-inch LCD screen with a 1920-by-1080-pixel native resolution. This business all-in-one also comes with a built-in stereo speaker system and microphone, as well as a built-in Webcam. It has 802.11b/g/n wireless, and the 32-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium is preinstalled.
The Z410G will keep business users suitably connected. The left side of the chassis features three audio line-in ports, six USB 2.0 ports, a gigabit ethernet port, an eSATA port, a VGA-out, a serial port, a COM port, a DVI-in, and two PS/2 ports. The right side offers two more USB 2.0 ports (making eight total) and microphone and headphone jacks. The Z410G also has a multiformat card reader slot and a DVD burner.
One of the objectively less attractive all-in-one PCs we've seen, the Z410G surrounds its 21.5-inch LCD screen with a thick, squared-off black bezel; the display sits somewhat awkwardly on top of enormous, silver stereo speakers. While it certainly won't win any prizes for style, its matter-of-fact construction does reflect its goal to be taken seriously as a business machine. Still, we wish that Acer would have spent more effort on the aesthetic appeal--the way the screen looks carelessly propped on top of the speakers is unattractive.
Located just below the screen on the right side are a series of lights; some of them are notification lights (Internet and the like), while others indicate buttons that you'll find if you push your finger into the crack between the screen and the speakers. The buttons control the screen brightness and the volume--not terribly impressive, but useful nonetheless.
The Z410G comes with a basic keyboard and mouse (both with PS/2 serial connectors), neither of which is especially comfortable. The keyboard is lightweight and matte-black, and has large, wide keys. The keys are flat and soft to the touch, offering little physical feedback (though the size of the keys makes the lack of tactile response less likely to affect your typing accuracy). The mouse is a simple, three-button affair, and is slightly uncomfortable with its sharply squared-off top corners. Although neither the mouse nor the keyboard is a paragon of comfort, both will likely be fine for a casual user.
The Z410G sports a decently roomy 21.5-inch LCD widescreen with a native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels. Color reproduction on the matte screen is pretty good: bright (sometimes too bright) and crisp, with clear details. Contrast tended to be on the weak side, though viewing the screen off-axis still gives a pretty good picture. The matte screen is nice, too, as it allows for little screen glare or annoying reflections, except in very bright light.
In PCWorld's WorldBench 6 tests, the Z410G received a score of 104--not too impressive, but right in line with our top-ranked PCs in the category. Our top budget all-in-one, the HP 200-5020, also achieved a score of 104, as did our leading big-screen (over 23 inches) all-in-one, the HP TouchSmart 600 Quad. While the HP 200-5020 has a lower price ($699) than the Z410G, the HP TouchSmart 600 Quad is more than twice the cost ($1800). None of these all-in-ones managed to top Apple's Core i7 iMac, which earned an impressive score of 128.
The Z410G's native resolution is perfect for playing back 1080p, full-HD video. High-def playback looks pretty good--though nowhere near perfect--considering that the Z410G has integrated graphics. Streaming HD video plays with few issues (only the rare stutter), and DVD playback looks fine; some occasional artifacting appears, but nothing too serious pops up.
Gaming is another story, however, and this is where the integrated graphics really can't cut it: In our Unreal Tournament 3 tests, the Z410G managed only an unplayable score of 4.1 frames per second at high settings and a screen resolution of 1680 by 1050 pixels. You'll be lucky if you make it out of a game's menu screen on the Z410G. Remember, though, that this is a business desktop--you shouldn't be playing games at work, anyway.
Because the Z410G is a business PC, Acer includes an appropriate applications suite. Acer's own software includes Acer Client Manager, eRecovery Management, and Acer Security Suite. The rest of the software is basic and mostly useful, consisting of Adobe Acrobat Reader, CyberLink PowerDVD, Google Setup/Toolbar, Nero 9 Essentials, Norton Online Backup, Skype, and the Veriton Control Center. You'll also find your basic security trialware (McAfee Internet Security Suite) and Microsoft Office Starter 2010.
The Acer Veriton Z410G is a good PC--it produces decent performance, as long as you're not trying to do any high-end gaming or graphics work--with plenty of connectivity at a moderate price. But you can find the same performance, without the clunky chassis and the thoroughly bland keyboard/mouse combo, in all-in-ones for $100 less.