Acer's latest AIO PC has a sleek, flattened design that's accentuated by the speaker grille that sits below the 21.5-inch display screen. The layout of the speaker panel does make the screen seem a little smaller than it actually is, in common with many laptops that utilise a thick bezel to protect the edges of the screen. Your eyes are drawn away from the display and towards the additional furniture. And that makes the screen seem even smaller again. When it's already got a small display screen relative to most other AIO units, this disparity is even more stark.
It's a pity, because in some other key design areas, the Aspire Z3750 is a well-designed machine. Peripherals for AIOs tend to be on the mediocre side — they're either artfully designed but painful to use (a la the iMac) or cheap and horrible bits of plastic better suited for the circular filing cabinet than beneath the PC they're meant to be running. The Aspire Z3750's keyboard and mouse surprisingly aren't terrible, but equally surprisingly, they're not wireless either. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with USB cables per se, but if you were after a neat-looking system with no cable clutter, this won't suit you, at least out of the box.
Acer's website lists three different CPU configurations for the Z3750, starting from AU$899. The unit supplied to CNET Australia for testing ran with the high-end AU$1699 design, which uses an Intel Core i5 650 3.2GHz CPU. Acer matched this up in our review sample with 6GB of DDR3 RAM and a 1TB hard drive, along with a 1TB NVIDIA GeForce GT320 graphics card. Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit is pre-installed, and as it features an inbuilt TV tuner, a Windows remote control is also bundled into the box.
The 21.5" screen is capable of a top resolution of 1920 x 1080, making it 1080p capable, although its utility on a screen this relatively small is questionable. Acer's web page for the Z3750 suggests a Blu-ray player enabled model exists, but our review sample featured a DVD-Multi writer instead.
Unlike many AIOs, we didn't hate the Aspire Z3750's keyboard and mouse. The keyboard especially deserves praise, as it's a full keyboard with number pad and full travel characteristics, rather than a clacky flat notebook-style keyboard, making it much more comfortable for extended periods of work. Likewise, that impressive-looking speaker that makes the screen looks small certainly delivers when it comes time to play back media, with crisp sound output.
While other AIOs have cut pricing corners by including lesser processors, the inclusion of a Core i5 and decent graphics processor pushed the Aspire Z3750's benchmark scores up pleasingly, with a 3DMark06 score of 7782 and PCMark05 score of 9032. If you're after an AIO with decent performance characteristics, the Aspire Z3750 is a solid option.
As with any AIO, if you're a performance freak you'll always do better with a desktop system for the same kind of money. At the same time, the Aspire Z3750's performance, while good for a system in the AIO space, suffers a little from the slightly smaller display screen. If that's a compromise you're happy with, though, it's a good system.