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Acer Aspire TC desktop PC review

We’ve reviewed the Acer Aspire TC to find out if this affordable rig is a suitable option for a busy family home.

Acer Aspire TC desktop PC
(Image: © Acer)

Our Verdict

The Acer Aspire TC is an effective and affordable option for everyday computing and mainstream workloads, with solid components and a compact, smart design. The older parts mean it’s not suitable for more challenging tasks, though, and the support options are not too extensive.

For

  • Consistently affordable
  • A compact, good-looking design
  • Decent connectivity throughout

Against

  • Older components used
  • Mediocre support and setup options
  • Underwhelming internals

The Acer Aspire TC desktop PC aims at the living room, the home office, and busy everyday lives, and it tries to get the job done by combining decent components with solid design and low prices.

Several different Acer Aspire TC specifications are available, and the variety of components mean it’s worth paying attention to the hardware. Some of these rigs are ideal for basic use, others are more powerful and can be used for tougher work tasks, while some can run the latest games. It sits among our best home computer round-up, as one of the more affordable, everyday options.

It’s not just about the components. It’s worth examining the design because you need to see if it’ll fit into your lifestyle, and the customer service and support options are essential. We’ve covered all of that in this review to see what you’re truly getting if you buy an Acer Aspire TC.

Acer Aspire TC: Specs

The most powerful Acer Aspire TC deploys an Intel Core i7-10700 processor. That chip has eight cores and can hit a peak speed of 4.8GHz, so it has plenty of speed. It’s paired with 8GB of memory, and storage comes from a 256GB SSD and a 1TB hard disk.

The processor is powerful enough to handle any everyday Office application, and it can tackle basic photo editing software. Multi-tasking is no problem, and it’ll run web browsers with dozens of tabs. The memory allocation is the minimum we’d expect for a versatile everyday PC, and the SSD keeps the whole system responsive.

Acer Aspire TC desktop PC

(Image credit: Acer)

There’s another option at the top of the range, with a system that combines a Core i5-10400F processor with an Nvidia GeForce 1650 graphics card. The processor is weaker than the Core i7 chip, but it’s still capable of handling everyday Office workloads and multi-tasking – you’ll have to scrub off more arduous tasks like photo-editing. Happily, this version also uses a 1TB SSD, so you’ve got plenty of fast storage.

The GTX 1650 graphics card means this version can play mainstream single-player games and esports titles at 1080p. It won’t run games at higher resolutions, and it won’t run the toughest games without the graphics settings reduced.

If you don’t need a graphics card, there’s a cheaper version of the Aspire with the Core i5 processor, a 1TB hard disk, and Intel’s integrated graphics. That’s an ideal option for everyday workloads, although the lack of an SSD means loading times are slower.

There are even more affordable versions available too. A system with the Core i3-10100 processor is well-suited to basic work, like running word processors, web browsers, and email clients. This makes it cheaper than the Dell Inspiron desktop range, one of our top picks.

The cheapest Aspire TC systems use AMD Ryzen chips that combine processing and graphics cores. Models are available with the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G and Ryzen 5 3400G. These chips have similar processing ability to Intel Core i3 and Core i5 parts, so they’re ideal for everyday workloads but not suitable for more demanding tasks. Their AMD Radeon graphics cores can handle casual games and modest esports titles, but that’s it.

No matter what specification you purchase, you’re going to get Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth, which means fast, consistent internet speeds for work, streaming, and gaming.

There are some areas where the Acer is underwhelming. While 8GB of DDR4 RAM is a solid quantity, the Acer uses a single-stick configuration. That’s slower than using two sticks, although the motherboard does have a second slot, so upgrading is easily possible.

The processors and graphics cards used across the Aspire TC range are not the latest chips, either – the Intel chips are a generation behind the curve, and the AMD and Nvidia hardware in the Aspire is even older.

These issues are not ruinous: every Aspire TC specification will handle everyday Office tasks, web-browsing, email clients, and other applications. But remember that you could find more pace elsewhere.

Acer Aspire TC desktop PC

(Image credit: Acer)

Acer Aspire TC: Design

Who is it for?

This rig is perfect for people who want a PC without any fuss. If you need a rig for checking emails, browsing the web, working in Office tools and browser-based applications and tackling some light photo editing, it’s a solid choice. The compact design, solid connectivity and included keyboard and mouse keep things simple and effective, too.

This straightforward system is not ideal for people who want to tweak and upgrade. If that’s the case with you, purchasing from a local company will offer more internal access.

The Acer Aspire TC is also not suitable if you want peak performance. Intel’s newer chips are quicker in everyday applications, AMD’s current processors are far better in trickier workloads, and Nvidia’s current graphics cards are faster in games.

The Acer Aspire TC looks better than plenty of its rivals: the front combines dark, brushed metal with a sleek power button and stylish angles. Build quality is reasonable, too – some of the metal and plastic used on the outside is a little flimsy, but it’ll withstand home life without any problems.

The Acer’s modest dimensions help it fit into everyday life, too. It’s just 13.3” tall and 6.4” wide, making it significantly smaller than most other towers.

The design is practical elsewhere. On the front, you’ll find two full-size USB 3.2 ports and a USB 3.2 Type-C connector, so there’s ample opportunity for connecting peripherals and phone-charging cables. The façade also has two audio jacks and an SD card slot, so you can quickly grab photos from your digital camera. And, unusually, this PC has a DVD drive. Those are rare on today’s computers, and it means you can use this system to play DVDs and old games.

At the rear, the Acer has four more USB 3.2 ports and two slower USB 2.0 connectors. The faster USB 3.2 ports allow speedier file transfers between USB drives and external hard disks, while the older USB 2.0 ports are ideal for keyboards and mice. 

It’s unlikely you’ll want to open the Acer’s case, and the Aspire is simple on the inside. There’s room to add another stick of memory, and depending on the specification the Acer may have an M.2 connector vacant, which means you could add a super-fast NVMe SSD.

There’s room to mount an external hard drive, and Acer has pre-fitted the relevant cables – a handy touch to make upgrading simpler. Depending on your specification you may have room for a graphics card, but the proprietary PSU and cables used throughout this machine restricts what cards you can fit inside this machine.

The Aspire also includes a basic, wireless keyboard and mouse. They’re not high-end peripherals, and they won’t suit keen typists or enthusiastic gamers, but they’re fine for everyday home and work use.  

The Aspire TC is small and good-looking, and it has decent ports. For everyday use on a budget, it’s an impressive design. More expensive systems will have more USB ports and faster connections, though, and other PCs will have more internal access if you like to tinker with your tech.

Acer Aspire TC desktop PC

(Image credit: Acer)

What about Acer’s other desktops?

If the Aspire TC is too large for your tastes, consider the Acer Aspire XC – with an 11.6” height and 3.9” width, it’s significantly smaller than the Aspire TC, and it weighs far less. It’s a good alternative for compact computing, but it’s not available with the Core i7 processor or Nvidia graphics cards.

If you’re interested in gaming, then there’s the Acer Nitro 50. As with many gaming products it’s got bolder design than the Aspire, and it has Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, GTX 1660 and RTX 2060 graphics cards. Those are still not current-generation components, but the RTX 2060 is a more powerful option that will comfortably play any single-player or esports title at 1080p. They're cheaper than the Alienware R10 PCs for sure, but not as powerful.

If you’re only interested in entry-level, browser-based computing, then the Acer Chromebox CX14 is small and very affordable.

Home workers who tackle demanding creative tasks should consider the Acer ConceptD range, which combines powerful components with elegant designs, high-speed connectivity and quieter cooling. The keenest gamers should examine the Acer Predator Orion range, which includes bold design, high-end Nvidia GeForce graphics cards, and loads of memory and storage space.

Acer Aspire TC: User Reviews

Elsewhere, people didn’t like the Acer’s flimsy DVD drive cover and its front-mounted ports, which are positioned quite low down the tower – depending on where you place the PC that could make them tricky to reach. Some customers found the wireless keyboard to have weak connectivity and weren’t happy with the proprietary power supply and connectors, limiting upgrading.

Acer’s online store doesn’t carry reviews, but there are plenty of reviews for the Acer Aspire TC on other retail websites.

Loads of people praise the speed of the Acer’s Core i5 and Core i7 processors for tackling everyday tasks, and customers were impressed with the SSD’s fast loading times. The Aspire TC was quiet and compact, and buyers enjoyed the sleek design and the PC’s ability to stand upright or lay on its side.

Many people found the Aspire easy to set up and use, but others also lamented the lack of documentation – if you’re not tech-savvy, then the absence of setup paperwork might make things difficult.

Acer Aspire TC desktop PC

(Image credit: Acer)

Acer Aspire TC: Customer Service

Acer’s customer service hub includes easy links to download drivers, and you can input your model number or serial number to get customised results.

A user manual is also available alongside a forum where other users respond to questions about the system. There’s a knowledge base available, too, but there are no relevant articles for the Aspire TC at the time of writing.

Customers can request and track repairs using the customer service portal, and email, phone and chat options are available for contacting Acer directly.

It’s a good slate of options, but companies like Dell offer more extensive knowledge bases and resource sections. It’s a similar story when it comes to the warranty: the Aspire comes with a standard one-year warranty and you can buy a three-year upgrade, but companies like Dell have a far broader range of coverage upgrades.

Should you buy the Acer Aspire TC?

The Acer Aspire TC is an unfussy and effective everyday computer. If you need a system for tackling emails, handling web-browsing duties, and running office software, it’ll get the job done with plenty of speed and minimal fuss. It’s compact and good-looking, so it’s well-suited to offices and living rooms, and the decent connectivity improves versatility – this is an ideal system for a busy family.

It works smoothly out of the box if you’ve got basic tech knowledge, and the inclusion of a keyboard and mouse is a boon.

The Acer may be a good everyday PC, but there are some situations where it’s less suitable. The older components are not ideal if you need a computer for really hard workloads, like video-editing and high-end content-creation - here we recommend the Dell XPS desktops instead. The low-end graphics options won’t sate gamers, and if you want to upgrade then the Acer Aspire TC is not the best option.

Which Acer Aspire TC should you choose?

If you only need a PC for checking emails and browsing the web, then the Core i3 and AMD Ryzen-powered Acer Aspire TC are adequate and affordable.

For busy life in a family home, the Core i5 version of this system is more capable. And if you want to play esports titles and mainstream single-player games, then the Acer with the Core i5 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card is the best choice.

The top-end Core i7 version of the Acer Aspire TC is ideal if you need a PC for photo-editing and other tougher work applications. Be aware, though, that the Core i7 rig doesn’t have an Nvidia graphics card, so it’s the best specification for work but not suitable for gaming.