My dad didn't like the all-in-one Acer desktop computer with 23" screen and Windows 8 that I got him a couple of weeks ago. So he gave it to me, and I've had a chance to explore it.
Windows 8 is alright, so long as I ignore the metro UI junk, and stick to the Windows 7 look-alike part.I can't always ignore metro, as Windows 8 sometimes insists on shoving it back onto the screen. A real productivity killer. Thanks, Steve and Steve.
I described my experience with using AutoCAD and the touch screen over on my WorldCAD Access blog. (Summary: I now see why Autodesk does not trumpet AutoCAD running on Windows 8; touching it doesn't work great.)
Specs about this computer:
- At $800, the cheapest desktop computer with a touch screen in Canada
- 23" 1920x1080 touch screen; but the screen is so shiny it acts like a mirror. I have positioned it to minimize the glare.
- Six USB ports, including one USB3; this USB 3 port, however, loses its power when the computer goes to sleep, negating the spec it is supposed to follow.
- a/b/g/n WiFi and 1Gbit Ethernet; I hook it up using ethernet for faster speed and greater security
- Digital audio output port, plus mic and headphone ports; decent built-in speakers but no bass
- Webcam, with a bright LED that is supposed to light you up when the room is too dark, but all it does is irritate the eyes; one of the first things I hunted down was how to keep that light off!
- Sturdily built, with a tiltstand on the back, and well-rubberized feet
- 1TB hard drive; DVD-RW drive; SD memory card slot
- HDMI in and HDMI out ports
- Comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and a unifying receiver; but the mouse buttons are so stiff that I cannot double-click, so I am using my own mouse
- 2.8GHz dual-core Pentium with 4GB RAM (expandable to 8GB); no discrete graphics; I added an 8GB ReadyBoost memory stick
- A slot under the monitor lets me store the keyboard out of the way.
- The computer runs silently, no fan.
The nice thing about this all-in-one is that it has an HDMI in port, and an HDMI switch button. This lets me use the computer (as a secondary computer) on my side desk together with my Apple Mac Mini. Pushing the button switches between the Windows 8 display and the OS X Mountain Lion display.
But then I ran into a perpetual motion machine: the first evening after I hooked everything up, I put Windows 8 to sleep. The monitor noticed there was no PC display, and so switched automatically to the Mac display. Nice, I thought.
But not for long. I put the Mac to sleep. The monitor noticed the signal from the Mac disappeared, and so woke up the PC. I put Windows 8 back to sleep, and the signal switched back to the Mac, waking it up.
Back and forth things went before I set Windows 8 to hibernation mode.I hope Acer will fix some of the problems I found.