The All-in-One platform, in the case of seemingly exotic, is, in fact, a fully justified alternative to laptops of the desktop replacement format (not intended for active “moving in space” and living exclusively in one workplace). With a comparable price and space, the all in one pc offer a full-featured desktop monitor with a diagonal that laptops can only dream about, and the ability to conveniently use any keyboards/mouse. Today we will consider a new model from Acer – ultra-thin candy bar Aspire S24-880.
We have become accustomed to the fact that the candy bar looks like a slightly more dimensional monitor (it’s necessary to hide the system unit itself somewhere). Acer Aspire S24-880 this tradition breaks – it looks no different from a conventional desktop monitor with an ultra-thin design, and only a pad that is slightly larger than a conventional stand can lead to the thought that in addition to the display, there is something else.
The body of the display part is made of a rough metal with a golden plastic strip under the screen, the frame around the display is very thin at the sides and slightly thicker from above (here the web camera lens hides in it). A thin golden line visually divides the back side into two parts, the lower “half” is covered with a low-visible plastic cover, which makes the case here somewhat thicker than in the upper part (the thickness of which is only 6 mm).
The foot, quite expected, allows you to change only the angle of the screen – no height adjustment, no left-to-right rotations, much less a transition to portrait mode is not here. The screen fastening is very rigid, no backlashes, rocking, etc. no. The candy bar is very stable – after all, the whole “stuffing” is concentrated in the stand. Also, it has a module for wireless charging of smartphones with Qi standard support – it’s enough to put the device on the appropriate logo. And, it will start charging (although you need to get the hang of getting into the right place – there are no “overall” markings here, and the zone in which there is a charge, it turns out to be quite small).
All connectors are located on the sides and the back of the stand. So, from behind you can find the power connector (PSU here, which is not surprising, external), ports USB 3.0 and Ethernet, as well as HDMI input and output (on the other side of the stand is a ventilation grille). On the right – the button for calling the on-screen menu, headphone output, Kensington lock and USB 2.0 port (to which the user will most likely have a radio receiver for keyboard and mouse). And on the left are two more USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, a USB Type-C port, a power button and an activity indicator.
The Acer Aspire S24-880 uses an IPS panel with a diagonal of 23.8 “and a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels – perhaps the most popular among mass desktop monitors. The on-screen menu here is, to put it mildly, ascetic – in it you can switch to the video input (if an additional video source is connected to the HDMI in) and go back, and also change the brightness level for the HDMI signal. Any other settings, select video modes, etc. there is not. Adjusting the brightness of your own system is done with the Fn keys and the left and right arrows.
The image quality is typical for an office IPS monitor. Slightly inflated gamma, which leads to a slight oversaturation of the image, the color temperature is fairly close to the standard 6500K, color coverage is also very typical for office models. The minimum brightness was 60 cd / m² (enough to work in a room with muted light, but in full darkness the screen will be bright), the maximum is 320 cd / m², this is a high result (higher than the average among conventional desktop monitors), at this brightness level for This screen can be operated even with very bright ambient light (except for direct sunlight).
Glow-effect is quite noticeable – the standard behavior of the IPS-matrix. On a black background, a silver shade appears at an angle, especially prominent in the dark. The uniformity of the backlight is mediocre – perhaps the result of using an ultra-slim body. The screen is frosted, and the ripples caused by the anti-reflective coating are clearly visible on the macro.
The Acer Aspire S 24 does not have flicker-backlighting – it is not used to adjust the brightness of the PWM.
In the Acer Aspire S24-880 lineup, various system configurations are available (Intel Core i5 / i7 processors of the 8th generation, DDR4-2400 memory up to 32 GB, drives up to M.2 SSD 256 GB and hard drives up to 2 TB), in our disposal was a system based on the mobile processor Intel Core i5-8250U (Coffee Lake) with a clock speed of 3.4 GHz. The processor has four processing cores, while Hyper-Threading technology allows simultaneous processing of up to 8 data streams. The graphic subsystem of the monoblock consists of the built-in video (Intel UHD Graphics 620) – there is no discrete video card in the Acer Aspire S 24.
The monoblock has 16 GB of RAM (2 DDR4-2400 modules working in a two-channel mode). For data storage, a traditional HDD of 500 GB (Toshiba MQ01ABF050), working in conjunction with the Intel Optane drive, is used. At last, it is worthwhile to dwell more.
So, Intel Optane is a drive made in the M.2 format, which uses the technology of non-volatile memory, developed by Intel in conjunction with Micron – 3D XPoint. The detailed information about the company’s technology, unfortunately, is not disclosed, confining itself to statements that “3D XPoint is not NAND and not DRAM”, but something completely different. Compared to NAND, the 3D XPoint has lower access delays and more I / O operations per second, the record is almost as fast as reading, plus the wear resistance is much higher. Unlike DRAM, 3D XPoint is nonvolatile, it allows you to create devices with a higher density of data storage and at the same time cheaper in production.
Initially, Intel offered two solutions based on 3D XPoint – the Intel Optane Memory client (NVMe SSD in M.2 form factor), which was available in 16 and 32 GB volumes, and Intel’s Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X. Recently the line was expanded due to more capacious drives, up to 480 GB. In the monoblock in question, the first version is installed, Intel Optane Memory with a capacity of 16 GB. It is clear that in Windows-systems to use it as a regular SSD will not work – too small a volume. That’s why Intel Optane goes in a “bunch” with a regular HDD, which allows faster loading of the system and acceleration of most I / O operations using “smart caching algorithms” (file extensions, their size, load type are taken into account – random access is cached more “willingly”, than sequential, etc.).
In general tests, the Acer Aspire S 24 shows decent results, its performance will be more than enough for a typical home or office user who does not render, encode 4K-video and is not addicted to modern games – the built-in graphics will be enough, perhaps, only for relatively old games with not very high-quality settings.
We can see from the drive tests that the sequential reading increases with each new performance of the benchmark (the CrystalDiskMark screenshot shows the final result after five “runs”, after the first the speed of sequential reading was several times lower and corresponded to the speed indicators of a conventional HDD).
The write speeds of caching did not practically win, as did the random access operations – they were executed at the same or even higher speed than on the usual SATA SSD, especially in reading and transfer in blocks of 4 KB per 1 stream and with short queue (which is the most typical load in the usual “home-office” system). So it can be noted that in typical user tasks, the use of Intel Optane really gives a speed increase even in comparison with conventional SSD. Another question is how much it will be noticeable to the naked eye, and not in the results of benchmarks – but the distinct sound of the working HDD (which is periodically “started” even if the system is idle) will be heard very well, especially against the background of very quiet operation of the entire system.
Keyboard and Mouse
Along with the monoblock, a wireless kit is provided from the keyboard (Acer KBRF96211) and mouse (Acer MORFHPUO). A USB receiver (stored in the mouse) is used to communicate with the PC.
The keyboard is very thin, stands under a slight slope, which can not be changed (instead of the folding legs there is used a small thickening, in which there are also two AAA batteries). The keyboard is compact, slightly less than 36 cm in length, the layout of a notebook type with all the following features (a smaller block of arrows under the right Shift, a navigation block over the additional digital block, a reduced one-story Enter, etc.). Pressing the keys is also best described by the word “laptop”: the move is small, they are pressed easily, with a tangible click. In general, the keyboard is simple, but after getting used to this layout, the text is typed easily and quickly.
The mouse is small, symmetrical, without additional buttons (2 buttons and a wheel), powered by a single AA battery. For such a size mouse is quite convenient, you can find fault with anything except for the glossy top – it instantly becomes covered with fingerprints. A similar claim, by the way, can also be expressed in the address of the keyboard, in which the entire upper part of the case is covered with gloss (except for the keys).
Pros of Acer Aspire S24:
- Quiet work
Cons of Acer Aspire S24:
Absence of a discrete video card for games; in the HDD configuration, the sound of the working hard drive is heard; too simple keyboard and mouse included
Acer Aspire S 24 is a thin and elegant candy bar with a nice appearance, a good 24-inch IPS-screen and sufficient performance for any tasks that arise in the ordinary user (except for modern games). It is quiet enough even under load and takes up the same amount of space on the table as a medium-sized laptop, which makes it an interesting alternative for cases where the owner does not have to transfer his computer from one workstation to another. The use of Intel Optane gives a tangible increase in speed and responsiveness compared to a conventional HDD, but for an ordinary user, the difference from the usual SSHD (and especially from the bundle “system SSD plus HDD for storage”) will most likely not be particularly noticeable. Ace will start the sales of this new device by the early February 2018.