Acer AT3-600-UR11 Review

Every component and port seems designed with a purposeful, conscious respect for utility.
Every component and port seems designed with a purposeful, conscious respect for utility.
Every component and port seems designed with a purposeful, conscious respect for utility.


  • Attractive, functional enclosure
  • Some upgradability
  • Well-rounded performance
  • Quiet and efficient
  • Good value


  • Terrible bundled peripherals
  • Too much bloatware

DT Editors' Rating

We’re reaching the end of the road for current Intel processors. The company’s new line of product has shipped to manufacturers, which means computers using the new chips, codenamed “Haswell,” will be out this summer. This is the last hurrah for the current 3000 series.

Still, consumers don’t stop buying just because better processors might be around the corner, and, for that reason, manufacturers don’t sit still either. Acer is a perfect example of this. The company’s new mainstream desktop, the Aspire T3-600-UR11, is built for consumers on a tight budget.

Our review unit arrived with an Intel Core i5-3330 quad-core processor, 6GB of RAM, and an Nvidia Geforce GT 630 graphics card. This represents a basic configuration that sells at an MSRP of $600. That seems like a reasonable price, but is there any reason to buy Acer’s latest desktop when new processors are about to launch?

Night light

The Aspire T3-600 isn’t just a new hardware configuration; it’s a new design. At first glance, the enclosure appears standard: small, boxy, and black. Plug it in, however, and the computer glows softly around the front port panel and behind the only Acer logo. This detail could have come across as cheesy or distracting, but the light is elegantly diffused and acts as a sort of runway beacon for the front-facing ports, making USB devices easy to connect in a dark room.

acer at3 600 ur11 desktop front right macro

There’s a good selection of ports up front as well: four USB (two 2.0, two 3.0), headphone, microphone, and card reader. All of these are centrally located and uncovered for quick access. We do think the power button is a bit too easy to bump while inserting a drive, but the button is lit, so mishaps are unlikely. The eject buttons of the optical drives can be found along the center of the front panel, so they can also be easily accessed no matter the position of the desktop. 

Soft, grippy rubber runs along the top of the enclosure. Acer previously placed smartphone trays on the top of desktops, but an engineer apparently thought to wonder why the trays were small and only at the front of the PC. Why not make the entire surface a storage area? That’s exactly what Acer has done, and it’s a brilliant touch.

Lots of USB

Around back, the T3-600 offers a fair selection of connectivity for those who use all USB all the time. There are four USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, putting the total number of USB ports at ten.

Otherwise, there are the usual suspects: DVI, HDMI, Ethernet, and red/green/blue audio jacks. The only notable extra is a pair of PS/2 ports for mouse and keyboard. These legacy connections are rare on modern PCs.

Simple on the inside

Opening the Acer is a cinch. Just remove two screws and then pull backwards on the side panel – job well done! Once inside, you’ll find a spacious layout that is neat, tidy, and minimally confusing. All components are accessible and can be removed or replaced using a small Phillips screwdriver. Servicing the hard drive requires removal of the front panel, but there’s no need to worry since it’s only attached by plastic clips.

acer at3 600 ur11 desktop top right macro

Future upgrades should be easy to install because of the system’s open layout. Still, there are only two empty drive bays, and the motherboard’s only PCI Express 16x slot (occupied by the GT 630 graphics card) bumps up against the Wi-Fi adapter. These problems get in the way of certain upgrades.

With that said, competitors sold at a similar price fair no better, and most are tighter or more confusing to work on. The T3-600’s simple, spacious layout is a cut above most.

Inexpensive computer, cheap peripherals

Acer ships the T3-600 with the company’s standard peripheral bundle. The keyboard is soft and vague, and the flimsy mouse has just two buttons. Buyers should plan on replacing both with an inexpensive Logitech or Microsoft keyboard and mouse set. It’ll be $40 well spent.

A well-rounded performer

The Core i5-3330 quad is among the least powerful entries in Intel’s quad-core desktop line. Even so, it proved respectable in our tests, reaching a SiSoft Sandra Processor Arithmetic score of 63.57 and a 7-Zip score of 12,363. These numbers are competitive with systems that sell for the same price.

No matter what we tried, the fans never registered on our decibel meter.

PCMark 7, which tests multiple hardware components including storage, turned in a final score of 3,182. This is far from the best we’ve seen, but it’s also a decent figure for a system with a mechanical hard drive. Some more expensive computers, like the HP Spectre One and Acer Aspire U, score lower.

Gaming performance proved a disappointment despite the Nvidia graphics card. 3DMark turned in a Cloud Gate score of 5,409 and a Fire Strike score of 716. These numbers are low for discrete graphics; even the Razer Edge, a gaming tablet, scored better in the Fire Strike test. Demanding modern games will struggle to run well even at low detail. Older titles like World of Warcraft and Dawn of War 2 should be playable at medium to high detail (depending on your monitor’s resolution).

Quiet and efficient

The system’s mundane hardware proved beneficial in our sound tests. No matter what we tried, the fans never registered on our decibel meter. That is not to say they’re silent – they can be heard – but their soft purr will be lost in the ambient noise of most households. 

Power testing also produced excellent results. The system uses only 29 watts of power at idle. Loading the processor with 7-Zip increased that figure to 60 watts while the Furmark graphics test spiked consumption at 74 watts. These numbers make the T3-600 our new record holder among desktop tower PCs. 

A little bloated

Acer ships this desktop with an armada of icons on the desktop and Start screen. Some are simply shortcuts to partners, like Netflix and eBay, rather than pre-installed programs. But the Acer Apps section of the Start screen does include apps like Evernote, Cut The Rope, and the 7Digital media store. Some are useful, some aren’t, and all are capable of being removed without much trouble.

acer at3 600 ur11 desktop logo macro

The real annoyance is McAfee Internet Security, which, as always, pops up at inconvenient times to intimidate users with all the terrible things that might happen without a McAfee subscription. We hoped Microsoft’s decision to bundle Windows 8 with a basic antivirus would dissuade such annoying adverts, but alas, they continue.


The Aspire T3-600 is in the most competitive segment of the desktop market. There are literally thousands of other computers that can be purchased at the same price from every major manufacturer and some boutiques as well. With so much choice available, details can make or break a system – and that’s where this Acer excels.

Every component and port seems designed with a purposeful, conscious respect for utility. The top of the system doubles as a storage tray, the ports and buttons are accessible, upgrades are easy to install, the fans are quiet, and performance is well rounded. We have no complaints about the tower itself. Peripherals and bloatware are the only disappointments.

Should you buy this desktop when new processors are right around the corner? We think so, as the new processors will probably command a slight premium. But, if you’d rather wait, feel free to do so since  Acer will no doubt continue using this excellent design for desktops built on the new Intel processors.


  • Attractive, functional enclosure
  • Lots of USB, including four USB 3.0
  • Some upgradability
  • Well-rounded performance
  • Quiet and efficient
  • Good value


  • Terrible bundled peripherals
  • Too much bloatware
Product Review

Don't bother with any other 2-in-1. The Surface Pro 6 is still the best

The Surface Pro been updated to its sixth generation, now coming dressed in black and packing a quad-core processor. Outside of that, you’ll have to dig a little deeper to see where Microsoft has made some truly noteworthy improvements.

Is the Surface Pro 6 a sidestep, or does it blow away its predecessor?

How good is the new Surface Pro, and is it worth an upgrade? The best way to find out is to pit the Surface Pro 6 vs. Surface Pro 5 in a head to head that tests them both on performance, design, and portability.
Product Review

The design still says retro, but Fujifilm's X-T3 is all about the future

If the X-T2 brought Fujifilm into the modern era, the X-T3 is focused on the future. With a new sensor and processor, completely revamped autofocus, and vastly upgraded video, it's the new APS-C camera to beat.

The Acer Predator 17 gaming laptop can replace your desktop PC for $999

Gaming laptops have come a long way, and the Acer Predator series is a shining example. The Acer Predator 17 can be yours for just $999 for a short time. With its beefy hardware and 17-inch display, it rivals many custom-build desktop PCs.
Emerging Tech

MIT is building a new $1 billion college dedicated to all things A.I.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has announced a new $1 billion college of computing designed to offer the best possible education to future machine learning A.I. experts.

Remove photo bombs, other unwanted objects with Photoshop’s new Content-Aware Fill

Photoshop's newest A.I-powered tool helps remove objects or fill in gaps for a distraction-free photo in the new Adobe Photoshop CC 2019. Here's how to remove an object in Photoshop using the new Content-Aware Fill.

Adobe Premiere Rush CC is the cloud-based video editing app you've been waiting for

On stage at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe announced its cloud-centric, social video-editing application, Adobe Premiere Rush CC. We took some time to put it through its paces to see what it offers, how it works, and what's missing.

Feed your fandom: These are the best YouTube channels for sports lovers

If you're a cable cutter who still wants to enjoy quality sports highlights and analysis, YouTube is the place to go. There are plenty of great sports-centric channels on YouTube, each of which provides great highlights and top-shelf…
Social Media

YouTube is back after crashing for users around the world

It's rare to see YouTube suffer serious issues, but the site went down around the world for a period of time on October 16. It's back now, and we can confirm it's loading normally on desktop and mobile.

Winamp eyes big comeback in 2019 with podcast, streaming support

Classic audio player Winamp is getting a major overhaul in 2019 that's designed to bring it up-to-date and make it competitive with the likes of Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Audible, and more, all in one go.

Is the Pixelbook 2 still happening? Here's everything we know so far

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Has the Pixel Slate taken its place? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.

Problems with Microsoft’s Windows October 2018 Update aren’t over yet

Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 update is not having a great launch. More than two weeks after its debut and Microsoft is still putting out fires as new bugs are discovered and there's no sign of its re-release as of yet.

Adobe’s craziest new tools animate photos, convert recordings to music in a click

Adobe shared a glimpse behind the scenes at what's next and the Creative Cloud future is filled with crazy A.I.-powered tools, moving stills, and animation reacting to real-time tweets.