Acer’s Aspire all-in-one is impressively sleek

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Acer’s latest Aspire S all-in-one PC packs a desktop computer into an aluminum chassis that could almost blend in as a standard monitor. The display, which has an extremely slim bezel around a 1440p panel, comes in either 27- or 32-inch sizes and is on a stand that handles power, ports, and ergonomic adjustments — and which includes a few surprises, too.

The 27-inch model, which starts at $1,199.99, can be equipped with 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1240p or i7-1260p processors, according to Erin Davern, an Acer spokesperson. Davern also said that the larger version, which will cost at least $1,699.99, uses a 13th Gen Core i7-1360p. It’s worth keeping in mind that those are mobile chips, rather than desktop ones, which isn’t exactly a surprise given that there’s a limited amount of room for components.

The all-in-ones also include a fingerprint reader on the base (which could either be incredibly convenient or kind of a pain depending on how far away you sit from your computer) as well as “Acer EyeSense” facial recognition from a camera on the top. You can also tilt the display for small ergonomic adjustments; that’s not much compared to some displays that you can rotate, pivot, and swivel, but it’s more than you’d get with a lot of AIOs.

The Aspire S computers also include a decent slate of I / O, including four USB-A ports, HDMI in and out, USB-C, and an SD card reader. For networking, it has an ethernet port as well as Wi-Fi 6E.

Picture of the front and back of the Acer Aspire S computers, one in blue, the other in pink.

You can see some of the ports on the Aspire S as well as the colors the 27-inch comes in. But wait, what’s that on top...?

Image: Acer

Of course, this being CES, the computers also have some eyebrow-raising features; and I’m just not talking about the (very welcome) fact that the 27-inch model is available in a rose gold color. The 1080p webcam isn’t built in but, instead, magnetically attaches to the top of the computer. There’s also an upgraded camera that bumps up the resolution to 1440p and builds in a ring light, if you really want to look your best in video calls or game streams. Davern notes that the cameras aren’t currently sold separately, though, so for now, the only benefit to them being removable is that they can be hidden away when you’re not using them.

The 32-inch model takes the detachable accessories one step further, coming with a trackpad built into the base that you can remove and put next to your keyboard (or wherever else you like). You can even use it as a mini graphics tablet because it supports active styluses, and it includes “smart control features,” according to Davern — which means you can use it to control things like volume or display brightness.

Image of a person sitting in front of the Acer Aspire S using its trackpad with a pen.

When you’re not using the 32-inch Aspire S trackpad / tablet, it nestles right at the front of the stand. Genius.

Image: Acer

AIOs with good design aren’t exactly new — while Apple’s latest iMacs still include a massive chin, companies like Microsoft and HP have been making computers that look like regular monitors at first glance for a while now. Still, it’s nice for consumers to have even more options, and to my eye, Acer has done a really good job with the Aspire S (and the gadgety appeal of magnetic accessories is also a big plus).

Acer says the computers will be available in North America starting sometime in Q1, with the 27-inch coming to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa in January. Outside of North America, you’ll have to wait until June for the 32-inch model.

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