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Review: Acer Veriton N4630G Offers Thin Client Savings and Desktop Performance

This desktop computer is energy-efficient, quiet and strong.

Federal agencies are turning to cloud-based and thin client technology as they build out mobile computing environments, but sometimes a desktop is still the best tool.

The Acer Veriton N4630G is a tiny desktop computer that offers the same space and energy savings as a thin client, but also gives users the power of a full 64-bit version of Windows and the broad range of programs it supports.

The computer is only slightly wider than an inch, but includes an impressive number of ports: three USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, an SD Card reader, headphone and microphone jacks and both a Video Graphics Array and a DisplayPort for video.

All of those ports negate the lack of an optical drive, and an external drive could be connected without edging out the peripherals. The Veriton comes with a 500-gigabyte hard drive with about 460GB of usable space — more than enough to support plenty of programs beyond Windows.

The Power Needed for Everyday Computing

The Veriton scored a 1,369 on the Passmark Performance Benchmark, a test in which 700 is considered passable for a desktop running a full version of Windows. The power is easily realized too. Complex tasks such as opening Photoshop documents took about a second, whereas they might take five or six with older desktops.

The small size does not hold the Veriton performance back. Boot up and shutdown speed is on par with other systems running Windows 7, with boot times of about 11 seconds. Similar numbers were recorded for shutdowns. The Veriton includes internal cooling fans unlike most tiny desktops — especially more powerful ones designed for the enterprise — which make do with static heat sinks or vent excess heat through the external chassis.

That lack of fan support in other units can lead to spotty performance as heat builds up inside, but the Veriton blows almost all of its heat exhaust out the back, avoiding the issue. Even after running the system for eight hours, it matched its previous benchmark performance and remained cool to the touch.

Even a few years ago, finding an inch-thick desktop with the power and performance to run a full version of Windows would have been difficult, especially in the $600 range. The Acer Veriton is different.

It offers good desktop performance suitable for almost any user, and can squeeze into almost any configuration or setting.

Aug 04 2015

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