About the size of a hardcover novel, the Acer Veritron L460 is a great option if you want to fit a value PC into a tight space (such as behind a desk, under a table, or in a kiosk). It may be small, but this Acer's case is tightly packed with an Intel E4700 CPU, 2GB of 337-MHz DDR2 memory, and a 3.5-inch 160GB (7200-rpm) hard drive.
Despite having all of those components jammed into it, the L460 ran amazingly cool to the touch-an important but often overlooked factor to consider when choosing a PC for tight quarters. The 3.5-inch hard drive surprised us a bit: Though 3.5-inchers are usually faster, they also emit more heat and leave less room for an additional drive than less power-hungry 2.5-inch models.
The L460's styling is nice though hardly spectacular. We appreciated the compact desktop's ability to stand upright or on its side when the included base is screwed on. The base is wide enough to allay any concern that a user might inadvertently tip the unit over; you can keep the L460 on top of your desk to access the DVD-writer slot or USB ports without fear of toppling it.
Speaking of USB ports, we would have liked to see a few more. Two in front and four in back may sound adequate, but you lose two of them right off the bat to the bundled keyboard and mouse. Four ports aren't enough when the only available way to expand the unit's capabilities and storage is via USB. That said, you can overcome the shortage of USB ports by using an external hub.
The system's score of 94 on our WorldBench 6 test suite means that the L460 should have no trouble handling the business chores it's designed to perform. On the other hand, it's not a viable option for gamers; in fact, its gaming frame rates are amongst the lowest we've seen recently, and the unit has no room to hold a graphics card if you're tempted to upgrade. Despite the system's incapacity to deal with action games, its bundled Acer X193W 19-inch wide-screen display had a very nice picture.
We heartily recommend the L460 for any space-challenged environment, especially if its primary duty will be to perform business tasks. It's also a great fit for users who simply don't want a large, ungainly PC hanging around.