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Efficient desktop for small business from Acer

Acer’s Veriton L460 small form factor workgroup PC is a tidy unit that will save space in the office and keep noise levels down.

Due to the Veriton L460’s design, it can be placed vertically on a stand, laid flat to form part of a stack or have a monitor on it. Four small rubber feet keep it in place when it’s horizontal.

Acer believes the product is the smallest of its type available here, with a 3 litre volume, 2.6 kg in weight and with dimensions of 6x20x25cm. A quick survey of local products shows the company may well be right – for example, Dell’s upcoming Optiplex 755 Ultra Small form factor PC will be 9x26x25cm, while HP’s Compaq dc7800 is 25x25x6.6cm and weighs 3.1kg.

The Veriton L460’s reduction in chassis size is due to the space saving that is achieved with the external power supply, as used in notebooks. The AC power is also only 135 watts, while the Intel Core 2 Duo processors also contribute to power saving.

The system is cooled by a passive heat sink, two small fans at the back and a grill across the top. This combination makes it a very quiet machine, registering 26 decibels according to Acer.

The supplied unit ran on Intel’s Core 2 Duo E4600 2.4GHz CPU (with 800GHz front side bus speed), but other processor options range from an Intel Celeron up to the E6750 2.66GHz with 1333 GHz FSB.

The model is similarly speced in comparison with the competition. Dell’s Vostro slim tower offers the same Intel processor options, and is built on Intel’s G33 chipset, and the Vostro is also similarly priced from $848. The L460 starts from $899.

HP’s Compaq dc7800 Ultra Slim desktop offers up to a 3.0GHz processor and is expandable to 4GB of RAM.

Our review machine had a 160 GB SATA hard drive at 7200 RPM, but up to a 500 GB drive is offered.

It also had 1GB of 667 MHz DDR2 RAM, but this can be expanded to 2GB. With only two screws to remove, it’s easy to add RAM and perform maintenance.

There’s also a choice of Vista Home Basic or Vista Business operating systems, or XP Professional with Service Pack 2 as was the case with the review unit.

The L460 definitely isn’t gaming class when it comes to graphics, with an integrated Intel 3100 platform. Audio is integrated 7.1 channel.

The commercial version of the Veriton L460 has adequate connectivity for the business environment – including eight USB 2.0 ports, integrated gigabit Ethernet LAN, and optional 802.11 b/g wireless networking. There is no modem, however.

Users can plug monitors in to either VGA or DVI ports, and there are six audio-out jacks in the rear. The front of the box features microphone and headphone jacks, while there is another microphone jack on the rear.

The DVD +/-RW drive is in the front.

As well as NTI CD/DVD Maker, NTI Backup Now, Cyberlink Power DVD and Norton Internet Security, Acer has provided some of its own programmes which make system management efficient.

Acer Empowering Technology shows as a panel on the desktop, which allows management of acoustics, data security, peripheral and drive security and system optimisation. It also tells you how much physical memory is available, as well as handling backups.

The L460 setup is complemented by the included wired mouse and keyboard.

Acer will also soon launch the Ergo stand locally, so users can attach an LCD monitor of up to 22 inches. The stand also lets you swivel, raise and rotate the screen.