The Acer Aspire TC-885-NESelecti3 is one great example of how far a tight budget can be stretched. Equipped with an Intel Core i3 quad core CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive storage, this tower rings up at only. That’s not a lot of dough, and it’s the most obtainable for most consumers.
There are some excellent competitors in this space, however. HP has the Pavilion, and Dell’s Inspiron lurks, and Lenovo (a relatively new-comer in this arena) has the ThinkCentre. How well does the Aspire TC-885 stack-up against these alternatives and emerge as the budget king?
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The souped up version of the Aspire TC Series uses the same tried and tested chassis as the last few models, but this iteration adds some flair, and for a good reason. Instead of a plain black front panel, it now gets a V-shaped orange LED surrounding the power button on the top next to an ‘Acer’ logo, and a midline silver line running from the top to the bottom.
The lower panel has the same Aspire logo, and right-half holds a tray-loading DVD drive and a couple of I/0 ports.
It looks classy, is compact and still provides some room for upgrades (PCIe x16, PCIe X1, one M.2 for SSD and one M.2 for WLAN/Bluetooth), but you won’t need much alterations to have it working. It measures 13.39 by 6.42 by 13.78 inches (HWD), all black except for the silver accents on the face. It’s not quite a small-form-factor which are often tiny, but it is in the bottom end of standard towers for general-use desktops.
The I/O ports selection is excellent. The front panels hold a single USB 3.1 Type C port, one USB 3.1 port, microphone and headphone jacks and an SD card reader. Around the back are two more USB 3.1 ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, two HDMI ports and one VGA port.
There is also a DVD-RW optical drive alongside an Ethernet port, while wireless connectivity comes via 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. Also bundled into the package is a wired keyboard and mouse.
The main highlight here is, of course, Intel’s Coffee Lake processor, the 3.6GHz Core i5-8100 and 8GB RAM. For a straight comparison, it is a competing version to the AMD Ryzen 5 2600, for folks whose pockets can’t accommodate a K-Series processor. The Coffee Lake CPU’s proficiency on multi-threaded tasks is impressive, and performs better than previous models, and again has higher clock speeds.
This demonstrates the improvement from Kaby Lake, as well as the eighth generation CPU’s aptitude at all-round productivity and multitasking. That sad, its other iteration, the Aspire TC-885 includes 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive storage. That’s more space that similarly priced systems, though not as fast as most solid-state drives that are making an appearance in budget PCs as well.
In day-to-day performance, the Acer Aspire TC-885-NESelecti3 can handle productivity well, never hesitating or slowing down. Need to have 5 YouTube videos playing while streaming Netflix, multitasking with 8 Chrome tabs, and VLC open? This desktop will handle a cocktail scenario like that just fine.
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While the processor has muscle for entry-level gaming, the results on gaming tests lean more heavily on the graphics card. As is the case, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card has made appearances in budget gaming desktops with smooth playability.
However, the Intel UHD Graphics 630 on this system doesn’t suffice for gaming, only capable of casual games at very low frames per second (fps). If you intend on playing in HD, as many gamers prefer, you can look at the CYBERPOWERPC GXiVR8020A6 – our Editors’ Choice for budget gaming desktop PCs.
The Acer Aspire TC-885 is not a top-of-the-class productivity desktop, but if you need some respite from the outrageously high desktop prices on the market – or are simply looking for an affordable PC you can buy – this Aspire is among the best you can buy.
Are there any alternatives?
You never miss alternatives in this category. There are lots of them; only that competition is now in-house. Acer offers a better speced iteration of the base model – the Acer Aspire TC-885-UR17, which comes with a better 8th generation Intel Core i7-8700 processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD storage.
Should I buy it?
Yes, if you need a budget PC that does it all. The Acer Aspire TC-885-NESelecti3 isn’t for gamers or professional creatives, but it delivers well as a home-office PC that does it at without being too expensive.
Acer Aspire TC-885-NESelecti3
The Acer Aspire TC-885-NESelecti3 is not a top-of-the-class productivity desktop, but if you need some respite from the outrageously high desktop prices on the market.
- Very affordable
- Fast all-around performance
- Great design
- Would do with an SSD