Acer Veriton VN282G Desktop PC: Lots of USB Ports, Little Performance
At a Glance
Acer Veriton N282G
The Veriton VN282G's six USB ports may tempt you, but don't expect this PC to do much more than basic spreadsheet work.
The Acer Veriton N282G is a sleek, versatile, business-oriented compact PC. Our review model, priced at $449 (as of November 23, 2010), features a 1.8GHz Intel Atom D525 processor, 2GB of installed RAM (upgradeable to 4GB), and an integrated Nvidia Ion 2 GPU. The system also sports a 320GB hard drive and is equipped with the 32-bit version of Windows 7 Professional.
The Veriton N282G's slate-gray and black, diamond-shaped chassis sits on a shiny black V-shaped stand, positioned at a slight angle to make access to the ports more convenient. If you're short on space, you can mount the PC onto the back of a monitor or under a desk (the necessary hardware comes bundled with the computer). The PC is easy to remove from its mounting, too.
Weighing in at about 2.3 pounds, the Veriton N282G is easy to transport. The chassis measures 7.6 inches wide by 7.6 inches long by about 1.4 inches thick. The front of the chassis has four USB 2.0 ports, a card reader that accepts multiple formats, and headphone and microphone jacks. The power button is situated on the forward "point" of the diamond-shaped chassis, and two more USB 2.0 ports appear on the top. The back of the chassis sports a gigabit ethernet jack, and VGA-out, HDMI-out, and serial ports. The system also has built-in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and a mini-PCI Express slot for expansion.
The bundled keyboard is fairly large and extremely flat. The large, matte-black keys offer little tactile feedback, and the keyboard's combination of weak feedback and flatness invites uncertainty when you type as to whether a key press has registered. The keyboard has several media buttons along the top, including ones for playback, Internet, and e-mail. A volume wheel in the upper right corner looks a bit cheap but works well.
The generic three-button optical mouse has a left-click button made of shiny clear plastic over slate-gray; the rest of the mouse is matte black.Because it's squared off and long, the mouse felt a bit unnatural in my hand.
The Veriton N282G received a score of 42 in PCWorld's WorldBench 6 tests, indicating that the system is on the slow side, even for a compact PC. By comparison, the ViewSonic VOT530 PC Mini earned a WorldBench 6 mark of 90, though it's significantly more expensive at $750. The Dell Inspiron Zino HD 410, which earned a 78, is geared toward high-definition media consumption and costs $825.
Acer boasts that the Veriton N282G's Nvidia Ion 2 GPU gives the computer ten times the performance of regular integrated graphics. In our tests, the machine handled streaming HD video with relative ease, though we occasionally saw stuttering in fast-moving scenes. On the other hand, the PC failed to produce playable frame rates on our Unreal Tournament benchmark game test at any quality setting and at any resolution, so you can rule out playing graphics-intensive games.
To supplement Windows 7 Professional Edition's built-in security features, Acer provides its Veriton Control Center suite of apps, which we discuss at length in our review of the Acer Veriton X498G. The Control Center offers user-friendly front ends for standard Windows 7 features. Power Saver controls the machine's energy-management features; Smart Boot lets you specify which apps Windows should activate at startup; eSetting enables you to review your system's status and specifications; and eLock Management gives you the opportunity to grant access to the terminal to other users. These are fairly standard capabilities, but they're useful nonetheless.
Acer's Veriton N282G is an inexpensive compact PC with great connectivity. Most of its performance deficiencies are normal for a PC of its class, and its better-than-average security features help it stand out among low-cost business machines. For a little more money, however, you can buy a PC of similar size that offers much stronger performance.