WHAT'S HOT: With a 1.7-GHz Pentium 4 CPU, 256MB of DDR memory, and Windows XP Professional, Acer's Veriton 7200D earned a score of 99 on our PC WorldBench 4 tests--slightly faster than the two 1.8-GHz Pentium 4 systems we've tested (although these systems utilized PC133 memory, not DDR SDRAM).
Acer prepared this model for a variety of business environments by including Intel's LANDesk Client Manager software and providing the option to start up in either Windows 2000 or Windows XP Professional.
The system's blue-and-white minitower is aesthetically pleasing as well as functional, with two USB 1.1 ports in front (two more ports are at the rear), plus front-mounted headphone and microphone jacks.
WHAT'S NOT: To keep this $1115 Veriton system's price down, Acer cut some corners. For instance, you get only a 21X-52X CD-ROM drive, instead of a CD-RW or DVD-ROM drive.
The Acer-branded keyboard has a small Backspace key--you can easily hit other keys around it accidentally.
WHAT ELSE: The system we evaluated shipped with a 17-inch Acer V771 monitor, which displayed natural-looking flesh tones and rich colors in our test photograph, and readable text on word processing screens. We noticed some ghosting of icons and characters, however.
To get into the system you need a screwdriver to remove two screws that hold down the metal side panel. The three open PCI slots, two open bays for removable-media drives, and one open hard drive bay can all be reached without digging around too many wires. The unit has a twin-loop case lock and chassis-intrusion detection for security.
Despite its small Backspace key, the blue-and-white matching keyboard offers some nice touches, including an attachable wrist rest and 13 Internet-access and multimedia hot-keys. The system's optical mouse is similarly color-coordinated.
Documentation includes a handy setup guide as well as a system-specific manual, which details the upgrade process nicely.
UPSHOT: For corporate users looking for a low-cost managed system with high performance, the Veriton 7200D will do nicely. By Joel Strauch