Both the Acer Aspire X1700 and the Dell Inspiron I530s have dual-core CPUs, but you'll notice that the Dell retains an unwavering advantage over Acer, especially in the multitasking and Cinebench tests. Dell's advantage is its Intel chips' higher clock speed. The Photoshop and iTunes benchmarks don't show too much of a difference because those programs rely more on the amount of system memory, and the Dell and Acer both have 4GB of DDR2 SDRAM preinstalled.
The Acer X1700 also gives you the added benefit of using it in your living room as a lightweight home theater PC. It can't be considered a full fledged home theater PC without wireless networking, a Blu-ray player, or a digital TV tuner, but that's not to say it can't handle light video duty. For example, you can easily plug it into your HDTV via the HDMI ports to watch streaming video content on your big screen. You can also set it up to locally store your recorded HD video content, and although you'll fill up the 640GB internal drive pretty quickly, the additional USB and eSATA plugs on the back allow for additional storage.
Finally, Acer gives you a decent amount of service and support by covering parts and labor in a one year warranty. They also offer toll free phone support during the work week from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT and on weekends from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Acer Web site also provides a comprehensive set of technical FAQs as well as troubleshooting tips and other support services.
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Acer Aspire X1700-U3700A
64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.4GHz Intel Pentium Dual CPU E2220; 4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) NVIDIA GeForce G100 integrated graphics chip; 6400GB 7,200rpm hard drive.
Acer Aspire X1200-U1520A
64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.5GHz AMD Athlon X2 4850e Dual Core; 4GB DDR2 SDRAM; 64MB 256MB (shared) Nvidia GeForce 8200 integrated graphics chip; 320GB 7,200rpm hard drive.
Compaq Presario SR5610f
32-bit Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.5GHz AMD Athlon 64, X2 Dual Core 4800; 3GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE integrated graphics chip; 320GB, 7,200rpm hard drive.
Dell Inspiron I530S-119B
64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.5GHz Intel Pentium Dual-Core CPU E5200; 4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) Intel GMA 3100 integrated graphics chip; 500GB 7,200rpm hard drive
32-bit Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.1GHz AMD Athlon Dual Core Processor 4050e; 3GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 128MB (shared) NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE integrated graphics chip; 320GB, 7,200rpm hard drive.
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