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CNET First Look
Acer Revo 100Not everyone wants a living-room computer, but the Acer Revo 100 is one of the better low-cost HTPCs we've seen thanks to a wisely chosen feature set, its attractive design, and a mostly well-conceived input device.
-Hi. I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for cnet.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at the Acer Revo 100. This is a 499 home theater PC. It's got a really unique slim design and actually has some pretty good features for its price. It's a low-powered AMD CPU inside so it's not really meant for productivity, but it has a Blu-ray drive, a 750-gigabyte hard drive, and pretty much all the features we expect to find in a PC meant for the living room. You notice of course its size. It's a pretty slim system and it's actually kinda reminiscent of the old PS2 slim game consul. Like that consul, you can actually set the system on its end or you can lay it down flat. The stand here at the bottom slides up from the bottom of the unit and it's simple enough just to lay it down. One of the most unique features about this PC is the included input device. You can pop out this little tab on the top of the system and you get this little TouchPad device. The TouchPad has 2 modes. It works like a standard TouchPad like you might find on the laptop. I found that it tracks your finger pretty well, but it actually is not as responsive and we'd like in terms of clicking. Sometimes, it takes a couple presses, but it does have pretty good range. So, it's useful for, say, one click applications, but we wouldn't use it for multistep processes. It can be a little bit annoying. Another more effective feature is its keypad that is built in. Push this button at the top and you full QWERTY keyboard. A couple extra function buttons up at the top here and we found the keyboard actually performs a little bit better than the TouchPad. You don't have to worry about double tapping the letter. The system recognizes your presses well enough and it's useful for say searching for content or entering at a webpage or a log-in. This dial on the side here also acts as a volume control. So, this TouchPad actually does a fairly good job of solving a problem that has plagued living room PCs. Now, how do you actually control that system from your couch? This is a pretty good solution and it's certainly a lot neater than a dedicated mouse and keyboard. So, for the rest of the system, it's actually fairly basic. You've got a Blu-ray drive up here. There's a USB port here and an SD card reader down in the front. On the back of the case, you get a couple of USB ports, analog audio out, and optical audio output, HDMI Ethernet and down here you got the power input. So, there's no TV tuner on the system, which we don't think is that big of a deal. It also has a bunch of graphics card so this really isn't meant for gaming. With that said, it can play a pretty high bit-- Blu-ray discs. So, in terms of things that it tries to do, playing stream content, playing Blu-rays, it actually works fairly well. Now, of course, there are other devices that can do a lot of what this system does for less. PlayStation 3, for example, has a Blu-ray drive built in. It supports all kinds of media streaming software and only costs about 299, but the benefit of a Windows-based system of course is that it gives you access to the full internet, multiple formats, any content you can find, so it actually has a certain amount of versatility even though it costs a little bit more. So, if you are looking for a low-cost Windows system to provide that flexibility in the living room, we would definitely recommend checking out the Acer Revo 100. So, I'm Rich Brown. This is the Acer Revo 100.