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Acer Aspire Revo RL100 reimagines living room PC

We're intrigued by Acer's new Aspire Revo RL100 living room system.

Acer's Aspire Revo RL100 offers a unique take on the HTPC.
Acer's Aspire Revo RL100 offers a unique take on the HTPC. Acer

The living room PC might not be the most exciting concept, but Acer has rekindled our interest with its new Aspire Revo RL100 design. Roughly the shape of a slim PlayStation 2, the Revo RL100 offers both a sleek design and an innovative keyboard that attempts to solve the classic interface problem inherent to media PCs.

The wireless backlit keyboard pops out from a slot underneath the optical drive. It's not meant for writing essays, but it should suffice for simple text entries, like searching for a movie title. The keyboard also doubles as a touch-pad surface, and in combination this seems like a simple, effective-enough input device for driving the system from your couch.

The system itself is also living-room-friendly, measuring 1 inch high, 11.8 inches wide, and 7.1 inches deep. In overall volume it's smaller than most slim tower PCs, like the Gateway SX2800 series, but it's comparable to a Mac Mini or Dell Zino HD. You can lay the Revo RL100 down flat or stand it up on its end via an included stand. An included HDMI jack and wireless networking adapter help integrate it with your existing devices.

Acer intends for this system to appeal to budget-conscious buyers, asking $500 for a model with a DVD burner and $570 for a unit equipped with a Blu-ray drive, both, according to Acer, available now. Its modest computing specs, a dual-core AMD Athlon II K325 CPU, Nvidia Ion graphics chipset, 750GB hard drive, and 4GB of RAM, will restrict this to the living room, but it should be fast enough to handle most local or streaming media content. Our review unit is on the way, so check back soon for complete coverage.