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Acer makes Viiv sexy with smart Idea

Viiv certification? Check. Quiet operation? Check. Amazingly good looks? Check. Behold the Acer Idea -- the sexiest Media Center PC yet

Acer invited us to take a gander at its latest wares yesterday, and after tearing ourselves away from the bizarre, but strangely alluring Acer 9800 20-inch laptop, we found ourselves drawn to this little beauty: the Acer Idea. It's arguably the finest-looking Media Center PC we've ever come across, eclipsing even the mighty Shuttle M1000 for aesthetic excellence.

We've seen countless PCs that resemble ordinary DVD players, but the Idea is undoubtedly the slickest of the bunch, thanks to its slot-loading DVD drive and black and silver front end.

It's pretty trendy on the inside, too. It's Intel Viiv compliant, uses the latest dual-core Pentium D CPU and has 1GB of DDR2 memory, so it'll offer strong performance without emitting much noise. Acer claims its operative acoustic is just 23dB during idle, and 28dB during heavy load, and our highly scientific 'ear against the chassis' test suggests this is probably true.

The Idea won't come with an HD DVD drive, but it does come with just about every input/output port you could hope for (including HDMI), and supports Dolby Digital Live sound. There's also a Wi-Fi adaptor that can be used to stream media around the home, two hybrid digital/analogue TV tuners, and a 250GB hard drive to record your movies onto.

Acer is being pretty tight-lipped about its pricing and availability, but rest assured we'll be pestering them for information over the coming weeks. We want one, and so should you. -RR

UPDATE: The Acer Idea is expected to be available from June for around £1000.