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Acer Revo 100 review: Acer Revo 100

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The Good Touchpad keyboard is a real attention grabber Blu-ray and digital TV capable Slim, living room-friendly design.

The Bad Mediocre performance given the asking price Touchpad keyboard is a pain to use for many computing tasks.

The Bottom Line The Revo 100 looks good and manages the home theatre PC concept about as well as anything we've seen. A pity, then, that it's so expensive for the power on offer.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

5.8 Overall

Review Sections

Design

The Revo 100 is a home theatre PC; a concept that vendors have had a crack at for many years now, generally with very poor results. Home theatre PCs have been a combination of noisy, ugly, crash prone and generally designed to look more like PCs and less like something you'd actually want to have in your living room. If you were very lucky, you might have bought something that looked like an early-1980s VCR, but, for the most part, the home theatre PC concept was one that came with the caveat that you had to like things that looked ugly.

Acer's Revo 100 doesn't look ugly. It's got a slim presence that's somewhat reminiscent of the slimline version of the Sony PlayStation 2, which means that in design terms, we've at last moved into this century. A bronze bar is the only thing that breaks up the slim black design on the right-hand side, while the left-hand side houses a combo Blu-ray/DVD drive.

Remember when you were young, and a parent or guardian would assure you that looks didn't count, that it was what was inside that did count? It seems as though the Revo designers took that maxim to heart; the Revo 100's innards hide a slide-out control device with a touchscreen panel built in. It works as both the system mouse and the keyboard, with a toggle switch between the two. There's no mouse button, so to right click, you've got to hold down the touchpad for a few seconds. A button toggle will switch on the very bright touchscreen QWERTY keyboard for text entry. As far as making a great first impression, the Revo 100 scores highly.

Features

The Revo 100's innards house an AMD Athlon II Neo K325 1.3GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and a Nvidia ION graphics chip. That's not the most power-packed combination in pure computing terms; realistically, this is more of a home theatre nettop than a home theatre PC. Then again, it's clearly pitched at the living room user rather than the hardcore CAD enthusiast, and that's enough power to play back Blu-ray discs without a problem. At the rear, you'll find two USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone sockets, optical audio, HDMI and Gigabit Ethernet, as well as a mini-connector for a digital antenna. On the operating system side, it's running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit edition.

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