The idea of a modular PC, where different sections and components can be swapped out quickly and easily, has been talked about for a long time, without ever being commercially viable. Acer is taking a new stab at the idea with its Revo Build Series, a stackable set of PC parts that come together to form a small desktop computer.
The Revo line was previously Acer's living-room-friendly mini-desktop, useful for home theater or small office use, and we gave the 2015 version of thea very positive review as a Mac Mini alternative.
The new version of the Revo, called the Revo Build Series, starts as a base unit just under five inches (125mm) square. The base unit would contain the CPU and motherboard, with stacking units (each sold separately) adding hard drives, ports and other features. The idea is to just pick the units you want, and skip anything you don't need. For now, the blocks, as Acer calls them, will start with hard drives at launch, with speaker/microphone, wireless charging and other blocks rolling out after.
If this sounds familiar, it's because we've seen similar takes before, such asprototype and Lenovo's more practical accessories.
The Acer Revo Build Series is built around Intel Pentium and Celeron CPUs, with up to 8GB of RAM (but that's built into the base, and you can't yet add more by just stacking another block on top). The blocks connect via a magnetic/electrical pin connection, so there's nothing to plug in, you just stack them and they link up.
There's no US date or price for the Revo Build Series yet, but Acer says it will come to Europe in October, starting at €199, which converts to about $233 USD, £145 and AU$317.
Catch all the electronics news from this week's show in Berlin.