Acer Revo 100 review

Price when reviewed

Compared to the Tranquil ixLS, Acer’s little Revo 100 is a very different proposition. It isn’t one for customisation at the checkout or upgrading after, and it certainly isn’t the place to find next-generation processors capable of editing video. Instead, the Revo 100 is a far simpler, out-of-the-box media centre, and it does that focused job very well.

It looks much like today’s ultra-thin DVD players, can lie flat or stand upright like a retro games console, and the design is one of its chief selling points. It’s just 3cm thick including feet, and has a volume dial, USB 2 port and card reader for all major formats on the front. But take a closer look at that volume dial and you’ll discover it belongs to the Revo 100’s best feature: Acer’s own superb take on the media-centre controller.

Acer Revo 100

Slide it out from under the base and at first it looks like nothing more than a slim DVD drive – but it is in fact a 2.4GHz wireless multitouch touchpad. Sat back on a sofa in a normal-sized living room, it responded well to the familiar Windows gestures, and Acer has gone so far as to install a TV-friendly web browser with enlarged buttons to make things easier to navigate. That volume dial also doubles up as a handy mouse wheel.

Then press the button in the top corner and it’s transformed; a touch-sensitive keyboard suddenly appears on the touchpad surface, complete with beeps to make up for the lack of any tactile feedback. It’s cramped, understandably, but the full Qwerty layout is perfectly usable for entering short snippets, such as web addresses or album titles, and it also sports home, power and media-control buttons. All you need to remember to do is slot it back into its dock every so often to charge.

That’s the attention-grabbing toy, but the rest of the Revo 100 has plenty to back it up. This being an under-the-TV device, Acer has saved on space with a single HDMI output, along with optical S/PDIF, Gigabit Ethernet and two more USB 2 ports. And since we don’t all have our router by the TV, it’s good to see 802.11n wireless as standard. A Western Digital hard disk offers a plentiful 500GB of storage, and there’s a DVB-T tuner inside – a tad disappointing, as that won’t receive Freeview HD signals.

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity500GB
RAM capacity2.00GB


CPU familyAMD Athlon
CPU nominal frequency1.30GHz


Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec


Memory typeDDR3

Graphics card

Graphics cardNvidia Ion 2
3D performance settingLow
Graphics chipsetNvidia Ion 2
DVI-I outputs0
HDMI outputs1
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0

Hard disk

Hard diskWestern Digital Caviar Blue
Hard disk usable capacity450GB


Optical driveHL-DT-ST CT21N
Optical disc technologyBlu-ray reader/DVD writer combo


Dimensions300 x 182 x 29mm (WDH)

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream)3
PS/2 mouse portno
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports1
3.5mm audio jacks2

Front ports

Front panel memory card readeryes

Operating system and software

OS familyWindows 7
Software suppliedAcer

Noise and power

Idle power consumption22W
Peak power consumption29W

Performance tests

Overall application benchmark score0.59
Office application benchmark score0.51
2D graphics application benchmark score0.75
Encoding application benchmark score0.58
Multitasking application benchmark score0.54
3D performance (crysis) low settings8fps
3D performance settingLow

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