Acer Revo 100 review
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.
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.
|Total hard disk capacity||500GB|
|CPU family||AMD Athlon|
|CPU nominal frequency||1.30GHz|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|Graphics card||Nvidia Ion 2|
|3D performance setting||Low|
|Graphics chipset||Nvidia Ion 2|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||0|
|Hard disk||Western Digital Caviar Blue|
|Hard disk usable capacity||450GB|
|Optical drive||HL-DT-ST CT21N|
|Optical disc technology||Blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo|
|Dimensions||300 x 182 x 29mm (WDH)|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||1|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|Front panel memory card reader||yes|
Operating system and software
|OS family||Windows 7|
|Software supplied||Acer Clear.fi|
Noise and power
|Idle power consumption||22W|
|Peak power consumption||29W|
|Overall application benchmark score||0.59|
|Office application benchmark score||0.51|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||0.75|
|Encoding application benchmark score||0.58|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||0.54|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||8fps|
|3D performance setting||Low|