Acer Revo 100 home-theatre PC
Acer Revo 100 review: A small and stylish HTPC that can process high-definition video, including Blu-ray
- Small and neat
- Built-in Wi-Fi and digital TV tuner
- Can process Full HD video
- Too expensive
- Doesn't ship with a remote control
- Doesn't ship with a proper keyboard
The Acer Revo 100 is a tiny home-theatre PC quipped with an AMD CPU and NVIDIA ION graphics that can be used to process Full HD video. It's small and neat and only features essential connectivity options. However, we think it's way too expensive.
Price$ 999.00 (AUD)
The Acer Revo 100 is a home-theatre PC that actually looks and feels like a home-theatre PC. It has a slim body that doesn't take up a lot of space and it contains only essential ports and slots, thereby making it look inconspicuous in a typical TV cabinet, or indeed when placed next to a TV. It even has a built-in navigation device that can be removed from the PC and used in place of a desktop-style keyboard and mouse.
There isn't much to the Acer Revo 100 at first glance, and we think that's a good thing for a PC that's designed to reside in the lounge room. The only ports on the back are HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, optical audio out, analogue audio out, microphone and USB 2.0 (two of them). The front has a slim-line Blu-ray player/DVD burner combo drive, one more concealed USB 2.0 port, an SD card slot, a receiver for the wireless navigation device, and a single status light near the power button.
Touchpad and keyboard navigation device
A removable navigation device is slotted in under the optical drive, and this acts as either a touchpad or a keyboard (but not both at the same time). It can be easily removed and replaced, but it's far from the most comfortable navigation device we've ever used. It's a rectangular shape that's almost 16x12cm in size and a bright blue (and somewhat annoying) LED is illuminated when you press its power button. When you first press the button to switch it on, it activates the touchpad mode so that you can move the cursor on the screen. It works in the same way as a touchpad on a laptop, but it takes a lot of getting used to, primarily because you are operating from a distance and at the same time trying to traverse a Full HD screen. Furthermore, it doesn't have buttons. Left clicks work as per usual, but to right click you have to hold a regular left click for a few seconds.
When you press its power button again, the blue LED switches off and a keyboard map illuminates in the area of the touchpad. This keyboard glows white and has no tactility — it makes a beep every time you hit a key. It has a Qwerty layout, but it's nevertheless difficult to type on because not only do you have to use one hand, you have to look at the keyboard and at the screen to see what you're typing. Many keys, such as the arrow keys for example, are also in awkward positions. It's a pain to use for social networking sites and other tasks that require a lot typing, but it's fine for typing usernames and passwords. We'd recommend getting a proper wireless keyboard if you plan on doing a lot of typing while in front of the TV and just use the navigation device solely as a touchpad.
Configuration, performance and functions
The guts of the Revo 100 are powerful enough to run Full HD media — it can play Blu-ray discs through the installed clear.fi application. The configuration is headed by an AMD Athlon II Neo K325 CPU, which has two cores and a frequency of 1.3GHz. It helped the Revo 100 to a time of 2min 38sec in our Blender 3D rendering test, which means it's around 3-4 times faster than a netbook equipped with a dual-core Intel Atom CPU. Graphics are handled by an NVIDIA ION chip, and this chip scored 1200 in 3DMark06, which is about 12 times faster than the integrated Intel graphics in an Intel Atom-based netbook. Its driver has good scaling capabilities, which allow you to easily re-size the screen using sliders so that it fits your TV screen perfectly. Rounding out the configuration are 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM and a 5400rpm, 500GB 2.5in hard drive.
For networking, you get Gigabit Ethernet and built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi. It doesn't have an external antenna for its Wi-Fi adapter. Depending on where your router is, you might be plagued by a weak signal. We used the Revo 100 approximately 6m away from our Linksys router, with no obstacles in the way, and the wireless signal strength was only two bars.
An AverMedia hybrid TV tuner is installed in the Revo 100, and it can handle both analogue and digital TV signals. Its antenna connection is tiny, but an adapter is supplied so that you can plug in a regular antenna cable. It's not a dual digital tuner though, so you can't record one show while watching another. Nevertheless, it gives the Revo 100 good TV and PVR capabilities. We just wish it shipped with a Media Centre remote control — without one you'll have to use the touchpad to change channels.
When the Revo 100 is running, it doesn't make too much noise, nor does it heat up excessively — there are vent holes on the right side, as well as a vent on the rear through which the internal fan extracts warm air from the chassis. If you don't want to use the Revo 100 as a home-theatre PC in your living room, you can use it like a regular PC on a desk by attaching the supplied stand.
Overall, Acer has made a valiant attempt at creating a good looking, unobtrusive and functional home-theatre PC in the Revo 100. It can be used to play DVDs, Blu-ray discs, downloaded video files, music collections, and even to watch and record digital TV through Windows 7 Media Centre. It has everything that a media centre PC should have. However, at $999, we think it's just too expensive considering the specifications you're getting; you'll also still need to supply your own proper keyboard and Media Centre remote control in order to make it comfortable to use. We think it should cost closer to $500.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCBusiness Process Specialist - TelcoVIC
- CCStorage EngineerNSW
- FTContracts Admin/ Commercial Analyst- NSW Government backgroundOther
- FTPython Fullstack Developer (Full Stack Environment)Other
- FTSAP CRM Functional ConsultantsACT
- FTSenior Software Engineer - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 required!!!!SA
- FTWintel Infrastructure EngineerACT
- FTICT Support OfficerNSW
- FTIT Infrastructure EngineerOther
- CCNetwork Architect - part time contract, Sydney Western SuburbsNSW
- FTSoftware ConsultantOther
- FTPractise Manager - SecurityVIC
- CCSystems Network Engineer - DDOSVIC
- FTFront End Developer (Mid-Level)Other
- FTProject Manager - ERPQLD
- FTProject Coordinator - Travel IndustryQLD
- FTProject Manager (Rail/Control Signals)Other
- PTPart-time Cisco EngineerWA
- CCIT Service Desk SupportSA
- FTSenior Mobile Developer - PermanentWA
- FTSystems EngineerOther
- FTHR Business Analyst-Performance Management/Learning ManagementOther
- FTTechnical Business Analyst - Data AnalyticsOther
- FTSenior Microsoft SQL Designer/ArchitectOther