Home / Computing / Desktop PC / Acer Aspire Revo RL100

Acer Aspire Revo RL100 review

Ardjuna Seghers

By

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Acer Aspire Revo RL100

Summary

Our Score:

8

Thank you to LaptopsDirect.co.uk for providing a review sample.

----

We've been seeing quite a selection of remarkable small desktop systems recently, aimed mostly at the Home Theatre PC (HTPC) crowd. The requirements for these are compact dimensions, stylish looks, and the ability to play back Full HD video, with Blu-ray being high on our 'want' list. The impressive and passively-cooled Tranquil PC ixL was too expensive and lacked Blu-ray, while the Zotac ZBOX looked stylishly futuristic and was incredibly slim, but suffered from inferior build quality and a distractingly audible fan. Up to this point then, the ASRock Core 100HT-BD is still our top choice but now we have an entrant that might blow even this machine out of the water: Acer's Aspire Revo RL100 3D.

For those who are thinking of the company's older Revo, this is a completely different, far superior machine. It's not only significantly more powerful, but also more stylish, comes with an integrated Blu-ray drive, is 3D capable and features what is one of the most awesome HTPC remotes we have ever seen.

Mind you, the PC itself is already quite a talking point. At 25x180x300mm (WxDxH), it's the slimmest full-blooded HTPC we've seen, and easily rivals the Zbox for sleek looks – though what it most reminds us of is a slimline Playstation 2. Its semi-matte black finish is subtly attractive and the glossy bronze highlights only add to its classy aesthetic. Another advantage is that this finish is far easier to maintain than the all-gloss efforts of many rivals.

Though you can certainly use it in its landscape orientation, this Revo has really been designed to be shown off upright. Acer includes a stand that simply slots into a groove in the machine. As the stand's neck is narrow and positioned at the rear, this gives the impression that the chassis is floating. Overall then, it's a great piece of design and will certainly fit in neatly with most AV setups (assuming you go for the horizontal orientation - Ed).

Though its chassis is constructed entirely of plastic, the Revo 100 feels solid and is definitely one of the better-built slim PCs around. The base, which simply slots into the main unit, is reinforced and weighted with metal. Unfortunately its connection to the main unit is also the one exception to the otherwise superb build, as it evinces some wobble.

Ikillgiants

December 30, 2010, 3:18 pm

This is a really cute machine. I was stuck on the fence about building a HTPC until I saw this and that nice solution to the remote.





PS, there's a typo in paragraph four on page one, "groove" not "grove".

Enigma

December 30, 2010, 10:13 pm

"Cleverly, the remote slots seamlessly into the machine when not in use, where it charges and acts as a volume control wheel. Pushing a slightly stiff lever at the top (when the Revo is standing up) releases the remote."2





I am afraid that is NOT so clever, as I had an EXCELLENT Toshiba tv back in the 1980s that had a very small and elegant tv remote control that slotted in, matching seamlessly the tv fascia, and the keys at the end of the remote operated the tv in that position. When the remote was taken out the slot was nicely filled with a spring loaded fascia matching flap.





It is a pity other manufacturers never adopted, including Toshiba.





If it ever was patented, it probably has expired and others could now be free to adopt it.

ffrankmccaffery

December 31, 2010, 4:07 am

@Enigma: My cousins Hitachi television set from the same era had a similar function too. Perhaps it was the fact that very few users placed the remote back in its slot?


Here's hoping third party manufacturers develop a similar remote/keyboard.

Enigma

December 31, 2010, 6:16 am

@ffrankmccaffery you are absolutely right, it indeed was an Hitachi tv. Thanks for the reminder.





Fair point about people not putting the remote back in the slot but the thing is one had at least a good place to put it when it really needed to be put away.





They used to make damn good TVs and even better VCRs and at the right price points too - bit like what Pani has been doing in recent years.

seka1980

December 31, 2010, 2:36 pm

can anyone tell me if this is has a dual digital tuner and if so is it a hd tunner?

AOD

December 31, 2010, 8:58 pm

If you could get this without Windows included this just might be the ultimate machine for XBMC.





One thing, can you clarify if the graphics are handled by ION 2? Tests so far appear to show this is slightly slower than the original ION used in the Revo 3610 for example.

Dave 1

January 2, 2011, 2:33 pm

From what I remember ION2 is technically (at least in some respects) slower than ION1 - something to do with a single lane PCI-E over a DMI link to the chipset rather than what was used before. There was an article on Anadtech about it that explained the architectural differences - http://www.anandtech.com/show/...

TechVegan

January 5, 2011, 5:24 pm

@Ikillgiants:


It is cute, isn't it?





And cheers for pointing that out, but you do actually slide the remote into a small group of trees. Honest. :D.





@Enigma:


It is clever, actually, as here there's no door to scuff and no spring to break. But that Toshiba system does sound rather awesome. Probably the main reason you wouldn't find something similar on today's TVs is that the remotes are fatter than the TVs themselves. :)





@seka1980:


The digital tuner is optional (dependent on model) and not dual or HD - as far as I'm aware.





@AOD:


Confusingly, Nvidia is still calling "ION2" ION, but 'ION2' is what is used in this Revo.

g0Rt

January 7, 2011, 1:18 am

@seka1980


There is an internal Avermedia tuner included in the £499 version (Amazon) which has 1 analogue tuner and 1 digital tuner (not HD).

mooface

January 7, 2011, 4:57 pm

No mention of blu ray playback. How does it fare compared to a dedicated bluray deck - s370/570 for example? Thanks

g0Rt

January 9, 2011, 8:20 pm

Optical drive is a Blu-ray DVD Combo drive (hl-dt-st bddvdrw ct21n) as used in some laptops I believe, not as cool as a slot loader but probably more practical if it needs replacing. Can't compare it with a dedicated Blu-Ray deck as I haven't got one, but it seems quick enough.

plogpower

January 10, 2011, 5:17 pm

Does this Acer output bitstream (DTS-MA and Dolby True HD) via HDMI? Thanks.

plogpower

January 19, 2011, 5:35 pm

Why would anyone buy this when the video card (ion) will not bitstream over HDMI DTS-MA or Dolby True HD? I would buy the ASRock, new Zbox AD03 or Dell Zino HD. Folks, do not buy this if you care about high res audio. And even if you think you don't care about HD audio, some day you will regret it just like me. I just bought a new Marantz AV7005 and HD audio played with PS3 Slim is just awesome, a HUGE different between HD audio and regular compressed DTS. Now I must toss my current HTPC out the window since it cannot bitstream :(

Peter Crook

January 27, 2011, 4:20 pm

Can the TV tuner be replaced with a new card such as the New Blackgold dual freeview HD tuner half/full height card


http://shop.blackgold.tv/epage...

gogodigital

June 7, 2011, 11:12 pm

Can anyone help with what monitor would be needed to benefit from the 3D graphics?

Chris

September 17, 2013, 12:53 pm

I have one of these for my bedroom. Very quiet and wakes up and shuts down instantly with Windows 8. Perfect for under shelf mounting. Illuminated keyboard good at night time. Very low power consumption.

comments powered by Disqus