Forget about its stunning design, good build quality and interesting specifications, though; what truly makes the Revo 100 lust-worthy is the best bundled remote we’ve ever come across, and it even betters many third party solutions. Yes, we realize that’s a sweeping statement, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
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. Fear not though, if you’d rather not use this method you can also charge the unit using its discrete mini USB port (incidentally the same charging method that’s used on many older phones and the PS3).
Once detached from the PC, it looks like an unassuming, low-profile rectangle with a flat bronzed wheel slightly protruding at one corner – and it only has one button. Pressing this unobtrusive, blue-backlit ‘power’ button activates it. And here’s the really clever bit: in its default mode, it’s basically an equivalent of the Apple Magic Trackpad. In this mode, it supports up to four-finger multi-touch and an intuitive range of gestures. It has a spacious active area of 13.5cm from corner to corner, is pleasant to the touch and very responsive.
Press the ‘power’ button a second time, and a white-and-red backlit full-qwerty keyboard appears from the blackness of the trackpad. As well as all the keys found on a regular keyboard, this sports a whole range of shortcuts and dedicated controls, including playback and volume. It works brilliantly, and its large ‘keys’ mean it’s approaching the ease of typing you find on a quality touchscreen smartphone, especially when using both thumbs.
Yet another clever touch is that the aforementioned bronze wheel automatically switches between a scroll wheel in pad mode and controlling volume in keyboard mode. The remote weighs only 134 grams, so it never feels heavy. A stick-on rubber mat is provided which you can attach to its base if you wish, to prevent scratching and slippage. Overall, it’s so good we wish it was available separately, in which case we would buy it in a flash.
Of course you can always hook up a regular keyboard and mouse to the Revo 100, but this shouldn’t be necessary for the majority of its use.