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The Acer Aspire Revo R3600.
Those who have read my previous reviews know I like to stream media to my television. I used to do this via a WD HDTV steamer (non live version)
I had the idea though that it would be pretty cool to be able to have the whole internet on the television. This was the main reason as to why I purchased the Revo. I knew it wouldn't be powerful enough to play the latest games (I play WoW from time to time) but that wasn't going to put me off knowing the benefits it brought to the table. It also costs sub £200 which isn't all that bad considering it is a fully functional PC but in the small form.
When I first received the Revo I was surprised at how small it actually was, they have managed to pack a lot into a small unit. Mine came with no operating system installed so I put on Windows 7 Premium which it handles very well. No noticeable slow down and having it running via HDMI connection through the Sony TV I reviewed some time ago. I haven't got it mounted to the back of the TV but it sits there quietly out of sight at the back.
You could have it sitting on your desk if you wanted, due to its size you wouldn't notice it there. The dimensions are 18cm x 18cm x 3cm so it is pretty tiny. So if you have limited space it is a good option on the PC front if you are after something small. It is also great for travel and if you need a PC on the move it will happily go with you.
Back to where I have it. It comes with 6 USBs which is pretty fantastic, I have 2 Hard drives plugged into mine as well as dongles plugged in for wireless keyboard and mouse. I had one left free because I used one more for a webcam when Skyping to family and friends abroad. The last I put in a Bluetooth dongle so that I could use the machine to transfer files to my mobile phone.
So yes, once i got it all set up installed Windows 7 and a few other programs to get the machine running how i wanted. Skype, MSN, a couple of media players, Firefox and I was ready. iPlayer and the such run well as you would expect, no slowdown. I think though that much of the experience will come from what type of TV you have if you have it linked up to one. This just plays the part of giving you the ability to have internet/media etc on the move or linked to a TV in your home. I wouldn't suggest using it for a main PC if you needed it for power intensive work such as video file editing/hours of encoding, or wanting to run the latest games. Now whilst it does have a decent enough graphics chip in the form of the intergrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400 it doesn't mean it is up to the job of higher end cards. For a sub £200 machine you have to expect some negatives and its limited power is the only one I could say it had.
As a key media hub in my home it also gives me the chance to show people jpegs/photos straight off a camera via the memory card reader which is a pretty cool feature. The front also has a headphone and microphone jack. I don't really use these often though as the webcam I have in one of the USBs has a microphone.
I won't bother talking about the specifications of the machine, you can see those in the description. Now, much like Apple products specs aren't all that important, they run their hardware without the latest technology. The Revo is similar in this instance, but it is the user experience that gives it top marks. You can watch blueray rips without slow down, surf the net, chat with your friends, all in a trouble free environment. I have no regrets purchasing mine, it does what I require from it perfectly. If anyone is thinking about wanting the internet/PC experience through their PC the Revo is great product at an affordable price.
5 out of 5