Gadget review: Acer Revo One

Acer's new micro PC is the size of most external hard drives. Picture: Contributed
Acer's new micro PC is the size of most external hard drives. Picture: Contributed
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A compact PC that is ideal for streaming but may not be for everyone

Gadget review: Acer Revo One

£229.99

WITH the traditional barriers between desktops, laptops and tablets being torn down by technology’s disruptive march, the Revo One is part of a new vanguard - the mini PC. For those who can remember wrestling with the vast, off-white monoliths of tower PCs, their diminutive scale is a thing of wonder and Acer’s latest offering is no exception. Measuring just 32cm by 20cm, it is the size of some external hard drives, yet beneath its smooth white contours are housed all the components required to run a wide range of applications.

Although there are various permutations of the Revo One available, we tested the entry model. Its specifications may be considered modest by those in market for a full-sized PC, but still impress; Acer combine a Intel Celeron processor with 4GB of RAM and 1TB of storage space. The Microsoft Bing Windows 8.1 operating system is also installed as standard. With WiFi, Bluetooth and an Ethernet LAN (in addition to four USB ports, an HDMI connection, and a SD card slot), this shrunk down system contains more than meets the eye.

A supplied remote is useful for browsing and quick bursts of text but is not for would-be novelists

It also comes with a remote control, the black colour of which jars somewhat with the overall design. But with mouse controls and a miniaturised keyboard on its underside, it allows you to easily navigate the likes of iTunes as well as send quick emails or social media status updates; those wishing to write a draft of their first novel, however, would be best advised to invest in a separate keyboard.

It may not be the kind of top flight configuration that would make it the main PC in a family home but there are many purposes this mini unit can fulfil, not least as a second device in a bedroom, where its space saving potential comes into its own. However, it also has a place in the living room, thanks to impressive streaming abilities which allow to it function as a media hub cum home theatre.

This is an ideal way to watch movies although others may plump for a simpler device

This does, however, lead us to the main problem with the Revo One - streaming may be its best feature (and it does this very well, playing movies off its hard drive at crisp resolution) but is the overall package sufficiently enticing to stop you buying the likes of Chromecast, Amazon Fire or Apple TV? The most obvious answer is that the Acer is not limited to a select range of apps. As a PC, you have the option of playing whatever you want from wherever you want.

Crucially, it is also has enough processing power to show up the substandard streaming of many smart TVs and is a good way to browse the net via your television. If you are prepared to pay a little extra, there are other possibilities - Acer make it easy to disassemble the exterior of the white shell and upgrade both the RAM and storage.

Whether this is a device for you will largely depend on your existing computer setup. If you have a laptop or PC with good specs that you already use to stream, the Acer is unlikely to appeal. But as a second computer or component in a home theatre configuration, it is a well designed and functional addition that looks good and performs even better.

The Acer Revo One is available to buy from eBuyer.com