Many readers will remember the "netbook fever" that we lived a few years ago. To a lesser extent, several months later some computers appeared under the nettop concept, intended to bring that philosophy to replace the desktop. Acer was one of the first manufacturers to opt for these alternative formats that years later seem to resurrect. The Acer Revo One we discuss today is an spiritual heir of one of the first nettops that passed through the PC4U technician lab.
In the end, it seems that the PC is not dying but it’s simply transformed to suit the needs of the new profile of the domestic user: hybrid, convertible, microPC, Steam Machines or barebones are all kinds of solutions that should keep the PC alive, while the arrival of Windows 10 will help it recover some lost market.
The technical basis of the Acer Revo One is not very different from any midrange computer: an Intel Core i3 (Broadwell) low-power processor with integrated graphics, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 6 terabytes of storage and Windows 8.1 as operating system. Regarding connectivity, it supports WiFi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth and a good assortment of ports on the back, including HDMI and two USB 3.0 ports.
Built in an ABS plastic case of excellent quality, the new Revo boasts a design that looks stolen from the guys at Cupertino and it’s of a remarkable quality construction. Expansion possibilities are reduced to expand storage (our unit came with three 2.5-inch hard drives, of 1.5 Tbytes each configured in RAID5) and did not detect weaknesses neither in the assembly nor the case, though we would have liked to see metal reinforcements in the drive slots.
- Manufacturer: Acer
- Model: Acer Revo One RL85
- CPU: Intel Core i3 5010U
- RAM: 6GB
- Hard Disk: Up to 6 TB
We are before a machine capable of moving the operating system and any application without difficulty, with a particularly outstanding performance in everything related to multimedia content (Intel has been doing very well with integrated graphics for two generations now). In our tests we got 1869 points in PCMark 8 and 4001 with Geekbench 3, as expected, considering the setting, and these values serve as a reference to know what we can demand of the computer.
In terms of performance we are talking about a computer capable of playing 4K video with no problem, as it works perfectly in office tasks and web browsing, and you can also dare with games, provided they are not too demanding (accompanied by a good pad or stick, you can use it as a great machine for emulation, for example).
In our tests we made the most of it by installing a basic SSD (a Sandisk of 64 GB capacity, from a couple of generations) and obviously the overall computer performance soars. It would have been interesting if Acer included it in their line as a series (even if it were a small capacity unit for the operating system and common applications), but if you buy the basic version, it’s a modest investment that we recommend; besides it still leaves you with two slots for traditional hard drives that would allow you to reach 4 terabytes.
Acer team accompanies the computer with a remote control, trying to replace the classic combination of keyboard and mouse. The idea in itself is good, but the execution leaves something to be desired in terms of build quality, responsiveness and precision. It is usable for a while and it’s useful if you only want it to watch media but we recommend buying a keyboard with an additional trackpad if you really want to take full advantage of the computer.
For what you can use a machine like this? The Acer Revo One is ideal as a media center with XBMC or Plex installed. You may also use it as a download center by installing a lightweight BitTorrent client (their consumption is quite small) or centralize your backups and configure it as if it were a NAS. Yes, there are dedicated devices to these tasks but the great advantage of this computer is the huge applications ecosystem available for Windows devices.
Regarding software, Acer delivers the computer with installed operating system and a collection of applications (some trial versions). Access to BYOC (Build your own cloud, a proprietary Acer solution), which may be interesting for certain user profiles is also included. In any case, we think the cloud market is mature and there are more than enough choices (both free and paid) for everyone to choose the best option that suits them.
The Acer Revo One can be purchased for about 300 dollars in its most basic version, with Intel Celeron Quad Core 2957U processor, 4 Gbytes of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive (two available slots for more storage). The price seems reasonable, considering its features and capabilities.
In short, it’s an interesting alternative as a desktop computer that consumes little, it barely occupies space and is preset as standard. Mounting a barebone piece by piece with similar performances can be cheaper, but for many users it may be practical to opt for an integrated solution, ready to run.
Acer Spain has not confirmed whether they will sell this model in our country, that as you will see, it offers a superior setting than what you can find in stores. We will update this information when we have confirmed data.
Gaming Laptops under 500