The main players in the mini-PC market are Apple and Intel with their Mac Mini and NUC computers. To get a piece of the action, Acer has released the Revo One RL. This device is loaded down with everything It could lay its hands on, and is the subject of many desktop computer reviews. For instance, the device has room for three RAID-ready SSDs just like the Mac. Yet, it’s as upgradable and user-friendly as the NUC.
All these features are then packaged in a compact white shell that’ll remind you of a tic-tac. This gives the Revo a form factor that’s only 4-inches long in either direction. Even so, it still features HDMI ports for 7.1 Surround Sound as well as 4K support. Through its Integrated Intel graphics, you’re more than capable of displaying two 4K screens. This is why Acer is marketing it as a home media center. The
ACER REVO ONE R85L DESIGN
The design is both outstanding and simple. It’s a lovely white tic-tac whose smooth lines are only broken by the Intel logo. It’s light in your hands and has four legs to keep it in place on any surface. But, they also make it easier for the device to tip over.
Despite its small size, the Revo has all manner of ports on its rear. It has Kensington Lock, USB, HDMI, audio jack, DisplayPort, and Ethernet ports. Only the Mac Mini has more ports, in this case Thunderbolt ports. At the top of the Revo, you’ll find LED status lights and slot for your SD card. Finally, it has a robust and fast Wi-Fi.
Opening Your Device
Acer installed a small button at the back of your device for the purpose of opening it but neglected to mention it. The quick start guide that’s provided is of no help. To open the device, push the button you’ll find next to the power button both in and up at the same time.
Removing and Replacing SSDs
Once the device is open, you’ll first come across two quick-release caddies on which the SSDs sit. To remove the SSDs, just pull them upwards. To replace the, just line them up, angle them, and slide them in until you hear a clicking sound. Getting to the third SSD is not as straightforward as it is with the first two. It lies hidden between them and needs a screwdriver to get at. Once you remove it, you’ll have access to the RAM and wireless card.
ACER REVO ONE R85L CONTROLLER
A wireless remote controller is necessary to control the Revo. This handy device is full of buttons and also functions as a keyboard. Despite its excellent functionality, it fails to retain the Revo’s simple design. It’s too flashy.
Buttons and Touch Pad
The power button on the side of the controller will turn on your machine after some fiddling. Next to it is a touch pad you first have to activate by clicking on a cursor button. This pad is hyper-sensitive and takes some time getting used to. After this, there’s the microphone, media control and Windows buttons.
There’s a 56-key keyboard at the back of the controller. You’ll find nothing more irritating that having to always flip it over to use it. The shift and function key need to be held down to work. This is unlike in normal keyboards where you toggle them. They make using the keyboard a pain if your fingers are big or flat.
Setting up the Revo and Controller
The controller won’t work until you complete setting up the Revo. To do this, you’ll need another keyboard, a mouse and a wireless dongle. You can also download the Acer Revo Suite on your smartphone. The phone then becomes your controller via a Bluetooth connection.
ACER REVO R85L SPECIFICATIONS
The Acer runs on a 2.1GHz Intel I3-5010U processor and an Intel HD 5500 Graphics Processing Unit. It has 8GB DDR3L SDRAM and 2.8TB storage. You’ll also get the latest Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. All this will cost you no less than $500.
In 3D tests, the Revo failed to complete Cloud Gate benchmarks but scored twice as high as the Mac Mini on Sky Diver. On Cinebench tests, it came in second after the Mac Mini, thanks to quick boot times and a high resolution.
Acer has installed the 64-bit version on Windows 8 in the Revo. While it’s not the best operating system for non-touchscreen applications, it’s good enough. Bundled with it is some of Acer’s own software. So, expect to find unfamiliar apps such as abPhoto, abMedia, abFiles, and abDocs. These apps serve to transform your Acer into a remote server. You can now access your photos, music, videos, files, and documents from any portable device.
ACER REVO ONE R85L VERDICT
The design is beautiful, robust and compact. This makes the Revo capable of fitting anywhere on your desk or living room. The cloud based services though admirable, replicate Google Drive and Dropbox.
The Revo’s controller is a disappointment at best. So much so that Acer has decided to ship the device with a wireless keyboard and mouse in some markets. Opening the device is tough and the HDMI port too tight.
This tiny device is good for home entertainment and is definitely worth a try.