We would’ve preferred that Acer had gone easy with the amount of bloatware pre-installed on the machine. Between the Microsoft Office 2007 trial, Nero 9 Essentials, MyWinLocker and the always fun McAfee Internet Security Suite trial, there were plenty of unwanted items taking up memory. Throw in outdated Flash-based games from the Oberon GameZone, along with Acer Arcade Deluxe, and you have a host of stuff you will probably never use.
Windows 7 Home Premium runs really smoothly on the Revo R3610, and as mentioned earlier, the presence of Windows 7 Media Center is great if you’re looking for DVR-functionality. If you have other Windows 7 PCs in the home network, you can always connect them directly to the Revo using the HomeGroup feature.
We also found that free streaming software like Orb and TVersity were great additions for capturing content. We even installed the Boxee beta to see how that functioned, and were pleasantly surprised.
The Revo R3610’s Atom processor would fry if it had to do the heavy lifting in playing high-definition content or even streaming standard-def across the home network. We’re pleased to report that the Nvidia Ion integrated graphics chip comes to the rescue and turns what would otherwise be a desktop netbook, into a solid PC with plenty of upside as a media center. Hooking up the Revo to an HDTV via an HDMI cable is a must, if you’re to truly get the most out of it.
While you’re unlikely to be able to play 10GB Blu-ray rips, you can play smaller 1080p clips. HD content in 720p fares much better, and viewing high-quality video on sites like YouTube and Vimeo was easy as pie. We found, however, that it’s best to update the Revo R3610’s Flash player, since older versions may give you choppy playback.
Streaming video from Hulu, even at higher quality, was pretty seamless, though we found that having other applications open at the same time didn’t help the cause. In fact, just surfing the Web and having two other apps open slows things down, which was a clear indication of the Atom processor’s limitations.
Speaking of which, gaming is simply not an option with this machine. You would be lucky to get anything above 15 frames per second on the average modern game at the lowest settings. If you want to frag people or build empires, you’ll need to look for something with more juice under the hood.
If you’re one to entertain yourself a lot on the Web and through your own media collection, then the Revo R3610 makes a compelling case to be part of your living room setup. It takes up little space, runs smoothly, quietly, and doesn’t require much maintenance.
That fits nicely with its true value proposition, which is media playback and Web surfing on a big TV or monitor with all the on-demand content the Internet can give you. But as a standalone PC, the Revo R3610 isn’t a huge step up from an entry-level desktop PC. Its specs and performance actually pale in comparison to all-in-one PCs that can be found for just over double the price.
In other words, if you don’t see yourself plugging this baby into a big screen of some kind, then we urge you to consider other options for your computing needs. But if you do, then you might want to give this a chance.
- Compact design makes it easy to place anywhere
- Nvidia Ion makes the difference for video playback
- Easily connected to HDTV using HDMI output
- Plenty of ports and connections
- Windows 7 runs smoothly
- Windows 7 Media Center makes it easier for DVR-functionality
- Can be mounted on the back of a monitor
- Excellent value
- Atom processor shows strain when multiple apps are open
- Gaming is a non-starter under these specs
- Too much pre-installed bloatware
- Lacks a built-in TV tuner
- No optical drive