We wrote about Acer’s mediatastic Revo RL100 HTPC just a few months ago. The system is stylishly designed by any metric, with the box sitting at just an inch high – and that includes an optional Blu-ray disc player. Until today, however, you had to live outside of the United States in order to get one, or be willing to deal with murky grey market importers. Acer has finally changed that with today’s announcement.
It takes a lot to make an HTPC truly stand out in today’s market, but it looks like Acer has managed to do that in two ways. First, the box actually looks like it belongs in the entertainment center – it’s an elegant if reserved design that won’t scare TV watchers like the pyramidally inclined Boxee Box. The other, fascinating addition, is the removable touchpad/backlit keyboard.
The Revo RL100 has a square touchpad used for navigating through the OS (it comes with Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed) but has a “dual-mode” keyboard functionality available. Activate it and the multitouch touchpad turns into a full QWERTY keyboard, useful for typing in URLs or searching for media titles. This is an accessory unique to the RL100 at this point, and time will tell whether Acer has finally struck upon the solution to navigating a traditional HTPC. When you don’t need the unit, it stashes away inside of a form-fitting cubbyhole at the front of the device.
Acer’s new HTPC will also ship with 4GB of memory, an AMD Athlon II Neo K325 CPU running at 1.3 GHz (it fits it right alongside an Intel Core 2 Duo U9300 in terms of performance), NVIDIA Ion graphics, Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, a 750GB hard drive, card reader, three USB 2.0 ports and the pop-out touchpad. The system will also ship with Acer’s clear.fi standard, which helps users stream content to their HDTVs.
How much will this cost? $499.99 to start, and that includes all of the above specs. An optional Blu-ray drive jumps the price an additional $70, up to $569.99. The Acer Revo RL100 is available starting today.