by Jacqueline Emigh
Acer has announced US availability of a next generation net top PC, pumped up with an Intel Atom D525 dual-core CPU and Nvidia ION 2 graphics for more robust multimedia home networking.
Acer’s new AspireRevo AR3700 mini desktop PC takes a couple of big steps beyond the AR3600. Announced just a year ago to replace Acer’s original AR1600 net top box, the AR3600 packed a dual-core Atom 330 processor and ION 1 graphics.
Powerful processing and graphics in small form factor
Unlike earlier net top boxes, which supplied only basic PC capabilities for functions like Web browsing, newer products in the category add more powerful processing, graphics, and I/0 for multimedia applications.
Acer’s latest pint-sized PC is also equipped with a 250 GB hard disk drive (HDD), up to 2 GB of RAM, and a multi-card reader.
Connectivity and I/O options include HDMI video output, 802.11n Ethernet, a mini PCI Express Slot, and more.
Other announced products include RevoPad and RevoView
Priced at $350, Acer’s new AR 3700 costs only about $20 more than the AR 3600. When first introduced in 2009, the AR 3600 trumped an ASUS Eee Box rolled out only a day before by offering similar specs at lower pricing.
Acer’s even earlier AR1600 net top box also supplied ION 1, but it backed the built-in graphics with only a comparatively weak single core Atom 230 processor, a 160 HDD and 1 GB of RAM.
The AR 3700 and 3600 each run Microsoft Windows 7, whereas the AR 1600 ran Windows XP Home Edition.
In May of this year, Acer has announced other members of the Revo family, including the RevoCenter network-attached storage (NAS) appliance; a Revo multimedia center; and RevoView, a multimedia player with hard disk drive (HDD) capacity of up to 2 TB and abundant I/O.
The Revo multimedia center features a wireless remote known as RevoPad which is also designed to function as a keyboard and multitouch touchpad. Although demo’d at the recent Intel Developers Forum (IDF), RevoPad isn’t shipping yet.
Acer released the RevoView during August for Germany only, before expanding the availability of the multimedia player to the larger European market during the IFA show earlier this month. There’s still no word on US availability for RevoView.