Pros Small. Energy Efficient. Capable of running Windows XP, Windows 7, or various alternative OSs without hardware modification/upgrade. HDMI (video and audio). 5 USB ports. Great value for price.
Cons No DVI out, no dedicated audio out (except for a front mounted headphone jack), Clunky power button. Outdated Default OS (some might consider this a plus)
Summary Although not a review of this product, I'd like to point out that the XBox 360 does not support either Hulu or Youtube. This is contrary to the official CNET review of the Acer Aspire Revo AR1600. I only point this out because the reviewer used this comparison to point out a deficiency in the Revo AR1600.
The Revo AR1600 out of the box had great trouble with youtube HD & Hulu in general as stated in the review. This was due to the fact that the current stable version of Flash does not support video acceleration through the graphics card. This computer has a modest main processor and an additional graphics processor. This additional graphics processor was unable to assist in the playback of Youtube or Hulu streaming content. Since the release of this device Flash has released a beta build of it's plugin that allows the additional graphics processor to handle streaming video playback in the flash format. I have installed this Beta and now flash and Hulu work perfectly at their highest settings on my 22 inch HD monitor.
I'm not sure the reason why, but in my experience Media Player handles HD content better on this device than VLC. HD video from files (this computer does not have an optical drive) run perfectly as long as you're playing them in Windows Media Player. VLC has problems with these same HD files; this is presumably because VLC isn't using the video processor, where as Windows Media Player is.
I did not buy this PC as a media device, although I do use it to watch various HD video content. I bought this computer as a dedicated word processing & web surfing device. I've used MS Word from Office 2007 with no trouble, and I've also used Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer with no trouble.
Since purchasing the PC, I've recently upgraded it to Windows 7 Home Premium and 2gb of ram. Now the computer does all of the stuff listed above and has some enhanced multitasking capabilities. I plan on cannibalizing an intel wireless card from a bum laptop to give the device wireless capabilities (for more advanced users, the motherboard has a slot to add an internal wireless card, but such an addition is not for the feint of heart...the reviewers recommendation of a USB wireless device is a recommendation I concur with).
This is not a great primary option for a power user, but a more than adequate option for undemanding users...or in my case a power user who had a need for a second computer. I loves it...and highly recommend it in it's default format as a computer for the undemanding user, and it has enough upgrade potential to be a serious business only workstation for word processing.
I don't use it as a multi-media device, but can tell you it does play HD video from file in Windows Media Player. It has an HD Out to connect to an HD television. And it's whisper quiet compared to every other computer like device I've ever owned.
I don't quarrel with the reviewers score...but the comparison between this device and the Xbox 360 are (at the time of the publishing of the article) inaccurate. Besides that...good review.
Pros great graphics card. NVidia yep that's right I watch 3d movies and play my games in 3d. plays games very well. basically does everything and does it well. i've had it over two years without one problem. I even use this to develop software.
Cons one and only one processor could be faster but really who cares. to own one is to love one.
Summary for the price who could even make an argument that this is not the best period...if you come across one pick it up as you will not regret it.
Pros Great as a supplemental PC/workstation and/or entry-level multimedia device.
Cons Too limited/slow as far as CPU and processing power for any true high-end uses.
It is NOT great as one of the reviewers said - as a Media Server - not by a long shot!
Summary Re the comparison: Xbox360 it NOT a PC - it cannot run Word processing; and, for that matter, this PC also CAN INDEED play games. Xbox360 is limited to 'console games,' whereas this device could play both PC games [and] 'console-emulated' games (potentially). Nobody would buy this as an 'xbox360 replacement,' it is just a low-end general-purpose multimedia PC.
Also, another reviewer said he upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium, but he failed to say whether or not it was 64-bit - I doubt it is - I don't think this supports 64-bit. ALL things are moving to 64-bit, so please remember to be specific when talking about versions of an O/S that you use. ALL of my home systems and most systems at work are 64-bit. 32-bit is FAR too limited for today's media demands (or general computing demands, for that matter), especially for 'power users.'
As a Media 'interface' - yes, for viewing and streaming low-end - NOT at a true 'server level' - Media Server gives the connotation that you are serving up media to potentially multiple sources. But it is okay as a low-end media streaming device for ONE person, if "directly connected" via HDMI to an HDTV.
For a true Media 'Server,' you want to have 64-bit, with some serious horsepower and memory.
"great performance"on by syib4u
Pros Small, dependable, great TV computer add-on. Handles all computer functions. The DVD drive is a component, purchased separately, attached through a bus, an easy replacement for early expiring element of computers.
Cons there are none I can think of.
Summary I'm really sorry that they apparently discontinued this model for the wireless version that is about $150 more than what I paid for this model. I haven't gone wireless as the wires are all here already. I would have gotten another of this model for my bedroom TV too. I'm considering the availability of substitutions but the lowest price small computer I can find is the new version of this one. Their advantage besides wireless, more RAM and CPU would be no need to convert Windows 7 TV recordings to DVR to play on the new model that uses windows 7 instead of XP. Acer really had a winning idea in this component computer model. as of late, they apparently have expanded the media Computer idea in more ways than the new model of this with OS 7, wireless tech and more power, with more even more power memory and a remote keyboard in a computer that resembles more a remote than a computer keyboard all in a 7x11x1 box component. It is very much more money though than the $200 this model cost me at Best Buy some time ago now.
Pros Small foot print, enough USB ports to connect peripherals, external SATA port, Competent graphics for gaming, good support for Open GL games, ideal device as a media server.
Cons Not the fastest number cruncher, no way to change components other than a motherboard swap.
Summary I purchased two refurbished units to be used as media servers, one for the den and another for the "game room". One of them is used to store recorded TV programs over the air. The other one is connected via HDMI to a flat screen TV which is used for playbacks. I've used a series of media players and playbacks have been good, the only exception have been some of the playbacks from Boxee but it is mostly because of the way Boxee translates some of the Flash movies than the computer. Playbacks from flash and big .ts files using VLC work fine. I would say that these unit work for the intended purpose.
I have played games with them, mostly Open GL. Word of PadMan, Torcs, Super Tux Kart and Flight Gear execute fine, considering that they are not used for gaming. But have not use these to execute a more demanding game.
These units are not meant to be used for upgrades or build a "mega gamer" computer. What you pay is what you get, which is not a bad device, but just adjust your expectations accordingly. Due to size they can be a perfect companion for a LAN party, but considering that many laptops perform better, you might want to get a laptop if you can afford it if the main purpose is to play games.
My pet peevies have to do with performance under stress. I have been converting videos to play in the PSP and it will take its sweet time to complete. If you're not in a hurry, it would be fine. Air Video playback is ok, but it will take its time doing the conversion on the fly. Good thing is that it has a dual core CPU which helps a bit.
I disagree with the CNET reviewer, I rather get a general purpose computer than a console because of the flexibility that it provides, but at the end it is up to the individual to decide.