"Capable device for the price."3.0 starson by jtreynol
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 Outdated Default OS (some might consider this a plus)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.