Review: Acer Revo RL70

Acer Aspire Revo RL70 Multimedia HTPC Nettop

“The Revo RL70 smart PC brings photos, videos, music and all web content though Acer clear.fi to your big-screen TV and to every other connectable device in your home. It’s a serious breakthrough for home entertainment! The flexible design allows this neat PC to be placed flat on a table, stood vertically or attached to the back of a TV or monitor to save space.”

There are a number of different versions available in the UK, ranging from the base model pre-loaded with Linux, 320GB HDD, 2GB RAM but without the Optical drive or TV Tuner. You can choose then from a number of Windows 7 Home Premium versions with more memory, larger HDD’s and the optional optical drive and tuner.

I will be using the Acer Revo RL70 as my main HTPC replacing my Popcorn Hour C200. I intend to run OpenElec and will post details of my build here as it progresses.

For now here are a few initial thoughts about the Acer Revo RL70, together with the full technical specification.

In the box:

Acer Revo RL70
Power Supply
Stand
Wireless Keyboard + Mouse
Windows MCE Remote Control

The Good:

Compact powerful net top PC. Plays Full HD content very well. Works straight out of the box. Fantastic HTPC platform. Remote control works under Linux with some tinkering.

The Bad:

TV Tuner works under windows only (Haven’t got it to work under OpenElec). Limited Blu-ray support for Linux. Your probably better off buying the cheaper model without the Optical Drive and TV Tuner and buying these separately if you intend on running it as a dedicated OpenElec / HTPC.

Tech Specs:

Processor
– AMD E450 1.65GHz (Hudson D1 Chipset)

Memory
– 4GB DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM
– Dual-channel support on two DIMMs

Hard Drive
– 750GB SATA 3 Gb/s HDD

Optical Drive
– Blu-Ray Combi

Software
– Operating System: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Graphics
– AMD Radeon HD 6320

Audio
– Optimized Dolby Home Theatre v4 audio enhancement,
– Featuring Dolby Digital Live Dolby Pro Logic IIx,
– Dolby Headphone,
– Dolby Natural Bass,
– Dolby Sound Space Expander,
– Dolby Audio Optimization,
– Dolby High Frequency Enhancer technologies
– High-definition audio support

Input Devices
– Acer Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

Networking
– WLAN: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED
– LAN: Gigabit Ethernet,
– Wake-on-LAN ready

Power Supply
– 65 W with power cord
– ENERGY STAR 5.0

Warranty / Misc
– 1 Year Manufacturer Warranty
– Digital DVB-T TV Tuner + Remote

Dimensions
(W) 209.89 mm, (D) 209.89 mm, (H) 35.35 mm

Interfaces Front
– Two USB 2.0 ports
– Two HD audio jacks

Interfaces Rear
– 4 x USB
– Two HD audio jacks
– HDMI port
– S/PDIF port
– D-Sub VGA port
– Ethernet (RJ-45)port
– Coax port

Expansion
– Multi-in-1 card reader (front)

More details can be found on the Acer homepage.

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7 thoughts on “Review: Acer Revo RL70

  1. I’ve just got the same model as this and wondered if there would be any benefit in upgrading to 8GB ram, if it will take 8GB, Blu-Ray disc playback I found a tiny bit choppy at times but after wiping the installed version of 7 with all the included bloatware and installing a clean version of 7 x64 Ultimate it seemed much better, Wifi was very poor, would drop connection regularly, although the PC is in a cupboard it’s only about 10ft from the router but after wiping and reinstalling 7 the Wifi detected, installed and worked ok, when I installed the drivers from the Acer site the wifi was very poor again so uninstalled them and stuck with the generic drivers.

    Definitely a recommended bit of kit, £400 from eBuyer and worth every penny.

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  2. The RL70 has two memory slots, and it comes with either two 2GB or two 1GB dimms for a maximum of 4GB. According to the Crucial website compatibility report your options are limited to the above. For a Windows platform you would probably see some benefit from a memory upgrade if your model only has the 2GB. If you want Blu-Ray disc playback then you more or less have to use windows, unless you want to backup your Blu-Ray’s to disk and play from the internal HDD or network location in which case you could ditch windows and install XBMC for linux (XBMCbuntu or OpenElec) which has no problem at all playing full 1080p HD content from backup BD disks, and you would probably get away with 2GB comfortably given the reduced memory footprint of Linux.

    http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=4DD5CA71A5CA7304

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    • No, i haven’t yet been able to get the bundled Windows MCE remote to work with XBMCbuntu. Instead i opted to buy a HDMI-CEC device from Pulse Eight so i can use my TV remote. Works really well. You can also get Android and iPhone apps to control the XBMC, some are better than others, i recommend XBMC Commander.

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  3. I recently purchased one of these. One thing I found was it struggled with 1080p playback until I read a hint about going into the Bios and changing the Video Memory setting from Auto to 512MB, after which 1080p played perfectly. I’d also recommend using the openElec for Fusion builds from Pulse as they have everything pre-configured for best operation with XBMC, see http://packages.pulse-eight.net/ .

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  4. Thinking hard about getting one of these – wondering if you now whether it is possible to run dual displays (extended desktop) one from HDMI and one from VGA? Thanks.

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  5. I bought this model that come with DVD drive, 4GB ram and no remote control was given, bundled with Win 7 X64. Upgraded to 8GM ram by adding 4GB to 2nd slot. There is no IR module (as understand it only bundle with the Acer’s MCE remote control that made by philips) even though Win 7 detects built in ITE IR receiver . By adding standard IR module to the on board IR Header should give you ability to use any ‘genuine’ MCE remote control. What I did is connect a china made remote control with XBMC keymapping and it works on XBMC Eden built.
    Applied and enable dual audio patch to Eden built gave me choppy video playback on MKV file but upgrade to latest AMD video driver (not the latest one from Acer website, tried it and still choppy) 1080p/720p video playback is smooth.
    Everything is perfect for HTPC except it cannot turn on via remote control. hoping expert to come out with a mod/hack ie USB port with constant 5V power at standby, power switch pin out etc.

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