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Acer Revo One RL85 review - hands on with the 6TB mini PC

Tom Morgan
4 Jan 2015
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The Revo One RL85 may be tiny, but there's room for three 2TB hard disks inside Acer's latest micro PC

A full PC in a case no bigger than a coffee cup, but with enough room for three hard disks? That's exactly what Acer has just revealed, in the shape of the Revo One RL85. We're used to nettops and micro PCs covering the basics, but this is one of the first that could feasibly hold your entire multimedia collection and still fit comfrtably in the palm of your hand. We got the chance to put the Revo One RL85 through its paces at Acer's CES hotel suite, in order to bring you some first impressions.

With rounded corners, a cube-like appearance and glossy white or black finish depending on the model, the Revo One RL85 is beautifully minimal and, dare we say it, more than a little Apple-esque. The blinking LEDs on the top of the unit, which indicate disk, power and LAN activity, detract a little from the smooth looks, but they aren't particularly bright or distracting.

Despite the diminutive size, Acer has managed to squeeze two USB ports, two USB3 ports, Ethernet, HDMI and mini DisplayPort video outputs onto the back of the RL85, plus Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi inside for wireless connectivity. There's also an SD card slot in the top of the system for quick access.

The two display outputs can be used simultaneously on a pair of 4K, 3,840x2,160 resolution screens, along with 7.1 surround sound audio output, which could make the RL85 the ideal Ultra HD media PC. There's enough power to play 4K video smoothly as well; an Acer representative told us there would be a choice of processors from Intel's upcoming Broadwell range, meaning either a 5th Generation Core or Pentium CPU which should draw relatively little power, yet decode HEVC content fast enough for flawless playback.

We weren't able to properly test performance as we had no internet connection to download games or benchmarks, so we'll just have to wait until we get a final model in for review to pass judgment.

Inside, a 2TB hard disk is fitted as standard, but there are removable disk trays for adding two more 2.5in disks for up to 6TB of storage. With such a high capacity, you should be able to squeeze on plenty of 4K files without running out of space. The drive cages don't need any screws to access, and the entire outer cover slides off once you press in the release lever near the base of the machine. 

The Revo One includes a remote control with a full QWERTY keyboard on one side and mouse controls on the other, letting you control Windows 8.1 without having to plug in a mouse or keyboard. It worked from several meters away so should be ideal for couch surfing media PC users, although it wasn't particularly easy to type long messages on; if we were planning on using it for serious work we would definitely invest in a full-size wireless keyboard.

We were seriously impressed with the Revo One RL85. It's smaller than most NAS devices, yet squeezes in just as much storage and includes a full Windows PC, capable of playing back multimedia files as well as storing them - and at 4K resolutions to boot. Better yet, it looks like it will be reasonably priced when it launches later this month; Acer expects it to cost €269, which works out at roughly £210 before tax or VAT. We can't wait to get one and see if it can replace our mini-ITX system as a go-to media PC that can be hidden out of sight.

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