I was browsing at Digital Mall, Section 14, yesterday when I saw the Aspire Revo sitting quietly in the corner. I jumped when I saw it. I thought that it would’ve taken them longer to actually bring this new product to Malaysia. Wonderfully, it is now available in Malaysia for a cheap price of RM1399 (about $399). So, I managed to get my paws on it to admire its design.
It is obviously made for the HTPC market. In fact, it is advertised just as much. Also, it even comes with a TV-mount so that you can attach the Revo to the back of any VESA compatible screen-mount, which includes all wall-mountable televisions and monitors. It also comes with a set of wireless keyboard and mouse. The way that it was designed is obvious that even when mounted at the back, the important slots and ports are easily reached.
Unfortunately, it comes bundled with Windows, which is dumb. It didn’t even come with the Media-Centre Edition but came with the Home Edition instead. According to the Internet, there is a Linux version that comes with an 8Gb SSD instead for much much less (RM800). However, it seems that they would not be carrying that in Malaysia seeing that we’re a bunch of dumb jocks who do not know how to use anything other than Windows.
For its price, it comes pretty full featured. It is based on the NVIDIA ION platform, which as a 9400GM graphics chip paired with an Atom 230 processor. It comes with 2Gb of RAM and a 160Gb hard-disk. It also has 802.11b/g/n wireless for streaming movies off a network. It has a multi-card reader for reading all the digital photos from my DSLR. As mentioned, it comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse. Plus, it is low-power with only a 65W power supply.
As for the performance, I was not able to try it out exactly. However, I did manage to find this video on Youtube, of the Revo running XBMC Live and playing back a 1080p video. It is capable of HDMI audio and video. This baby rocks! It will most definitely be the platform for my HTPC. Now, I’ll need to shop around a bit for better prices in other stores.
PS: It is easy to take apart and infinitely hackable too. I intend to do just that when I get one. Dissect it and take out what I don’t need (such as the hard-disk) and adding some other things that I want (like an SSD).