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Published 22nd December 2009 by

The Acer Revo 3600 is a compact Nettop PC from Acer sporting an Intel Atom N230 1.6 Ghz with 2 GB RAM and 160 GB HDD. Although not the highest spec nettop on the market, you can't beat the performance for the value of this gem.

Having seen one of these on the Gadget Show I thought this would make an idea media centre pc for the bedroom - a small compact PC which I can use to listen to music, watch DVD's and occasionally surf the web; however shortly after I purchased the Acer, my desktop PC decided to blow up the power supply. Instead of replacing it I decided to see what this little nettop PC can do. Can it replace my desktop?

Acer Revo R3600 Unboxing

Acer Revo R3600 Unboxing

The device is very compact with a black and white glass finish. It has more than enough USB ports (6), VGA connector (but no DVI), eSATA connectors, HDMI out, Gigabit LAN, wireless LAN, card reader and headphones/mic. I was able to plug in all my peripherals apart from my keyboard as it is PS2. The Revo comes with its own keyboard and mouse, but I found the keyboard was too small and cramped and the mouse was small and light.

Out the box, the Revo can use a desktop stand which clips onto the base, or you can attach it to the back of an LCD monitor using the VESA mounting points.

I purchased the cheaper Linux version of the Revo which boots into Acers own RevoBoot software. From the menu, you can select from a list of tasks and it goes away and loads the application. I was able to get on the internet within 2 minutes of turning it on for the first time.

The bundled Linux software is very limited, however, so I soon wiped the hard drive and installed Windows 7 Ultimate. Windows installer had no problems detecting and installing drivers for all the Revo's hardware and Windows Aero runs very smooth and quick. Despite only being a single core processor, the hyper threading simulates dual core in the same way as my desktop PC. Windows loads quickly from the 160GB hard drive and once all my software has been installed it's just like using my old desktop. The performance only really became an issue while I was browsing the net, watching a DVD and processing a large Apache log file. This really seemed to stress the little 1.6 GHz processor so if you are doing anything processor intensive you may wish to consider the more expensive dual core 3610 model. Other than that, this is a great piece of kit for the money! I'm going to continue to use it as a daily replacement for my desktop until I have the money to buy a new desktop PC, then it's going in the bedroom as originally planned.

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