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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars What a bargain!, October 5, 2010 This review is from: Acer AspireRevo AR3700-U3002 Slim and Compact Desktop - Blue (Personal Computers) This is just a quick note to fill in a couple of details not in the listed specs, now that I've actually received and set up 2 of these.
The version of ION graphics is listed on the box as "GT218-ION" They work perfectly, so far as I can tell for You Tube HD (and Hulu) videos. (I did first upgrade Flash to version 10.1.)
The "wireless" mouse and keyboard work via a nano-size dongle installed in a USB port, and are fine up to a distance of about 5 feet. They are seen by Windows as 2.4GHz, but are not listed as Bluetooth.
Both the VGA video to a 20" 1600 x 1200 pixel LCD PC monitor and the HDMI video to a 46" 1080p (1920 x 1024 pixel) LED TV work fine. (I did reduce the resolution slightly on the TV due to the TV's overscanning otherwise hiding the edge of the PC display screen. I'm sure the overscan can also be adjusted in the TV settings to resolve this without reducing resolution, but didn't find the place to do so quickly enough.)
Speed is listed as 3.5 on the Windows Experience, compared to 2.1 on our Asus Eee PC 1000 running the 32 bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium. (These new PCs run the 64 bit version.)
These are marvelously quiet. The only time the fan is ever audible is for a moment during the initial power-on sequence.
I had no trouble installing our Samsung USB DVD player. Just plugged it in and it was immediately recognized. Likewise, pointing to my HP 2605 networked color laser printer - found and configured automatically. (One suggestion: when the printer installer offers to update its list of printer drivers, let it.)
It wasn't initially clear how I would reinstall everything if the hard drive ever fails. The PC didn't come with any media to be used for that. (I later discovered the included program eRecovery creates an image of the factory setup on 3 DVDs, with a fourth DVD for drivers, and easily made a set on DVD+RW disks, using the above-mentioned external DVD driveSamsung USB 2.0 8x DVD Writer External Optical Drive for Mac and PC SE-S084C/RSBN (Gloss Black).)
Another day in and I've removed some of the unneeded pre-installed programs, disabled unwanted startup programs with msconfig, installed Microsoft Security Essentials, Firefox (along with add-ins Firefox Sync, NoScript, Flashblock, and BetterPrivacy), and Microsoft Office 2007 (2010 comes pre-installed, but would have cost me extra.) Windows Update has found and installed dozens of security upgrades.
Day 3: Telecommuted using this PC today. The VPN link was fine, as was management of a remote database application and a GoToMeeting that included both audio and video. Nothing I did today spiked CPU utilization about 40%! I also checked electricity used, and found it usually under 25 watts, barely more than the 20 watts used by our Asus Eee PC 1000 netbook, despite this Acer having more cores (2 rather than 1), faster clock speed (1.8GHz in place of 1.6GHz), and a 216GB hard drive (rather than 40GB of SSD.) Both 802.11b WiFi and Gigabit Ethernet Internet links work fine.
I'll keep adding more as I finish configuring these, but wanted to post now in case anyone else has been wondering whether these actually exist and are any good. The answer is yes!
Update: Two weeks in, this has still been a perfect choice for both of us. Everything is now configured just the way we like, and a full system backup made, just in case. (I used our USB external DVD+RW drive, but any external USB drive with enough space would do.)
For anyone wondering whether the standard 2GB of RAM is enough, neither of ours has yet used even half of that yet, even though one of our PCs typically has a dozen windows open in different applications simultaneously.
Highly recommended!Help other customers find the most helpful reviews Was this review helpful to you?
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful: 3.0 out of 5 stars Flash performance == good : Silverlight performance == not good, October 18, 2010 This review is from: Acer AspireRevo AR3700-U3002 Slim and Compact Desktop - Blue (Personal Computers) The unit is very small and generates little noise and heat. Just be sure to not block the exhaust vent like I initially did (otherwise the fan will run harder and louder). This has several USB 2.0 ports but no ESATA port (unlike previous models). Connected to my Samsung 40 inch LCD TV via HDMI and runs well. The power button on the front is a bit mushy / unresponsive so you must press it firmly and in the dead center.
Acer claims the wireless card is a LITE-ON WN6602R with an RaLink RT3390 chipset. Currently running unit with a Netgear Rangemax WNDR3700 Dual Band Wireless router. Win7 says my wireless connection is excellent and shows 4 bars / 150mbps. Flash 10.1 video performance is acceptable (not great but acceptable). Silverlight 4 performance is woeful. This is unfortunate because Netflix uses Silverlight to implement their streaming video. Netflix is very choppy to the point I can't tolerate it. In contrast, my PS3 and Roku are flawless in streaming Netflix over my wireless network. Don't think I blame Acer so much as I blame Microsoft for lack of hardware acceleration support in Silverlight 4. Come on Microsoft, you are on version 4 of Silverlight and still don't have hardware accelerated video? Adobe Flash 10.1 does and so should you. Be sure to ditch Internet Explorer in favor of Google Chrome on this box. Google Chrome runs circles around I.E. 8.
Possible upgrades for this box might be increasing from 2gb to 4gb RAM.
Here is what Acer shows for the memory:
Support Memory size per socket: 1GB,2GB
Support memory type: DDR3 SO-DIMM
Support memory interface: DDR3 800MHz
Support memory voltage: 1.5V
Support to parity check feature: Yes
Support to error correction code (ECC) feature: No
Pin: 204 pin
Another option might be to replace the traditional hard drive with a SSD. I suspect an SSD would speed Media Center up quite a bit.
I attempted a few tweaks to facilitate a better viewing experience:
1. Upgraded from 2gb to 4gb RAM
2. Switched win7 resolution to 1280 x 720
3. Upgraded NVIDIA Driver to 260.99
4. Upgraded from I.E. 8 to I.E. 9 beta (Some netflix is viewable some is not. Family guy is fine while Discovery Channel Dirty Jobs is very choppy).
Good news. ScottGu (Microsoft VP) announced on his blog (12/2) that Silverlight will finally be getting GPU support when Silverlight 5 rolls out. Check out Scott Gu's blog for more details. This should help with Silverlight / Netflix viewing.
Still waiting for Silverlight 5. Thought I would post some more specs in the meantime:
Windows 7 Scores
Memory 4.8 (with 4gb ram)
Gaming Graphics 5.7
Primary Hard Disk 5.8
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful: 5.0 out of 5 stars What you get for the extra $150., October 6, 2010 This review is from: Acer AspireRevo AR3700-U3002 Slim and Compact Desktop - Blue (Personal Computers) The Acer AspireRevo AR1600 cost $199.99 at Amazon.com.
The Acer AspireRevo AR3700 costs $349.99 at Amazon.com.
I purchased both for home use. I am not a "Power User."
What did I get for the extra $150? Was it worth spending more for a dual core microprocessor and newer operating system? Does it have enough power to justify the higher price?
Here is why I believe the answer is yes.
There is no built-in wifi with the AR1600 unlike the AR3700.
The AR1600 is sold with Windows XP and the AR3700 with Windows 7 Home Premium Edition. While few of Microsoft's costly changes are great improvements (Of what real use is the Aero theme or the Ribbon?), it is a more smoothly working operating system.
The AR1600 handles most tasks easily, but it couldn't operate a WinTV HVR 850 usb tv tuner card. It worked perfectly with the AR3700. (This is the major reason for my purchase of the AR3700.) The AR3700 also comes with Windows Media Center.
The AR1600 was adequate for everything else.
1) Both the AR1600 and AR3700 have nice keyboards, but I find them a bit too small for extended keyboarding sessions, so I use a full-size Logitech keyboard.
2) In your favorite search engine, type "Replay AV8". It's an inexpensive stream-recorder program. I wouldn't own a PC without it.
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