Acer Revo One RL85 review

A desktop PC that pretends it's a TiVo

Acer Revo One RL85

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It's worth noting, first off, that the Revo One supplied to us didn't seem to be a standard British model, but one of the Australian models, which seem to match the US by having a wider range of specifications. The unit that will be on sale at Dixons will have several changes.

Firstly, it'll have the substantially older Intel Core i3-4005 CPU, which runs at 1.7GHz rather than 2.1GHz. It'll have a smaller 2TB of storage (no word on whether that's a single drive or two raided drives) and half as much RAM, coming in at 4GB. It'll come with a wireless keyboard and mouse, presumably because that controller is so troublesome to use. And it'll come in at £399 ($499 in the US, which is around AU$620).

Acer Revo One RL85 close up

The Core i3 CPU will be an older model in the UK

Spec sheet

Here is the Acer Revo One R85L configuration sheet as given to TechRadar:

  • CPU: 2.1GHz Intel Core i3-5010U
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • Storage: 2 x 1.4TB drives
  • Optical drive: N/A
  • Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, headphone jack
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Size: 4.19 x 4.19 x 6.1-inches (W x D x H)
  • OS: 64-bit Windows 8

Despite that huge hardware difference, the lower Dixons specifications are very similar to the low-end Mac mini, which also comes in at £399 (also $499 in the US, which is around AU$620). If you're looking for better than that, then the higher-end Mac minis should be a good fit, with more processor oomph, extra memory and better integrated graphics – though at a substantially higher price point. Or you could build yourself an Intel NUC instead, for a similar price.


Windows 8 detected the screen's right resolution but it was incorrectly sized for it (we were running it into a Samsung TV), so we had to manually resize through the screen settings. The HDMI port was extremely tight, but the cable popped in easily – extracting it afterwards was an epic struggle and at times we honestly thought we were going to have to cut it off.

Here's how the Acer Revo One R85L performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

  • 3DMark: Cloud Gate: Failed; Sky Diver: 2,364
  • Cinebench: CPU: 179 points; Graphics: 22.53 fps
  • PCMark 8 Home Test: 1,978 points

The machine obviously struggled with the 3D tests – it refused to complete Cloud Gate at all, but it did give us a Sky Diver score that was nearly twice the newest Mac mini's. The Cinebench benchmarks are also relatively respectable, beating out our test NUC and not falling too far behind the Mac mini. Boot times are relatively quick, and it didn't seem to struggle with outputting at 1080p.

Acer Revo One RL85 rear

The RL85 really is a very compact unit

Bundled software

The review model of the Revo we received was running Windows 8 – not our favourite operating system for anything that's not touchscreen but at least it's low-powered. The Acer bundled software is all built around the concept of BYOC – bring your own cloud.

So the five pieces of unfamiliar software on the desktop are all designed to work with that, allowing you to leave the Revo on as a remote server at all times, to be accessed from any device you want – the Android software seemed particularly easy to use. Those apps are:

abPhoto: This lets you access all your photography remotely. Theoretically, you should be able to snap a photo on your phone or tablet and it will be automatically stored to your PC, and pushed to any other devices you own. It also organises the photos.

abMedia: Lets you host your own music and videos for remote streaming; it plugs into iTunes.

abFiles: Allows you to remotely access files on the Revo PC from your phone. You can browse everything remotely, acting as something like an FTP. It also lets you sleep and wake your Revo remotely.

abDocs: This syncs your Office documents with the cloud, and allows access even when the Revo is off. The Revo doesn't come with Office so this is oddly redundant.