First look at Acer Revo Build stackable modular mini PC

Acer Revo Build
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If you’ve been impressed with Project Ara – the modular smartphone, then you’re going like Acer’s own stackable modular mini PC: the Acer Revo Build (M1-601). This takes the Lenovo ThinkPad Stack modular accessory a step further.

I had the opportunity to get a quick hands-on of the Lego-inspired mini PC at the Acer showcase in Taipei, Taiwan earlier today. Acer launched the Aspire R 14 convertible notebook and Aspire Z3-700 all-in-one portable PC as well as presented the Windows 10-powered Liquid Jade Primo smartphone at the media event.

The Acer Revo Build was first introduced last month at IFA Berlin 2015. The mini PC has a footprint of just 125 x 125mm. Different features in shape of block can be easily stacked on the base unit.

Like the ThinkPad Stack, each block has pogo pins or connectors with magnets to ensure precise alignment when blocks are stacked on top of each other.

Blocks include a 500GB/1TB hot-swappable portable hard drive, a wireless powerbank that supports wireless charging and an audio block with speakers and mic.

The blocks work independently off the main PC, so you can remove blocks with disrupting the entire system.

Since there are no wires or cables, it’s hassle-free and instant. The simplicity is ingenious, and the great thing is that Acer is making it highly accessible with a low price point. Prices start from 199euros (RM937) for the base PC.

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The base unit is powered by an Intel Pentium or Celeron chip with integrated Intel HD graphics. Memory can go up to 8GB DDR4 RAM.

There are three USB 3.0 ports, SD card slot, HDMI port and DisplayPort.

Initial impressions

The idea is novel and pretty ingenious, and credit where credit is due, I think Acer has executed it well. A modular PC that you can upgrade and extend by stacking blocks? Fantastic.

We tested the wireless charging block with a Samsung Galaxy Note5 and it worked flawlessly.

This would be great as a PC at home, for light- to moderate-use.

Let’s hope Acer will bring this to Malaysia soon, and also have a more powerful Pro version in the works as well.

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