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What is a Acer Revo One RL85?

The Acer Revo One RL85 is a small, stylish PC dictated to be your go-to home party hub.

It’s gunning for primary position underneath your vital room TV, and a tiny form cause puts it in proceed foe with Apple’s Mac mini (also £399).

Acer backs adult a lift for home party excellence with 4TB of storage, HDMI support for 4K video, and a immeasurable array of earthy and cloud-based connectivity options.

The Revo One RL85 is by no means a computing powerhouse, though is it a estimable media centre? Read on to find out.

Related: Best Laptops, Ultrabooks and Hybrids 2015

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Acer Revo One RL85 – Design

If we scrubbed off a Acer logo, we could simply mistake a Revo One RL85 for an Apple product. Acer has taken an certainly minimalist proceed to pattern with this PC, and it’s paid off.

For a start, a device is tiny and compact; it’s only a bit smaller than a Sonos Play:1 speaker. It’s also lightweight during only underneath 2kg, that isn’t bad for a mechanism pressed with mixed tough drives. This creates it unstable adequate to transport around to a mate’s residence or even on holiday.

The Revo’s framework is built wholly from white, silken plastic. A singular LED frame glows on a front to prove that a device is powered on, while a serve 4 LEDs act as standing indicators on tip of a Revo. The physique is cubic and winding on all sides, nonetheless grippy feet on a bottom stop it from rocking over.

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What’s good about a Revo One RL85 is how easy a innards are to access. You only lift a tiny symbol on a behind of a device that enables we to lift a framework upwards and off completely, divulgence a PC’s core.

Once inside, you’ll see twin tough hoop drives plugged into quick-release caddies on conflicting sides of a Revo. In a center is a third drive, nonetheless that’s some-more formidable to access. You’ll need a screwdriver to open it, divulgence a drive, a RAM slot, and a wireless card. For enthusiasts, it’s value observant that a hard-drives come RAID5 pre-configured. The 3 drives can also be re-configured to RAID0 or RAID1, too.

Related: Best Monitors 2015

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Acer Revo One RL85 – Features

While a front of a Revo One RL85 competence be a uncomplicated Jony Ive soppy dream, a behind is installed with ports.

For a start, there are twin USB 3.0 ports, with a serve twin USB 2.0 ports located only below. There’s also a mini-DisplayPort, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Gigabit Ethernet pier and, many importantly, a HDMI pier able of doing twin 4K displays. A singular SD label can be slotted into a tip of a Revo, too.

Acer’s pint-sized PC also offers wireless connectivity a la 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

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Unfortunately, this strain of success comes to a quick hindrance once we take a remote control out of a box. This double-sided wireless clicker is positively a misfortune underline of a Revo.

The initial problem is that Acer has attempted to squeeze as many buttons as probable onto a remote that’s got about a same aspect area as an iPhone 6. We count 73 buttons in total. This leaves a remote feeling cramped, quite a behind side that binds a full QWERTY keyboard. This petite keyboard seems designed for people with matchsticks for fingers, and will perplex anyone whose digits magnitude some-more than a centimetre across.

It also doesn’t assistance that a buttons are unbending and formidable to press down quickly. This creates typing during speed impossible, shortening even elementary tasks to a sloth-like pace.

The remote also has a touchpad, that is activated by dire a ‘cursor’ symbol on a right side of a control. This allows we to work a remote as a mouse, that works good in theory. In practice, perplexing to click icons regulating a pad that moves a cursor is ungainly and difficult. The cursor is also formidable to control accurately, nonetheless this gets easier with practice.

Related: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video

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A final niggle of a remote control is that to use it, we contingency block a wireless dongle into a behind of a device. Acer reserve this, of course, though it means you’re immediately brief one USB port, that is a contrition for a PC that prides itself on connectivity.

Fortunately, we have several options when it comes to abandoning a remote control from hell. The apparent choice is shopping a wireless rodent and keyboard, that will assuage all your pains. The second is to download a Acer Revo Suite, that works as a plain choice to a remote. It’s accessible as an app on both iOS and Android, and connects to a Revo over Bluetooth.

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What is a Creator CI20?

The Creator CI20 is a circuit house computer, clearly desirous by a exile success of a Raspberry Pi.

It gets we some-more hardware, for some-more money. At £50 it’s roughly double a cost of a Raspberry Pi 2, yet has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a good volume of inner storage. The Pi effectively has no storage.

The Creator CI20 sounds like a bigger, improved Raspberry Pi. However, hardware issues, a obtuse program ecosystem and that aloft cost meant it’s simply not as good. Not scarcely as good.

SEE ALSO: Creator CI20 vs Raspberry Pi

Creator CI20: Hardware

First impressions are sound, though. Where a Raspberry Pi 2 ships in a small label box with unequivocally small wrapping and no charger, a Creator CI20 comes with a block and adapters for a world’s several block sockets.

That might sound like a slight indicate to make, yet it’s one of a array of small extras indispensable to clear a £25 cost travel over a Raspberry Pi 2.

The Creator CI20 is a satisfactory bit incomparable than a Pi 2 as well, nonetheless as a circuit house computer, they’re naturally flattering similar. It’s when looking during where to indeed store a Creator CI20 that we see one of a initial drawbacks of going for a rather lesser-known choice like this.

There are loads of small cases for all a versions of a Raspberry Pi: only demeanour on eBay and you’ll find hundreds of a things. At a time of writing, there are no Creator CI20 cases out there. You’ll need to cobble one together yourself, unless we have a 3D printer in a sideboard vagrant to be dusted off.

What it does have, though, are connections. The Creator CI20 has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth integrated, where many other circuit house computers need dongles to supplement these features. No plugging into a router is compulsory to set anything adult either, since a CI20 has drivers and program preinstalled, Android 4.4 to be specific.

The Creator CI20 is more-or-less prepared to go uninformed out of a box, aside from wanting a few mins of meditative time as it initial runs, that appears to taken adult by unpacking a OS and preinstalled software. For those not unequivocally after a developer apparatus yet something to play around with, there’s no training bend to a unequivocally initial “plug in, switch on” partial of this computer.

Its connected connectivity is sincerely finish too. The Creator CI20 has a full-size SD label slot, dual USB 2.0 ports, an additional OTG mini USB, 3.5mm audio jack, Ethernet and a garland of GPIO and other connectors that will let we block additional components directly into a board, such as a camera. It uses an HDMI pier as a categorical video connection, creation plugging a thing into a guard or TV no issue.

The genuine USP of a Creator CI20 is what’s during a heart, though. It uses a dual-core MIPS32 1.2GHz processor, clocked significantly aloft than a 900MHz Raspberry Pi 2.

We’re not going to leave this one unresolved in a air: we’re not unequivocally tender with a CPU. While it outdoes a unequivocally initial generations of Raspberry Pi, we found opening to be sincerely uninspiring. We’ll demeanour into this in some-more abyss later, yet where a Raspberry Pi 2 scored over 1480 in Geekbench 2, a Creator CI20 managed only 295 in Geekbench 3.

While they are opposite tools, a formula are dictated to be rather comparable.

It has reduction energy than £50 phones, but carrying a same financial overheads of conduit acceptance and, y’know, things like screens to consider. But tender energy isn’t unequivocally a indicate of one of these computers. So what’s it indeed like to use?

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What is a Syber Vapor I?

The opening between consoles and PCs has confused interjection to fit components and smaller, sleeker designs, and it’s now viable to opt for a desktop in a vital room – they’re means to entrance a incomparable library of games and, distinct consoles, they’re entirely upgradable.

CyberPower has prolonged done high-end gaming desktops, though a new Syber multiplication represents a initial large play into a vital room: a pierce that sees this loser step adult opposite a Playstation 4 and Xbox One as good as determined systems like a Alienware X51.

SEE ALSO: Xbox One vs PS4

Syber Vapor we – Design Build Quality

The Vapor is some-more particular than a consoles it hopes to replace. Its physique is a brew of white and black plastic, and it has a kind of thespian styling that seems imperative in gaming hardware. The sides are lonesome in angles and vents, and a center territory is slatted.

The front is distinctive, with dual bands of light possibly side of a unconventional Syber logo. Our representation is white with black trim and blue lights, though a appurtenance is accessible in pristine black, and black with copper trim. The lights can be altered, with enlightenment accessible in purple, yellow, immature and red.

The Vapor has one large advantage over a consoles: it’s entirely upgradeable. Syber encourages owners to get stranded in, that means archaic components can be transposed – something that adds some-more cost, though an choice that could also give this appurtenance a longer lifespan than any console.

Getting inside is simple: mislay one screw, and a side row slides away. Once a Vapor is opened, a processor, Wi-Fi label and memory sticks are all easy to access, and a tough hoop can be unscrewed from a steel caddy that spans a breadth of a system.  

The graphics label is underneath a tough hoop caddy and is trustworthy to a motherboard with a PCI riser, and it’s easy to remove. There’s room for incomparable cards than a GTX 750 Ti used here – as prolonged as a label is 280mm or reduction in length, it’ll fit.

The Vapor looks like a console, though it’ll occupy some-more room underneath a TV. The Syber is 358mm far-reaching and 344mm from front to back, and it weighs 5.5kg – about a same distance as a Alienware X51. Compare that to a consoles: a PS4 weighs only 2.8kg and is 275mm wide, while a Xbox One tips a beam during 3.2kg and it’s 333mm wide.

It’s bulkier than consoles, though there’s no denying a Syber’s strength. It’s a stout box with few genuine build peculiarity problems – a side panels have a tiny wobble, though that’s not a problem when a complement is sat underneath a TV.

SEE ALSO: Best Xbox One Games of 2014

Syber Vapor we – Connectivity and Software

The front row has dual USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 connector and a span of audio jacks, and a back has dual some-more USB 3.0 connections, 4 USB 2.0 ports, and a PS/2 plug. There are 3 some-more audio jacks, though one underline – an visual expostulate – is absent.

SEE ALSO: Best TVs Round-up

On a inside, there’s Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless, though no 802.11ac connectivity, notwithstanding what Syber’s website says.

The miss of an visual expostulate could abrade if we wish to play bequest games, though that’s not how Syber sees a complement being used. The Vapor boots into Steam’s Big Picture mode, that optimises a UI of Valve’s PC gaming program for lounge use – a app’s icons are bigger and a navigation is reworked for controllers. It’s a tantalizing proposition, as it means a PC’s strong program library can be some-more simply accessed from a vital room.

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Syber pairs this lounge-friendly program with a integrate of peripherals. The first, Logitech’s F710 wireless controller, is good: a gentle and stout mock-up of a pads granted with a vital consoles. The second marginal is a little keyboard with a tiny touchpad. It’s useful, though it lacks quality: a keys are tiny and spongy, while a trackpad is notation and lacks responsiveness. It’s only about excusable for navigating Steam or Windows 8.1, though one of Logitech’s incomparable vital room keyboards would be most better.



What is the Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC?

We’ve previously described 32-inch 4K monitors as “huge”, but they look Lilliputian when up against the Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC. This 4K panel has a 40-inch diagonal, and that doesn’t just mean it dominates desks – it dominates rooms, too.

This screen is vast, but it’s more expensive than the competition, too. Its £690 price means it’ll set you back far more than the Samsung U28D590D and the Asus PB287Q – 4K screens that have 28-inch diagonals and cost less than £500 and £600 respectively.

SEE ALSO: Best Monitors Round-up



Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC – Design

The Philips has practical elements that go beyond its sheer size. The 40-inch screen and 3840 x 2160 resolution means this screen has a ppi of 110 – a more manageable level than the 163ppi and 138ppi densities found on 4K screens with 27-inch and 32-inch diagonals.

In fact, the Panasonic’s ppi is more akin to the density levels found on 27-inch and 32-inch screens with resolutions of 2560 x 1440.

The Panasonic’s ppi level means this screen doesn’t have the pure sharpness of smaller 4K panels, but it is more practical. Icons and text are sharp and rendered at manageable sizes, so there’s less need to squint at impossibly tiny features or use Windows 8.1’s scaling options make the panel usable.

The panel is a VA unit with a W-LED backlight. The former technology should ensure that this screen has inky black levels, decent viewing angles and good brightness – all attributes we crave on versatile monitors. The VA technology does mean that response times might not be great, though, and we’re intrigued to see how the W-LED backlight performs, as it’s one of the cheaper backlight technologies around.

It’s a good-looking unit. The screen is surrounded by a slim, glossy bezel that bulges at the bottom to house a touch-sensitive Philips logo that acts as the power button. The stand is slim, metallic and looks more like the sort of kit you’d find on a high-end TV. It’s not too huge, either – its 9.7kg weight and 213mm depth are high, but not unreasonably so.