Acer's AspireRevo Nettop Taps Ion Platform

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Along with more than 20 new netbooks, notebooks,and all-in-one PCs, Acer has launched what it called the first small form factor PC to offer Nvidia's Ion platform, combining Intel's Atom chip and the Ion graphics processor.

Hands on: Nvidia Ion Turbocharges Intel Atom

With the AspireRevo, Acer wants to make a splash in the category of nettops -- low-cost desktops that essentially repackage the specs of a netbook into a minimal design. Existing examples include Asus' Eee Top 1602 All-in-one PC and Eee Box Compact desktop.

More: MSI and Shuttle Unveil Touch Screen All-in-One Nettop PCs at CES

But Acer officials at an evening launch event at a science museum outside New York City played up the superior graphics processing power of Ion combined with the Atom 230/330 chip, positioning it as a multimedia home PC that can be used as a gaming device.

The AspireRevo lets users watch 1080p HD video, play DirectX 10 games at high frame rates and tap the 3D capabilities of Windows Vista Premium. It will also be available in a package with a game controller with 3D motion sensors.

Though exact dimensions weren't immediately available from Acer, the company said the device takes up less than a liter of space, or about the form of a hardcover book.

The new nettop comes with either a Serial ATA hard drive or Solid State Drive (SSD) and up to 4GB of DDR2 memory. Memory can be expanded with a Mini PC Express slot.

Acer officials made much of the company's use of SSD.

"Using SSD and not HDD saves power," said Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci.

"There were several things holding back the wider use of SSD and the main one was cost," he said. "SSD used to cost about 50 times what HDD cost for the same capacity, but now it's down to about 10 times the cost, so we're getting there. Over the next two years we expect to see much greater use of SSD."

The AspireRevo is designed to be attached to the back of any TV display or LCD with a VESA attachment.

The device also incorporates 802.11 b/g WiFi and Gigabyte Ethernet connection.

Pricing and availability were not announced though one official said the device is expect to ship in the back-to-school time frame in the U.S., with a staggered release around the world.

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