My old HTPC is something that I call a “frankencomputer,” meaning it’s been upgraded in piecemeal fashion after various OEM parts failed over the years. It may look totally new, but inside it is the same limiting, loud hardware that I started off with circa 2003. I needed some new hotness, so I started looking for something with the following criteria:
- Small form factor - it had to fit into an entertainment center and look good. I no longer want a huge ATX tower sitting in the middle of an otherwise sexy entertainment center.
- HD video and audio - it needed to be powerful enough to play 1080p video and decent audio (preferably SPDIF out). The old HTPC could barely play Hulu flash videos on low quality without coughing.
- Low noise - the old machine sounded like an airplane during takeoff, which is to say not good. Any new machine must be quiet enough so that I don't hear it when something is playing on it.
- Wireless AND wired - I wanted the possibility to wire a new machine to the network as well as the freedom to connect wirelessly should I want to go that route.
The box felt very solid, and after opening I knew why - the Revo box itself fills the majority of the Newegg box. Only two airbags were used to fill that empty space:
After opening up the Revo box itself you can find the keyboard and mouse at the very bottom. I originally thought that I wouldn’t be using these, but the small form factor of each of these is making me think twice! Both are smaller than the bluetooth set that I currently use:
Here’s a look at all the parts laid out on the table. Included with the stuff already mentioned is a laptop-like AC adapter, TV mount, vertical stand, some manuals, and of course the box itself. Yes, I was drooling:
The machine itself has a luster to it. It is dark blue. Here you can see the front of it - it has the SPDIF out, a card reader, and audio ports. On the bottom left you can see a small cleft where the power button is:
Turning it around 90 degrees you can see a USB on the top front and the plug for another USB nearby. The top also has vents for the super-quiet fan:
Here’s where you see where all the magic happens. The back has all of the other USB ports, HDMI/VGA out, the ethernet port, and the AC adapter input:
On the bottom you can find some more vents and the slot for the base (which comes with it):
Here is what it looks like with the stand on it. Sexy, no?