Acer unveils upgradeable modular mini PC

It’s like magic Lego but for mini PCs

Mini PCs are great giving you faster-than-laptop power in a small form factor, but you almost always have to sacrifice upgradeability in favour of small size. Mini PCs are often difficult to upgrade, if at all, due to their cramped and fiddly interiors as well as their use of small but expensive laptop components. Apple is pushing external devices that use the PCI-Express-based Thunderbolt connector, but external devices mean lots of data and power cables that can get easily tangled.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Acer thinks it can banish the need to make this trade-off with the Revo Build M1-601 mini PC. At first glance it looks like a fairly standard little PC that's around the shape and size of a lunchbox (or an Apple Mac Mini to put it another way). The pre-production demo unit we saw was equipped with a 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3150 processor, 8GB of memory, a small SSD as well as plenty of ports HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet, a SD card reader and three USB 3.0 ports.

Where it comes into its own is the series of optional expansion Blocks which you stack on top of the Revo Build. Each subsequent block is stacked on top of the previous one. Planned Blocks include external hard drives, a wireless charging adapter for your smartphone, a DAC, a VGA adaptor and even a pico projector.

The Blocks align and snap together magnetically, but we were unable to get an Acer spokesperson at the company's IFA stand to detail what technology is used to actually connect the Blocks to the PC and transfer data back and forth. Nor could we confirm whether there is a maximum number of Blocks you can attach the demo PCs we saw were effectively dummy units when it came to the Blocks themselves.

The Acer Revo Build M1-601 will be available in Britain from the middle of October for 200, although the exact specifications for a Revo Build at this price are currently unknown.

Also unknown is how much the Blocks will cost unless Acer is willing to put a big marketing and manufacturing push behind the Blocks, resists the urge to overcharge for them and opens them up to other PC manufacturers as well as peripheral makers then we get the sneaking suspicion the Revo Build won't catch on.

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now

Recommended

Visit/hardware/356390/armari-magnetar-s64t-rw1300g3-review-overwhelming-firepower
Hardware

Armari Magnetar S64T-RW1300G3 review: Overwhelming firepower

8 Jul 2020
Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/356331/virtualise-windows-7-under-windows-10
Microsoft Windows

Virtualise Windows 7 under Windows 10

5 Jul 2020
Visit/hardware/356195/acer-conceptd-500-review-worth-every-penny
Hardware

Acer ConceptD 500 review: Worth every penny

23 Jun 2020
Visit/hardware/356153/zotac-zbox-va621-nano-small-cheap-but-not-perfectly-formed
Hardware

Zotac ZBOX VA621 Nano: Small, cheap, but not perfectly formed

19 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Visit/business/business-operations/356395/nvidia-overtakes-intel-as-most-valuable-us-chipmaker
Business operations

Nvidia overtakes Intel as most valuable US chipmaker

9 Jul 2020
Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/server-storage/servers/356083/the-best-server-solution-for-your-smb
Sponsored

The best server solution for your SMB

26 Jun 2020