Acer's Revo Build Mini PC Lets You Stack Up The Upgrades

At the IFA electronics show in Berlin this past week, Acer flipped the lid on the Revo Build M1-601. This is a modular PC that's built to upgrade using modules that literally stack on top (and bottom). The point is to make upgrading the base system as easy as possible for PC neophytes, with Acer likening the process to "playing with toy blocks".

 

 

The blocks attach to the 4.9 x 4.9" Revo Build using pogo pins and magnets, a process that's eerily similar to a certain Lenovo laptop accessory setup. Acer claims that 500GB and 1TB hard drive modules will be available at launch. A power bank supporting wireless smartphone charging, a speaker module (with headphone amp built-in), and, most excitingly, a graphics upgrade with an unknown AMD Radeon GPU will all show up "gradually".

Additionally, Acer says the modules will still be usable without being attached to a Revo Build. The stock images certainly show USB connectors on the backs of all but the external graphics block, likely for connecting to other PCs.

 

Left side, back sideLeft side, back side

 

As for the Revo Build's actual specs, these are fairly underwhelming. The highest-end CPU available is the Intel Pentium N3700, which, while quad-core, is still at the bottom of Intel's range. The built-in graphics are Intel's HD Graphics, and you get up to 8GB of user-upgradeable DDR3 memory, but just 32GB of permanent eMMC storage.

Ports are similarly sparse - I spy only an HDMI, DisplayPort, three USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, a LAN jack, and a SD card slot on the Acer Revo Build. This thing will do fine for basic tasks, but it's a good thing the modules make upgrades easy, because you'll need them if you want to do anything more intensive - hardware or software-wise.

 

 

All of that said, Acer will be rolling out in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) regions first, along with China, at about $226 USD for the base Acer Revo Build M1-601 unit. It's unclear whether the firm is planning a US release or not.