Not to be outdone by her majesty and her Samsung NC10, it is now my turn to own a cheap bit of computing equipment that blows your socks off.

Instead of going for the netbook route, I decided that I still quite like the desktop idea (mostly due to the fact that I like to work with a monitor and keyboard of my choice, not the manufacturer’s best guess at what I want). Alongside the development of the mobile netbook idea, the desktop variant, the net top has been quietly getting more and more appealing.

Having read numerous reviews, I thought I’d take the plunge and go for Acer’s Aspire Revo R3600. Finding it listed for £250 at Amazon.co.uk, it seemed rude not to give it a go.

I’ve owned it for one day now and already I think its brilliant. OK, so the bundled keyboard and mouse are clacky affairs (not really a problem, I’ve already got my cordless ones so I just replaced them) but it is a cheap desktop, what do you expect. There’s no monitor either so rather than a netbook costing £300 with its screen in the case, Acer didn’t need to spend a penny on the visuals. This means more money for the actual components.

Running Vista Home Premium, it has the capability to scoot off into Media Centre and look all wizzy. I have to admit, I’m impressed with the way it works and the HDMI socket available as an output is just begging for me to attach this to a TV.

Something always has to give however and in this case its raw computing power. Although I’m told it’ll happily render Bluray if you attach a player, I have found that bootup times are a little longer than my old PC (about 2 mins). It being £350 cheaper on the day of purchase however, I think you can let that go. Its only got an Atom processor!

Although I agree that this is probably best suited as a “second PC” or definitely one for the kids to sort out their homework on, I still think that’s selling this little trooper short.
If you’re looking for a tiny desktop PC that sips power rather than gulping it, doesn’t make a sound, looks good, attaches to the back of your monitor,  has built in HDMI and a memory card reader, buy this PC.

I don’t regret this purchase one little bit.
Just make sure you have an external DVD drive, your own monitor, keyboard and mouse!

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