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Acer Aspire Revo AR3700- slim and cheap HTPC, Full HD capable

By Mark , updated on June 4, 2014

The Acer Aspire Revo AR3700 is a nettop from Acer, part of the successful Revo line. A nettop is a compact form factor desktop computer, meaning it’s smaller, lighter, takes in less energy and is more silent than a usual desktop PC.

The AR3700 is a mid range computer when it comes to specs and scope, and is great for watching movies on a big screen and some basic computing, like browsing the web, working with documents and the stuff like that.

The major advantage of this type of computer is that it occupies very little space and you won’t hear it humming all day long. Or see it, considering you can mount it on the back of a TV or hide it behind some flowers, considering it’s the size of a book. So let’s see what makes the AR3700 an interesting choice.

The nettop is powered by an Intel Atom dual core processor, namely the 1.8 GHZ D525. It’s one of the best current low power processors, as it comes with enhanced support for multitasking and circuitry that diminishes power losses.

The processor is good on its own when it comes to video playback but fortunately there’s also a Nvidia ION video solution, with hybrid graphic chips and Optimus. The chip shares memory with the system and can display Blu-Ray movies, DirectX 10 applications, as well as 3D gaming.

The nettop comes with a keyboard and mouse straight out of the box

The nettop comes with a keyboard and mouse straight out of the box

You shouldn’t aim too high though, as the system is built more for video playback than for gaming, that requires a different type of setup. So you should go for older games or games that don’t require too much fire power, like arcade games or side scrollers. The system comes with 2 GB of DDR3 and you can upgrade those to 4 GB (there are two memory slots).

In terms of storage, you have a 250 GB hard disk drive, that should be more than enough to keep your media in one place. If you want to play some disks, you’ll have to buy an external DVD or Blu-Ray player, as the AR3700 doesn’t have an optical drive. The system also comes with HD audio support, so you can enjoy a 5.1 or 7.1 setup together with your HD TV. There’s also WiFi N support, a protocol much faster and more reliable than WiFi.

The system comes with SD and USB ports, as well as included wireless keyboard and mouse, so you’ll be able to start using the AR3700 straight out of the box. For the entire spec sheet of the AR3700, as well as pricing details, check out this link. The OS is Windows 7 Home Premium, which as the names says, is optimized for casual, home use, with an emphasis on media playback and web browsing.

The AR3700 is only 1.4 pounds heavy and 1.2 inch thick, so it will be very easy to set it up anywhere in the house, as well as carrying it around in order to connect it to different displays. You can also use this nettop for working, as it comes preloaded with Office Starter and buying an activation key will give you access to the entire suite.

The AR3700 has lots of ports, including HDMI and USB

The AR3700 has lots of ports, including HDMI and USB

Overall, the AR3700 is an accomplished nettop, even if it doesn’t have an optical drive, like some high-end form factor computers. It’s good enough for playing HD movies, both locally and streamed, some games and deliver overall enjoyable desktop performance for casual users looking for a HTPC.

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Mark is an Editor here at tlbhd.com . He's studying Screenwriting and Production in "sunny" London and in his spare time, he works as an IT editor for a couple of mobile publications, like this one.
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