Acer unveiled the Revo Build Mini PC, a computer that users can put together just like they were building something out of Legos.
Building PCs from scratch requires quite a bit of technical knowledge, as all the components being placed into the PC being assembled should all be compatible, with all the specifications correct, or else risk damage to the PC once is tarts up. Acer seems to be trying to eliminate the knowledge barrier, as building the Revo Build Mini PC is as easy as stacking blocks on top of each other.
The modular PC that Acer developed begins as a little box measuring 5 inches by 5 inches by 2 inches that runs on a lower-end Intel Celeron or Pentium processor with integrated graphics. The base brick of the Revo Build Mini PC packs 8GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD, and several waiting connections along the side and back of the unit which includes 3 USB ports, a DisplayPort, an Ethernet port, an HDMI out, a jac for a headphone or microphone, and a card slot for SD Cards.
Users can then stack up pre-made blocks on top of the base brick to add more capabilities to the CPU, including additional storage, improved graphics and extra power. The RAM of the CPU can also be upgraded through a slot located on the base brick.
Each of the blocks will magnetically snap into each other through connectors found along the top and bottom, with some of the blocks even capable of working as standalone units that other computers can use. For example, storage bricks with capacities of 500GB and 1TB also feature USB ports so that other computers can use them as storage options.
The Revo Build Mini PC will have a brick that feature microphones and speakers, along with an optional GPU base unit to improve the performance of the system to what is required by users such as gamers and video editors. However, one of the more interesting bricks for the modular CPU is the Wireless Power Bank, which will be able to power up the Revo Build Mini PC while away from electrical outlets.
While the idea behind the Revo Build Mini PC is sound, similar to Google's Project Ara modular smartphone, the success of the computer will depend on how much support Acer will provide to the product and to its users. Acer will have to release new blocks every once in a while and provide support for old blocks, in addition to pricing them competitively.
Acer said, however, that the Revo Build Mini PC will not be released into the United States immediately. In addition, the exact specifications and prices for the modules are still not available.
The base block of the Revo Build Mini PC will be released in Europe, Africa and the Middle East next month with a retail price of about $220, with the device coming to China in December with a retail price of about $315.