Yes, you could certainly accuse us of being easily pleased, but there's just something inherently awesome about hiding a giant touchpad remote in the otherwise boring box that controls your TV. At IDF 2010, we spotted a pair of new Intel CE4100
set-top boxes from ASUS and Acer respectively, running the brand-spanking-new Windows Media Center Embedded
. Both were so early in development that they relied on external USB tuners to do their thing, but the Acer Revo 2 caught our eye when we saw the ThinkPad aesthetic of the RevoPad
. It slides right out of a charging cradle in the front of the box to become a mousing alternative (and houses a large volume dial on the side), but with the press of a button the surface shines light through tiny perforations
and it becomes a touchscreen keyboard instead.
Aside from the remote, the Revo 2's fairly well-connected to boot, sporting HDMI, Ethernet, optical and analog audio ports, and three USB ports, along with an internal hard drive of unspecified capacity and a slimline optical bay. The ASUS, meanwhile, has no drives, but an ATSC antenna, component and composite video to its name. Both boxes are slated for the first half of next year, though representatives weren't willing to talk price just yet. We're headed back for more, but in the meantime, check out video of the hardware after the break.
We've got an expanded video walkthrough of Windows 7 Embedded now after the break!
Windows 7 Embedded at IDF 2010
Additional reporting by Ross Miller
Acer and Asus CE4100 set-top boxes, hands-on