Acer Aspire iDea 510

The Acer Aspire iDea 510 is a premium-priced media centre which boasts a 500GB hard drive and an operating noise of only 23db.


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CNET Editor

Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury


With a new operating system comes a fresh attempt at popularising the media centre, and Acer has announced its Aspire iDea 510 to coincide with the recent release of Windows Vista Premium.

Upside
Acer is pitching this device as a niche product, which is unusual for a large company, and is perhaps based on the public's luke-warm reception of previous media centre PCs. It will be available in only 50 stores Australia-wide, including David Jones and Myer, which matches the unit's "exclusive" price of AU$2999.

The iDea 510 is a very slender unit, and looks quite fetching in its silver and black skin. It packs in all the features you'd expect from a premium PC: twin digital tuners, low noise output, 500GB hard drive, HDMI output, and a slot-loading dual-layer DVD burner.

The PC comes with several peripherals, including a remote control, and a keyboard with a trackpad on the side. This is handy, because we believe one of the biggest "killer apps" for media centers is not "Pause Live TV", but Internet browsing -- just try to make your DVD recorder do that!

Of course, the Acer also comes bundled with the Vista version of Media Center, which is one of the best looking and easiest to use front ends yet. Combined with Intel's Viiv enhancements this should make the iDea a compelling content source.

If TV watching is your thing, you'll be happy to know that the machine comes with a 12 month subscription to the IceTV EPG.

Downside
Three thousand dollars is a lot for a media centre -- especially when you consider that devices such as the PS3 and Xbox 360 can do many of the same functions. Even if you buy a DVD recorder with hard drive as well you'll still have change from two grand.

Acer is happy to admit that the Aspire iDea 510 is a proprietary design, which means that it's not easily upgradeable beyond adding a larger hard drive or more RAM.

Also, the Acer TV pictured in the gallery is not included for the price, so you'll need a TV with at least 720p capability to make the most of the PC functions.

Outlook
The Acer Aspire iDea 510 is a stylish looking addition to the scant number of Media Center systems on the market. Yes, it is a niche product, but first impressions are that it's a sturdy unit and should find a happy home for enthusiasts willing to put a little time into it.



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steve posted a comment   

The Good:size,stylish looks

The Bad:Absolutely everything else

I purchased one new and have had nothing but problems. Computer is overpriced and low on spec compared to similar products.
Also i found you cannot upgrade or modify( Two highly qualified techs tried)
Removing the top cover does solve the overheating problems though:-)
If you like throwing money away buy one,personally i will never EVER purchase an acer product again after experiencing this delightful product

David Wray
1
Rating
 

David Wray posted a review   

The Good:Looks Good

The Bad:Nothing but problems!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bought & paid in November, received it in January. Had to chase acer to find out where it was a number of times, because they were not going to ring me!
Took days to set up TV program guide.
Hard drive then died!
Onsite warranty is not onsite in regional areas. Contracted acer repair tech, only paid approx $30 for any warranty repairs. (What sort of effort will $30 get you these days.)Hard drive replaced/swoped. All data & set up lost.
Have not been able to get TV guide going again. System shuts down and freezes regularly.
Add to it all the Vista problems with things like Philips skype phone & Buffalo External hard drive not working.
Now it won't even turn on.(Fancy blue/purple/red light switch not working)
Digital clock still works, which is about all I've used it for in the last year anyway.
What a waste of money & time.

DrJay
8
Rating
 

DrJay posted a review   

The Good:Awsome unit for home theater, caters for all VDU's including projectors. Sleek design.

The Bad:no HDDVD /Blue ray player, although has inputs to support an external unit. Price RRP is terrible, way too expensive; they should have gone for a lower price

Nice Little unit, works seemlessly on home wireless network, remote lacks full functionality although has the essentials...

steevo
10
Rating
 

steevo posted a review   

we are awaiting it in the mail, very exciting prize to win

Pesmare
9
Rating
 

Pesmare posted a review   

The Good:Good size HDD
Has Alt-F10 recovery if things do go wrong
Dual TV tuners
Lots of connectivity for cables
Ease of use, very easy to switch inputs

The Bad:Price, of course
Single HDMI output

Whilst the unit is expensive, it's nice to have something with a good HDD and decent processor to sit back and just enjoy easily.

techo
5
Rating
 

techo posted a review   

The Good:Not enough detail

The Bad:to hard to judge

Report lacks enough detail to judge usefulness / value, such as what processor(s), what logic core, what tuners, type of IR control, HDD brand / model. I would also describe this as an HTPC

big_marcelo
2
Rating
 

big_marcelo posted a review   

The Good:features

The Bad:price, price, price, price... did I say price?

it would be a great product at about $1,500 .... at $3k .. its a waste of money ....




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User Reviews / Comments  Acer Aspire iDea 510

  • steve

    steve

    "I purchased one new and have had nothing but problems. Computer is overpriced and low on spec compared to similar products.
    Also i found you cannot upgrade or modify( Two highly qualified ..."

  • David Wray

    David Wray

    Rating1

    "Bought & paid in November, received it in January. Had to chase acer to find out where it was a number of times, because they were not going to ring me!
    Took days to set up TV program guide...."

  • DrJay

    DrJay

    Rating8

    "Nice Little unit, works seemlessly on home wireless network, remote lacks full functionality although has the essentials... "

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