IDF 2010: Acer Revo 2, Asus Companion Box sport Intel Atom CE4100 processors, Windows Media Center Embedded

Summary:The Boxee Box isn't the only device bragging today about its Intel Atom CE4100 processor. Two new ones were on display at the Intel Developer Forum sporting the same CPU.

The Boxee Box isn't the only device bragging today about its Intel Atom CE4100 processor. Two new ones were on display at the Intel Developer Forum sporting the same CPU. In addition, the two devices come equipped with the new Windows Media Center Embedded, an entertainment-friendly version of Windows Embedded Standard 7.

While neither the Acer Revo 2 nor the Asus Companion Box looks any sexier than a standard DVD player, the Revo 2 does include the potentially cool Revo Pad, which can work as a slide-out navigation device /remote or an illuminated touchscreen keyboard. It also has a lengthier spec list, including an internal hard drive, built-in optical drive, and HDMI output. The Asus box lacks internal drives and HDMI, but includes an ATSC tuner and component video output for HD sources. It doesn't appear that either comes with built-in Wi-Fi, which you'd think would be a no-brainer by this point.

Among other features, the new embedded version of Windows promises multitouch support (thus making the Revo Pad possible) and Aero UI flavor. You can see screens and a video of the new media interface on Engadget, where you'll notice a programming guide that mingles Internet "channels" with standard broadcasting channels and the inevitable Netflix support under the Movie heading.

Both devices are expected in the first half of 2011, and they'll need to be priced right to compete with a slew of connected living room streamers that seem to emerge on a weekly (or sometimes daily) basis. That especially goes for Asus' box if it eventually ships without any drives -- is Windows Media Center Embedded going to be slick enough to be the selling point in something that's not built something like a traditional PC?

Topics: Browser, Hardware, Intel, Mobility, Processors, Software Development, Windows

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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