Remember the Acer Ethos 8951's removable touchpad? Well, that's only the first of Acer's products this season to feature a pop out peripheral — its new RL100 employs the same idea. Available today for $499.99, the home theater PC features a similar ejectable keyboard and touchpad, and it's one really handy solution. (Note: The RL100 is new to the US; it's been around overseas for quite a bit.)
We're actually not sure why it hasn't been thought of before. The rectangular pad docks and charges right on the side of the PlayStation 2 Slim-looking tower and the automatically-paired peripheral ejects when you're ready to navigate from the couch. The wireless pad has a physical volume wheel and a button for switching between the touchpad and optical keyboard. We had a chance to see it in action a few weeks ago and it's a pretty neat implementation — the backlit keyboard seemed adequate for punching in short URLs and the touchpad responsive enough for navigating Win 7 from a distance. It also supports two-finger scrolling and your other typical multitouch gestures.
Internally, the 11.81 x 7.09 x 1.0-inch RL100 packs an AMD Athlon II K325 CPU, NVIDIA Ion GPU, a 750GB hard drive, and 4GB of RAM. As you can see in the gallery below, it's well-stocked with ports, including three USB 3.0 ports, a multi-card reader, Ethernet, Optical S/PDIF ports, and an HDMI socket. Surely not a bad package for $499, and if you're itching for some Blu-ray playback, there will be a $569.99 configuration. Of course, we're not sure if there's still room in anyone's life for an HTPC anymore, but check out the hands-on pictures after the break and decide for yourself.