Flash 10.betas have been the saving grace when it comes to lower power machines like the Acer Aspire Revo. I have tried out every beta that has come out and given my opinion before. Adobe has just released their release candidate for Flash 10.1 which means that it is almost ready to go into a real release. I have been a pretty impressed with the past betas and my only real issue has been with Internet TV inside of Windows Media Center and any flash videos inside of Boxee. I have addressed some issues with how Boxee processes flash video which almost makes it impossible for even the 10.1 betas for fix it, but I will give you a full rundown of how the new RC performs.
HULU: After uninstalling the old 10.1 beta 3 I went and installed the latest RC which was extremely fast and easy. I went directly to Hulu to see if there was any difference from past betas. I through the latest episode of The Office into 480p and full screen mode and just like in past releases it performed great. Video overall was smooth with only a few tears from time to time, but overall I was pleased. I also watched a few smaller clips from SNL to see if the results were the same, and I am pleased to say they were.
Online videos: One of my favorite websites to review when I am testing flash is SouthParkStudios.com which has every single episode of South Park ever. With beta 3 just about every single flash video online worked great and i can say that with RC not much has changed. I started up the latest episode of South Park in HD and in full screen mode, and it was great. Video was extremely smooth and picture quality was amazing.
Internet TV: A big issue that was almost resolved in past betas was Internet TV inside of WMC. I am not the biggest fan of Internet TV mostly because I think Hulu does a much better job, but it has improved vastly since it started. I started up a few episodes through CBS and clips from the CW and to be honest I was really impressed with the performance. I watched a full 45 minutes episode of Undercover Boss (not a great show, but interesting) and from time to time there was an occasional spot of slow down, however it seemed great. It wasn't like watching television or even shows through Hulu, but I enjoyed the experience. Video playback was a pretty smooth experience and I might actually use Internet TV now.
Hulu Desktop: I booted up expecting great things from Hulu Desktop with the latest 10.1 and I was got just that. The Office started up right away with High quality selected and playback was very smooth. It took about 2 or 3 seconds for the buffer to catch up but after that there were no issues at all. I tested a few other videos and the results were the same.
Boxee: I decided to test Boxee just for fun. I attempted to watch content from various sources such as NBC, FOX, and Hulu, but just like past attempts video playback resulted in black screens, broken videos, choppy videos, or just nothing happening at all. Like I mentioned earlier I think this is more an issue of Boxee than flash since you can watch these videos through a browser or Hulu Desktop just fine.
Some things to note are that I fully uninstalled beta 3 before installing the RC. I am also running older Nvidia drivers which are version 196.21. I did not go through the trouble of upgrading to the latest version to see if there were any differences, however I have had no issues with the current drivers so I just kept them.
Overall I was extremely impressed with the latest Flash 10.1 RC. I don't think it is a large jump over beta 3, but bug fixes are always nice to have in there, and I am looking forward to the final release. As always your results may vary so if the RC isn't working great for you feel free to go back to beta 1 or beta 3.