Acer Aspire One



I’ve been playing with HC’s new Acer Aspire One for the last week and I have to say that this Mac user is pretty impressed with this tiny little Windows XP laptop, so much I’m hoping that Apple will finally release one of these tiny little netbooks. The first thing I noticed about A-One (as the cool kids call it) is that it appears bigger than it actually is, sitting next to a Asus 8.9 inch screened Eee the Acer screen and keyboard looked bigger, even though it isn’t. Second is that the glossy CrystalBrite screen really makes the colors “pop”.

Spec wise this particular A-One is packing a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD, 3 USB ports, 2 media card readers (one SD/MMC slot and another multi reader), webcam, mic, 802.11b/g, VGA out, and an ethernet port.

What is impressive about this is the fact that this is all packed inside a case that can eliminate the need for a separate laptop bag if you carry a messenger bag or medium sized purse, which was the selling point for HC since she travels a fair amount for business, no more need to her to carry a carry-on, a purse and a laptop bag anymore.

When you look at a small netbook like this the first thing you have to do is remember that it is not a big laptop, it isn’t a media powerhouse and it will not handle the large programs that you use on a bigger machine with the speed that you are used to with a big desktop or regular laptop, but it runs XP and Office 2007 impressively quick.

Pros:

  • Size (both dimensions and weight)
  • Impressively specced out of the box
  • Bright screen
  • All in one, webcam, mic, speakers, wifi, etc.
  • Price

Cons:

  • The screen takes getting used to
  • Battery life could be better and can be if you spend the extra $100+ on the extended battery
  • Upgrading RAM means voiding the warranty and basically dissecting the entire machine
  • Don’t forget some headphones

All in all, this is a great little machine that can easily do 98% of what a full-sized laptop can do and while the screen is just 8.9 inches in this era of supersized desktop monitors it really doesn’t feel that cramped, the keyboard on the other hand does take some getting used to, I’ve fat fingers a few extra characters typing this review on it but it lends itself quite well when I go to hunt and peck typing. I’d say that the Acer Aspire One is the perfect choice as an email/IM device, to accompany a desktop or desktop replacement laptop, a business traveler that wants something that will lighten their load, anyone who just wants something for couch surfing or catching up on some work, or at this price it would be a great beginner laptop for a child, the small keyboard is ideal and I could see elementary schools buying these up in bulk. I know when it is time for Abi to get a computer for school I’ll definatelty consider a netbook, especially if one finds its way out of Cupertino.

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