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Old December 10, 2008, 12:52 PM
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JD JD is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 8,035

My System Specs

Default Acer Aspire One - Mini-Review

I picked up a Acer Aspire One in Onyx Black with 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, Windows XP Home and the 6-cell battery (AOA150-1423), which happens to be a Christmas present for my mom. I got it for $409.99 from NCIX.

Basically it's you're typical netbook offering the majority of functionality that a full size laptop has in a smaller form factor and lower price-point.

I was surprised to see that there wasn't a ton of bloatware pre-installed. Just McAfee, Google's suite of software, trial Office 2007 and Microsoft Works. Windows XP came with SP3 which was nice but there was still quite a few updates to install.

My main complaint is with the keyboard and touch pad. I absolutely hate the tiny left-shift key. It just makes it so much more difficult to type. I don't mind that the keys are smaller than a full keyboard but that shift just ruins my typing ability. Personally I would of liked to seen the right shift small instead since I never use it (maybe I just type weird?). However I believe this layout is due to the fact that it's a bilingual keyboard. Also having the touch pad buttons on the side rather than the bottom is a bit different to say the least. Takes some work to get used to if you've used a normal laptop.

Since my mom is mainly using this for Office, Internet, Email and watching movies, that's mainly what I tested. Office 2007 Enterprise opens up pretty quick and is responsive. No different compared to a full desktop PC IMO. Internet and Email are also perfectly fine, no complaints there. And for movie watching, I was rather suprised that the single-core Atom could play a 720p MKV movie using CoreAVC and AC3Filter codecs and it was streaming over my wi-fi. In comparison, a P4 2.4GHz laptop cannot do this.

As for battery life, I don't really know yet since I was just running it off AC. Windows claimed around 5 hours though, but of course this is going to depend on what you do.

Overall though it's a small, portable laptop with quite a bit of power. You can easily do any daily sort of tasks on it. Windows XP is quite responsive and I'd say equivilant to a typical desktop. I was considering putting Ubuntu on it but for now XP seems like it'll be fine. Maybe once there's a simple distro for the Aspire One I'll give it a shot.

Below are some pictures, it's sitting ontop of my XPS m1330 for size comparision. Quite tiny and after staring at that 8.9" screen and then using my XPS, my XPS seemed liked a beast and well my 22" desktop was insanely large.

Unfortunately I didn't take the pictures with the battery in, but the 6 cell does stick out from the bottom so it puts the laptop at an angle when sitting on a flat surface. My XPS has a 9-cell in it which is why it's on such an angle. (And yes, it was actually November when I took the pictures, just never got around to posting)
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