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-   -   Acer Aspire One - Mini-Review (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/member-reviews/12732-acer-aspire-one-mini-review.html)

JD December 10, 2008 11:52 AM

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.

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...0196f318a8.jpg

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...0196f3fe34.jpg

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...0196f437e7.jpg

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...0196f48683.jpg

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)

EaGle1337 December 10, 2008 02:57 PM

how is the failboard?

Cptn Vortex December 10, 2008 03:25 PM

Interesting that your XP worked so well. I installed XP on mine, both XP Pro and Home, and tried NTFS and FAT32 formatting. No Matter what I did, it was FAR too slow for me. I think it may just be that the 8GB SSD in mine is significantly slower than the 160GB HDD in yours. I also isntalled 1.5GB Ram total.

So far I have installed Ubuntu EEE on it, and it is quite nice. Everyhting works except the Wired LAN port... still cant figure out how to get it to work...

So my advice. Get the HDD version. Or, if you go for the SSD version, use the supplied Linux or give Ubuntu EEE a try.

JD December 10, 2008 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cptn Vortex (Post 124808)
Interesting that your XP worked so well. I installed XP on mine, both XP Pro and Home, and tried NTFS and FAT32 formatting. No Matter what I did, it was FAR too slow for me. I think it may just be that the 8GB SSD in mine is significantly slower than the 160GB HDD in yours. I also isntalled 1.5GB Ram total.

Yeah I'd say XP isn't made for SSDs by any means which is probably why it doesn't perform as expected and well that's why I avoided the SSD models since I wanted flexibility with OS's.

Moneyless December 10, 2008 07:22 PM

Very nice, I'd love to have an Aspire One, but my Inspiron 1525 does all the stuff it would do, and more. It just weighs three times as much. :blarg:

/jealous

RainMaker December 14, 2008 11:14 AM

Hi folks,

Thought this would be a good place to chime in... I recently bought an AAO for my wife. We got the 8gb SSD Linux version for her to surf, email, watch videos and some light word processing stuff. We also added an 8gb SD card to the expansion slot, bringing the 'hard drive' up to 16gb. While the included software is mostly good (Open Office) if you are at all beyond rank beginner you will want to be able to add apps (VLC especially), so once I 'unlocked' the advanced mode of the Linux distro it has been a breeze... super quick and easy to use. Although, similar to JDrom17 the keyboard drives my wife nuts...there is one extra key between the apostrophe and enter and it totally screws up her typing! Overall though I would by another without hesitation!

Toronto122 February 14, 2009 04:32 AM

I've had my Aspire One (120gb HDD, 1gb RAM, 6 Cell) for about 6 months now, and I LOVE it!!!

I use it for all my music (makes it easy to update the iPod when I travel), some movies, again for travel, and pictures. I can't say enough about this computer...it's awesome.

I also use it for e-books, I haven't bought a paper book in months now, I have them all on there and read with it regularly. The computer is it's own night light!! LOL

I do agree with the small shift key though, that's the ONE negative I can think of...

It gets great wifi range, and the battery life is exceptional...upwards of 6 hours with the wifi off. Perfect for long flights or sitting around airports!

As for the touch pad, it doesn't matter to me, I got the Logitech VX Nano with it, and I love the fact that I can keep the USB dongle plugged in even when it goes in the pouch. Besides, my hands are too big for the touch pad...

+1 for loving this thing...:clap:

Oh, and 6 months ago, I paid $385 at Mike's Computers in Abbotsford BC...great guys and AMAZING prices. If you're in the Fraser Valley, I recommend seeing them if you need anything. And no, I don't work there or anything, I live in Toronto, but when I'm out there it's where I go...

JD February 14, 2009 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Toronto122 (Post 150986)
As for the touch pad, it doesn't matter to me, I got the Logitech VX Nano with it, and I love the fact that I can keep the USB dongle plugged in even when it goes in the pouch. Besides, my hands are too big for the touch pad...

Wow, same mouse I bought my mom. And yeah that tiny USB receiver was the reason why I got it.

FiXT February 14, 2009 09:20 AM

Hhhmmm - really liking the black. I bought myself have the Sapphire blue - wan't something closer to black, but it wasn't available at the time.

Love the unit though! Snagged the 120GB hard drive version and immediately installed my "de fatted" version of XP. Works like a hot darn. Only 3 cell though. I get two hours under full use with it. Not great, would like to go to a 6C eventually.

Thanks for the review jdrom :)

gingerbee March 6, 2009 09:04 AM

got one for the wife great little lappie for what it is i personal love the atom have 2 or 3 around the house some where


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