Review - Acer Aspire One

Image - Acer Aspire One

Summary

The Acer Aspire One is Acer's mainstream netbook. A netbook is a light-weight, low-cost, energy-efficient, highly portable laptop that is suitable for general purpose computing.  Several colors and various hardware/software options are available including NAND SSD drives and a choice of XP Home and Linux operating systems.

Specification Highlights of My Aspire One

Atom N270 CPU 1.6GHz, 1GB or RAM, 120GB HD, 8.9" display, webcam & XP Home. 2 x SD/MMC readers, LAN, B/G Wifi, 3 x USB ports, Audio IN/OUT jacks, and external VGA port.

Opinions

My Aspire One has outperformed my expectations.  I even use it frequently as a substitute work laptop.  Why haul my 5+ lb. work laptop when I have this lightweight beauty?  I have installed my usual suite of applications and tools and have had no slow downs, incompatibilities, etc.  Late nights I often find myself surfing, emailing, and even working from my Aspire One.

The two SD card readers are very convenient. Remember when you had to store all your data on floppy disks to move it about?  Ok, maybe I just dated myself.  I keep one 2 GB SD card in as my "data" drive containing my regularly accessed work and personal data.  The 2nd slot often is used for copying data for friends, downloading pictures, etc.  Three USB ports allow me to connect a variety of accessories.  Tethered with my BlackBerry, the Aspire One makes a good road warrior.

The biggest adjustment for me was learning to work with the limited real estate. 1024 x 600 is alot smaller than many are used to.  Then again, you learn to work with it. Also if you have large hands or fat fingers (and yes, I do) you need to adjust to the smaller keyboard.  The external VGA adapter has limited resolution when connecting an external display or projector.

Most of the "shortcomings", if you can even call them that, are simply products of the laptops size.  The screen, the keyboard and the battery are all physcially smaller and may require a little adjustment.  However the Aspire One is an ideal home browsing / email PC and basic home office tasks.  At a price tag of ~$400 it makes an affordable choice for a student or to supplement your home office.

Final Word

The Acer Aspire One combines size, functionality, and cost in perfect little bundle.  I would highly recommend it.