Acer Aspire One | Models A110 and A150
For significantly less than an Asus Eee PC, you can get the Acer Aspire One Netbook. It features 8.9" display at 1024x600 resolution, integrated webcam with microphone although is lacking in bluetooth connectivity. It’s good value too, retailing for in the bottom end of the mini notebook price range which is good news during the recession.
It's Got the Looks.
Aesthetically, it's a very well done piece of kit like most Acer notebook computers, available in 5 different colours, enticingly described as 'Seashell White', 'Sapphire Blue', 'Golden Brown', 'Onyx Black', and 'Coral Pink'. Furthermore the shapes are so much more smoothly refined than the box-like Asus or Dell models.
There are a multitude of variants of the Aspire One. The A110 models all have solid state drives (SSD's) of either 8GB or 16GB in size while the A150's have conventional hard drives of varying sizes up to 160GB. You can get them with Windows XP or with Acer's own Linux flavor 'Linpus' which usually reduces the cost. It seems that in some markets some models of the Aspire One come with the 6 cell battery as standard so that's something to look for as the 3 cell is a compromise too far for a machine designed to be used on the move.
Shame About the Interface.
The interface of the Aspire One Notebook is slightly awkward, verging on clumsy. The keyboard is very compact, and some people may find the keys simply too small for their fingers. It's surprising considering that it’s supposed to be 95% of a fullsize version. The touchpad itself is very smooth and glossy, and lacks the response of other laptops. The mouse buttons are also positioned at opposite sides of the touchpad which gives a very odd feel since you always need to look down to see where they are. Overall, the interface is not the best.
In addition it’s seriously let down by its standard battery life which is supposedly 2-3 hours, although they offer an optional extra 6 cell battery pack which will increase the run time to around 4-6 hours depending on the nature of your use. Of course those extra hours don't come free and increase the overall purchase price by a significant amount.
Acer have released a 9-cell battery version which promises up to 9 hours 40 minutes battery life. This claimed run time is bound to be with a minimum number of applications running and no wifi but it should provide enough power for a whole days work and/or a long haul flight.
These ‘nit-picking’ problems certainly shouldn't be taken too far and by no means be considered a reason to dismiss the Acer Aspire One. With an extra battery back, the price will still be less than many competing models and the small interface is something that depending on your needs (and finger size) you will quickly adjust too.
Choose carefully from the variants available and you should have a great value good spec Netbook. A sweet spot for most would be the Windows version with 1g ram, 16g SSD or 160GB harddrive.
Great for traveling with, viewing movies and listening to music with the odd bit of office work in between, in terms of value for money, the Acer Aspire One netbook is simply the best mini laptop computer out there. It’s one of the cheapest branded Netbooks, whilst not being too different in terms of specifications from the market leading Asus range. The Acer Aspire One is clearly a worthy contender in the battle for the best value mini laptop.
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