Acer Aspire one Mini-Review

Acer formally introduced its new mini-notebook this morning at its press conference here in Taipei. My apologies to Acer President Gianfranco Lanci, but I had to sneak away from the press conference to play with the third-largest notebook manufacturer’s mini-notebook. After 20 minutes alone with the Aspire one I have to say it is promising. But can it rival other Atom-based notebooks like the MSI Wind or the Eee PC 901 and 1000 series? In some areas, yes; in others, no. Check out the hands-on video and photo gallery below. Glossy, Colorful Lid I have seen my fair share of mini-notebooks in the last few months, and the Acer Aspire one is one of the best looking. The lid has a nice shine to it and is available in four colors: pink, brown, black, and white. I like how the the colors extend underneath the lid to the trackpad and palm rest. It’s worth noting that the unit I was playing with quickly became smeared in fingerprints. Measuring 9.8 x 6.7 x 1.14 inches, the Aspire one has a small footprint, but sitting on top of an ASUS Eee PC 900, it was a tad longer. The 2.2-pound system felt light in one hand. Standard Mini-Notebook Keyboard, Trackpad The first thing I noticed when I opened the system was the Aspire one’s somewhat cramped keyboard—at least compared with the MSI Wind and the new ASUS Eee PC 1000. It was hard not to make comparisons to the Eee PC keyboard, as the lettering was a similar blue and black. I had no problems typing Web addresses and search terms, however. At this point, we may just be a bit spoiled by the MSI Wind’s larger keyboard, which doesn’t require you to cramp your fingers together. The trackpad is similar to the HP Mini-Note’s in that its two mouse buttons are located on the sides. I’m not the biggest fan of this layout, but Mini-Note users seem to get over the learning curve in short order. The trackpad itself was very smooth and accurate. Impressive Matte Display The Acer Aspire One’s 8.9-inch CrystalBrite screen is impressive and its 1024 x 600 seems just perfect. Horizontal and vertical viewing angles were good when I watched Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” video on YouTube. Finally, Another Easy Linux! Acer plays well with Linux. The system I was testing was running Acer’s customized version of Linpus Linux. Taking a cue from the Eee PC’s Easy Mode, the main interface is divided up into four categorical boxes: Connect, Work, Fun, and Files. Large icons of the essential programs are filed under each. The Connect box includes a Firefox Browser, while the Work tab includes OpenOffice applications. Speedy Boot-Up The Linux version of the Acer Aspire one comes with 512MB of RAM and a 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor. You can select your data storage option: either an 8GB SSD or an 80GB hard drive. Though I didn’t have enough time to really test performance on the Linux system (by running multiple programs and trying multimedia intensive tasks), the system did boot in a brisk 28 seconds (see video below). Versions of the notebook running Windows XP were also on display. Early Verdict Acer is the second of the top notebook manufacturers to join the mini-notebook race and it’s clear that it’s going to make an impact. Though I think the smaller keyboard is a shortcoming, the rest of the system feels solid. The Linux distribution on the Aspire one is simple enough for beginners, which is something we can’t say for the Linux distros used on some of its competitors. A speedy boot-up points to solid performance, but we will wait for our review unit to make the final call on that. Hands-on with the Acer Aspire One [flv:/flvs/aspireonehandson.flv 480 360] Watch the Acer Boot-up [flv:/flvs/aspireoneboot.flv 480 360]

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  1. Mike Cane Says:

    >>>It’s worth noting that the unit I was playing with quickly became smeared in fingerprints.

    Yecch. Why do they think gloss is so appealing? I noticed the high reflectivity of that rather large frame around the screen.

    I got to fondle the Lenovo U110 at J&R. Glossy should be outlawed!
    http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/micro-fondle-lenovo-u110-dialogue-flybook-asus-e900/

    And what’s with that large frame surrounding the screen anyway? I don’t recall the e900 looking like that. It makes the unit seem much larger, yet you said it has an Eee-like small keyboard. Seems to me that frame is similar to the one on the hp Mini Note, thus there should be room for a larger keyboard.

  2. Mike Cane Says:

    I’m confused now. Please clarify. Earlier at:
    http://blog.laptopmag.com/acer-intros-aspire-one-mini-notebook

    You state the keyboard is 89% of full-size. Yet Joanna in person is saying it’s cramped like the original EeePC. Huh?

    My instincts above were right, thinking the keyboard should be larger. Maybe.

  3. Jim Robbins Says:

    Destined to be the craze for the near future. The netbooks will be one of best selling tech items for the 2008 holiday season.

  4. Raybouder Says:

    None of the comments I have heard tell if this Acer Mini One up load or down load programs? Is this just a text messaging device or what?

  5. Raybouder Says:

    CAN THE ACER MINI ONE WITH THE 8.9 INCH KEYBOARD ACTUALLY UPLOAD AND DOWLOAD PROGRAMS OFF THE INTERNET OR IS IT JUST A NOTE BOOK WITH TEXT MESSAGING? SAMS HAD THEM ON SALE nOV. 28 FOR $360 BUT THEY COULD ONLY BE PURCHASED SIGHT UNSEEN- STILL IN THE SEALED BOX. NONE WERE EVEN ON DISPLAY.

  6. Frank j Sawatzky Says:

    Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I bought an Acer Aspire One notbook, and can not get the @ function to work to set up my e-mail account.

  7. mhdxbjhcb Says:

    does it have word ?????????????????

  8. demi Says:

    emm i very confused because i just got 1 of them small laptops and im trying to download msn so i can talk to me mate plz help .

  9. alex Says:

    can u actully download msn on the acer aspire plz reply

  10. alex Says:

    im also having problems but if you go on msn web messinger it works so you can chat with your friends

  11. cara Says:

    message to frank, we have had the same problem with our @ button it wont work try the number 2 key and hold down cap-shift at the same time hope this helps

  12. Shane Says:

    hi there can i download things on to my acer aspire one n270 512mb 120gb ive been tryin for weeks no1 can help me!!! iv had it to bits tryin see im an electrictian but have yet fount out haw to download things!! well i can download but the files wont open im wordering if its anything to do with the firefox!!! please help me!! if u help me then would it be posible to install windows visa wbp??????

  13. Michaela Says:

    I’ve had one of these laptops since December 2008, and it works fine… It comes with a recovery program in case your computer gets a virus-It allows you to start from the beginning. It works like a normal computer. Its VERY easy to take with you anywhere. I’d give it a 4 out of 5. One thing I don’t like is it doesn’t seem to hold onto internet connection all that well. You have to repair a lot. And sometimes it’s hard to read the screen. But there is always the option of enlarging the screen. and yes, you can download anything.

  14. Mykl Says:

    does anyone know of a mini 8″ that has a german keyboard? ive about given up because all this laptop info isnt giving me an answer. its for my girlfriend in germany who is russian(i already gave up on the russian mini). its a suprise but thats only if i can find one here or order one online.

  15. 912doctorwho Says:

    its rubbish becuase you cant download anything

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