This week I picked-up a new Acer Aspire One Netbook for $350. I’ve been eying these sweet little machines for a while. What put me over the edge was the change from a Solid State drive with only 8 GB to a HDD with 144 GB. I needed a very portable but fully functional machine. It has 1GB memory installed with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor. It boots in about 12 seconds and responds nicely. I have decided to keep the number of services running on the machine to a minimum with anti-virus and Skype being the only two added that would put a noticeable load on the processor.
So far I give the machine high marks for the most part. I love the overall design with a casing that seems pretty sturdy and a nice glossy lid. The screen is very bright and the keyboard is adequate to effectively pound away. The HDD model puts out a bit more heat and weighs a little more but still not a beast by any stretch. The mouse position is the biggest flaw with the buttons on the left and right of the pad as apposed to just in front. If you use an external mouse or know/learn keyboard shortcuts, it’s a tolerable inconvenience.
The built-in web cam has a nice resolution which will come in handy for Skype sessions. The speakers are a little tiny, but adequate enough to enjoy listening to music.
The machine comes in both Linux and XP. Being that I’m a Windows guy, I decided to stick with XP and was able to load my full version of Office wirelessly by sharing a disk drive from one of my other machines. One funky default setting easily fixed was the power setting for the wireless connection. It was set to maximum power efficiency which caused the connection to be very flaky. By turning that setting to off, it was good to go. That one oversight the company really needs to fix.
This little machine is powerful enough that if one were to get an external mouse, keyboard and monitor, it could become a primary machine for someone. You’d need to in that case purchase an external CD drive if you don’t have another machine to load software and transfer music files etc, across a local network.