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Is This The One?
Acer is yet another laptop manufacturer fired up with the Netbook craze. Acer calls their version the Aspire One. Like the MSI Wind and the higher-end ASUS EeePC, this one too runs on the all new power saving Intel Atom processor — the 1.6 GHz N270.
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The Aspire One we received had a 120 GB hard drive, a three cell battery and a 9-inch screen. In terms of size, it is the smallest of all the Netbooks we’ve seen, but not by a lot. The weight too is similar to the three cell versions of the other laptops.
In terms of looks, it surpases all the other netbooks. The body has a glossy finish and bits and pieces of contrasting colours are used on tips of the hinges. Sporting a 1024 x 600 resolution, the One has a wider aspect ratio than the typical wide-screen desktop. The glossy finish on the screen means that a lot is reflected, but it also makes images look a little sharper.
The base slants into the front of the laptop, which makes it consume less space. The keyboard has no inclination whatsoever, and this makes resting the hands on the edge very difficult.
One of the issues with the touchpad is the buttons for the mouse clicks. Both of them are situated vertically on either side of the touchpad which makes accessing it a little awkward. Fingers get crossed while trying to access the button on the other end while using one finger to slide around the touchpad. The touchpad is also considerably smaller than the ones found on the other netbooks. Acer had to do this to make the laptop as compact as possible. Although there is a thick bezel surrounding the screen, there isn’t any space spared around the keyboard. The keyboard feels alright, and the keys are sturdy. The keys do seem a little smaller than the 10-inch EeePC and MSI Wind. The Control key is on the extreme left of the keyboard unlike the MSI Wind where the Function key is the last key in that row.
Acer could have tried to squeeze the bezel around the screen a little more, but that would mean making the keyboard even more cramped and tiny than it already is.
One cannot help but feel that with such a large bezel, Acer might have put in a 10-inch screen instead; though this would raise costs. The speakers are weak, and sound extremely flat. The sound is a lot better once you connect headphones to it.
The laptop doesn’t have enough vents on the sides to throw out hot air, which means it runs warm most of the time. Expansion is taken care of by the three USB ports and two separate SD card readers on the laptop.
The Aspire One comes with a soft inner lined carry pouch and a very small power adaptor, which doesn’t get very hot. ASUS’s eRecovery feature comes installed which ensures you don’t lose any drivers or software.
The Acer Aspire One comes in many flavours and the Linux version is easily the cheapest of all the Netbooks. At Rs 20,999, the one we reviewied — the 9-inch one with a 3-cell battery and a 120 GB hard drive makes excellent sense. Overall, this is an impressively put together Netbook, and is well worth the price tag.
Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 120 GB HDD, 8.9-inch LCD (1024 x 600), 10/100 LAN, 802.11b/g WLAN, 3-cell battery, Dimensions: 24.9 x 17 x 29 cm
Build quality: 3.5
Value for Money: 4