8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great Little Netbook--Highly Recommended!
, December 10, 2008
I purchased the Acer Aspire One (AAO) from Amazon.com and have been using it for about a month. It's the blue one with the 160GB hard drive, 6-cell battery and Windows XP Home. My quick summary is that I am very impressed with the AAO and would not trade it for any of the other netbooks currently on the market. It's not perfect, but it fits my needs quite well.
First, keep in mind that the AAO is a netbook with an 8.9" screen. If this is a size you're comfortable with, then the AAO may be for you. If you're more comfortable with a larger size, I'd suggest looking at the netbooks with a 10" screen. From my research, the Samsung NC10 is the best of the current crop of 10" netbooks.
On to the pluses and minuses for the AAO. Here's a list, for easy reading:
* The keyboard is great, with nice and large Enter and Right Shift keys. I have fairly large hands and can touch type on it nearly as quickly as a full-sized keyboard. My favorite laptop keyboards have always been the ones on the IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads, and this one reminds me a lot of those.
* Two card readers, with one dedicated SD reader with the card sitting nearly flush with the case. This means you can leave a card in the SD slot at all times without it getting in the way and still have another slot for intermittent use.
* Nice, bright, clear screen. It is glossy, but that doesn't bother me and does enhance contrast.
* Large black bezel around the screen. That may seem like a minus, but it makes the netbook just large enough to allow for the wonderful keyboard.
* The unit feels solidly built, without creaks or groans when lifted by a corner.
* Around five hours of battery life with Wi-Fi on, brightness at about 50%.
* Screen brightness cannot be brought down below 50% on many units.
* No built-in Bluetooth.
* Touchpad buttons to left and right of the pad, instead of below as on larger laptops.
* Hard to upgrade the memory, since it means dis-assembling the unit. And the max upgrade is to 1.5 GB.
* Fan noise noticeable in a quiet room.
* Shiny case top picks up fingerprints very easily.
On the minuses, they're pretty minor. The 50% screen brightness is about what you want for normal usage in daylight or a lighted room. It's only really a pain when using it at night. Bluetooth micro-adapters can be had for just a few dollars, if you need Bluetooth. And I hardly ever use the touchpad buttons because of the ability to configure the touchpad with many tap functions that do the same thing as the buttons. On top of that, there's a neat utility available on the Web that allows you to add two-finger scroll and three-finger tapping to the touchpad, which gives you even more configuration options. The fan on my unit is a bit louder than I'd like. To get around this, I'm using a utility I found on the Web to control when the fan comes on. So now, it only comes on if I'm really pushing the AAO. For normal surfing and document editing, it doesn't come on at all. Finally, yes, it is difficult to upgrade the memory. But I'd argue that, for most people, staying with 1GB is a good thing, since it means that going into and out of hibernation is faster. The more memory you have, the larger the file that hibernation will be writing and reading each time you go into or come out of it. I like having the AAO come out of hibernation quickly. It makes it much more available for quick usage when out and about.
Hopefully, the above information will help those of you looking for a netbook in making a decision. Good luck!