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on March 26, 2009
I ordered my Acer Aspire One 10.1 Netbook (AOD150-1165) on Feb 28, 2009 from Amazon. Item shipped on March 2nd and arrived on March 14.

When I ordered only Sapphire Blue color was available but I am happy with Sapphire Blue. It looks very attractive. I would normally order either white or black model but I am glad they were not available :) The only thing I can complain is that it easily gets finger marks so I try not to touch the shiny surfaces.

When you unpack the box and hold it on your hand, you will realise how light this is (especially if you have been lugging a 17" laptop) This is very transportable and ideal for those small airplane tray tables (or your lap)

The 1.6Ghz N270 Intel Atom processor is a single core processor but it is pretty snappy and certainly more than enough for most office type usage. The Netbook ships with Windows XP Home w/SP3 installed instead of Vista so to me it feels as responsive as (or better than) a Core 2 Duo based laptop running Vista.

The unit is rather quiet. The fan or hard disk noise is minimal. The fan does not kick in often during normal use. It might be more active with some heavy CPU/HD activity tasks.

The screen is 1024x600 CrystalBright (shiny) type LCD but very comfortable to read under various light conditions. There is an integrated 0.3M megapixel (640x480) webcam and microphone embedded in the screen frame. Ideal to use a video phone/conferencing software like Skype, etc. BTW, to gain some vertical space on desktop, you might want to set Windows XP taskbar to auto-hide and pop-up when you move the cursor to the edge of the screen.

The keyboard is actually pretty well designed. Unlike some models from competitors, the shift, control, alt, tab, enter, backspace keys are all in the right places. Initially, I found the keys a bit small but after a few days of use, you get used to and avoid hitting two keys. The arrow keys could have been a bit bigger as there is room along the lower right side of the keyboard.

The touchpad on this model is made by Synaptics and is pretty configurable. Like everything else it is a bit small but works acceptably well. It would have been better if it was made wider. Touchpad buttons is another story. They are correctly placed below the touchpad but instead of using two independent buttons the designers chose to use one bar over the two buttons. This made the buttons much harder to press. I would have preferred two independent buttons. I think this is the biggest complaint about the design of this netbook. Nevertheless, the buttons do get softer over time. I have softened the buttons out by pressing both ends of the button bar at the same time repeatedly. I do this a number of times before using the laptop each day. So, it is not that hopeless.

Well, I do try to get myself used to build-in keyboard and mouse but those that are doing extensive work can still attach a regular USB keyboard and a USB mouse. For example, Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 is a perfect match.

Alternatively, you can tap on the touchpad instead of pressing the buttons. The synaptics touchpad is pretty configurable. You can configure a corner of the touchpad for right button and anywhere else would be left button.

The speakers for this netbook is under it. They are pretty loud and sound quality is pretty decent. However, since the speaker openings are underside of the netbook, if you are holding it on a soft surface such as carpet or bed the sound can get muffled as the openings will be blocked. It's not a very good idea to keep it on the soft surfaces for a long time anyway as this will block the fan vents as well and cause the netbook to overheat.

There is 1GB RAM memory on DDR2 SODIMM module installed (mine was made by Samsung). There is no on-board soldered memory (the description on Amazon is incorrect and is referring to older 8.9" model). The memory is easily upgradable to 2GB by replacing the SODIMM module. I upgraded the memory on 10.1" Aspire One to 2GB by installing a "Mushkin 2GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Laptop Memory - Retail" module (Mushkin part #991618). It works great! Please note that this module has CAS4 (4-4-4-12) timing instead of more common CAS5 (5-5-5-16). In other words, it is slightly faster memory as it has less wait states :)

The hard disk is a Hitachi HTS543216L9A300, 160GB 2.5" 5400rpm, Serial ATA, 8MB Cache disk. It's pretty quiet. I think there is plenty of space for most applications. If you need more you can attach an external USB hard drive or the hard disk itself can be upgraded almost as easily as the RAM memory.

The wireless chip (AR5007EG) is made by Atheros and supports 802.11b/g. The range is decent enough. I had no issues connecting to my home WiFi Access Point, at work or other free public hotspots. I used wifi at Starbucks, Barnes and Noble Bookstore and McDonald's among others (I get free WiFi at these locations since I have AT&T DSL). However, some users are reporting that they have some issues. The Atheros driver installed by default is old (version 7.6.0.260). The latest I have found for the AR5007EG wifi chipset is version 7.6.1.244 (dated 2/25/2009) and I believe might solve issues that some people are experiencing. (As a convenience, I've provided instructions at the bottom of this review for access to updated drivers) The device properties indicate that the WiFi chip is setup for maximum power saving. By the way, just like RAM and HDD, the wireless module is also accessible. Who knows, someone (or Acer) would come up with an replacement module for 802.11n or a Bluetooth+WiFi combo.

There is no build-in bluetooth capability. If you need to interface with Bluetooth devices you will need to buy a USB adapter such as Cirago Bluetooth BTA3210 v2.1 EDR Class 2 Micro Bluetooth Adapter or you can get a combo with a bluetooth mouse such as Logitech VX Nano Cordless Laser Mouse for Notebooks (Black) Update: Apparently, Acer Aspire One AOD150 models build for some Asian markets do come with build-in Bluetooth. It's a pity Bluetooth is not included for American version. :(

Like many other early adopters, the laptop arrived with Panasonic Built 5800mAh, 59W battery. It lasts 7-8hrs under normal office type work with Wi-Fi enabled. This is a bigger capacity battery than it would ship normally (4400mAh, also 6-cell) but most everyone got the larger one so far.

There are 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x 10/100 Ethernet port, 1x VGA external monitor port and a single Multi-format flash memory card reader/writer (again, Amazon's description is incorrect about 2nd SD card slot). There are also a headphone and external microphone jacks and a Kensington style lock slot.

There is also a slot for 3G SIM chip beside the battery. My netbook did have the slot but no 3G hardware in there to accept the SIM card. Presumably some models will be equipped to have 3G wireless capability.

Unlike 8.9" predecessor, this 10.1 model did not come with a case. I picked a Neoprene sleeve from a local store that is designed for an 11" laptop (Sony VAIO 11.1-Inch Neoprene protection case). Please note that with 6-cell battery the width of the netbook is about 8.5". So, most 10" cases with width around 7-8" will either not fit or will require signficant stretching so choose your case accordingly. Actually, I personally use two cases. The neoprene sleeve goes inside a larger 12-13" laptop bag with enough storage pockets for the charger and other cables. When I go out to a cafe, I only take the netbook in sleeve and leave the rest in the car.

The netbook also does not come with system recovery disks. There is a Acer recovery utility pre-installed that will generate your recovery disks for you. You should do this as soon as possible. You never know when you will need them. You will need a USB attached CD/DVD writer and some recordable media (6 CD-Rs for System Recovery + 2 for Apps and Drivers, OR alternatively 2 DVD-R for Recovery + 1 DVD-R for Apps and Drivers). I've purchased a NU Slim USB External SuperMulti Drive DVD Burner ESW860 and worked for me well. It's slim enough to carry along with your netbook and you can watch DVDs if you like. You should be able to use it on any other laptop or desktop computer with USB 2.0 interface. Update: You can also order a set of recover CDs directly from Acer for $20. You need to go to Acer Support Website [...] and click on US on the map and select "eRecovery CD Purchase" link. It will verify the serial number of your netbook first.

Besides Windows XP Home, there is MS Works, a trial version of Microsoft Office 2007, a 30-day version of McAfee anti-virus suite and a couple other trialware installed. These can be uninstalled from Control Panel easily if desired (or needed).

Overall, I am very satisfied with it and highly recommend it. Obviously, I cannot talk about Customer Support/Service as I did not need to use the service. If your aim is to run your usual applications and surf the net with a decent screen size, this is the right one.

------
Update: Updating Atheros AR5007EG WiFi driver:

You can download version 7.6.1.244 (2/25/2009) driver free from Softpedia. Go to drivers.softpedia.com and enter AR5007EG at the top search box. Download the zip file (ar5_ar9_7.6.1.244.zip) and unzip it. Then go to Install_CD sub-folder and run setup.exe. When prompted choose to upgrade the driver. It's simple and painless... If you are still having problems after driver update, change the channel of your AP/Router. There may be high interference from a nearby wifi router/access point. Good luck!
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on February 12, 2009
Acer made a nice mini-notebook into a better one. The screen is larger and just as bright. The keyboard is still great (for a small one). No weirdly placed right shift key placement (Asus, Lenovo, etc). The mousepad buttons are below the touchpad not along side (yeah). It is now easy to increase ram or replace the drive without entirely dismantling the unit and voiding the warranty. I have no complaints. I loved the first one, this one fixes all the criticisms of the first one. Nothing major just refinement. Someone is listening to its customers and it is Acer.
Addendum: the screen is glossy, and initial orders are getting the larger 5900ma battery. It stick out the back a bit, but the run time is amazing. It must be the longest running mini-laptop out there, including the new Asus 1000he and the Samsung 10nc, for much less $$. That's a win in my book. Easy to touch type (for me), good looks, I need a xd-card slot and this one has a 7-1, there is a bit a bloat ware, just delete and put on what you need, the HD is large enough.
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on February 21, 2009
Acer Aspire One AOD150-1165 10.1-Inch Netbook (1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB Hard Drive, XP Home, 6 Cell Battery) Sapphire Blue

I know there are plenty or reviews about the good and bad things about this tinny little piece of hardware. I will not be talking about how good it is but rather WHY it seems good.

First a bit about me. I'm a mac user, love technology and are very critical of details that can make it or break it.

The Acer Aspire One 150 is simply more of what I was expecting, for less that I thought I was paying. I will number the reasons WHY I think such to be the case:

1) Quality. I know you can get them at walmart and they are quite on the cheap side. But that has nothing to do with the built, feel and performance of this device. Coming from my Macbook Pro early 2008, I cannot say that there is much room for improvement. Besides a backlite keyboard LOL.

2) Performance. How many times will you hear a Mac user praising a Windows machine, specially running on an atom N270? Well here it is one. I did not modify the OS or got Linux on it (yet) because I'm review what you will be getting right of the box. The machine is very snappy, booting is a breeze and this is the first time I use a brand new windows machine without reinstalling the OS. I only downloaded AVG free anit virus and unistalled MacAfee and I'm running this baby. Video Playback is very decent. The 5800 mAmp battery 59 Watts rated is just wonderful.

3) Design. They keyboard is just good, it could be better but I really don't see much room for improvement. It is a 300 dollar machine for Christ sake. Screen, I have to use it in the lowest setting, the LED is great and resolution on the spot. Size and weight are very decent. I actually wish it was a bit wider, then again that is my macbook pro bias. Key layout it works wonders for me so far. Functions and commands are easy to execute on it and it is simply pleasent to use sitting, laying in bad or standing. Viewing angle is good, although video videos have a natural narrower viewing angle.

3) Features. Great battery life (I would put it in the 7 hours range to be fair with real usage). The Audio card is fantastic, it is as good as the macbook pro, no exageration. The atheros WIFI card got reception where my macbook pro doesn't have it and other computers as well. The HD is very fast, It copies data very quickly and don't be fool by the 1 G RAM on it, it is plenty to handle netbook oriented computing tasks. The touchpad, in conflict with other reviews out there, there is advance calibration software included in the machine that will allow you to use all the single finger scrolling features and flicker in no time (need to be calibrated first). And just in case people didn't know there are actually sensors that detect your hand on the resting pad in relation to the touchpad as to avoid unnecessary input.

4) Personal Gripes: I know these are not really serious concerns but I'm pretty sure they will make the product better overall. First, dual booting. I mean come on how hard it will be to add ubuntu remix to this little wonder. Just as to get a taste of it. Touchpad buttons, I wish i didn't have to go all the way to the very end of them to click and there was more feedback, maybe I need to get used to them. N280 processor, I know it does not make it or break it but it would be nicer to have the newer atom processor here. Although I know it is not a deal breaker at all. Last but not least, Intel GMA 950??? Come one, it works but this is by far the weakest point on the device. I know we are not doing high end graphics in here, but give me some better integrated graphic action LOL

Overall, I give it 5 starts because I find no serious flaws with this product to reduce a single start. It is more that what I bargained for and I'm very sure that it will be a very good addition to my technological arsenal for years to come lol...
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on February 17, 2009
I'm very impressed with this netbook. I ordered mine as soon as I heard they were initially shipping with 5800 mAH batteries and I was pleased to find mine came with one. It is rated 5800 mAh / 59 Wh, and the model number is UM08B52. Windows estimates close to 8 hours of battery life when fully charged and it seems to be accurate. The display is glossy and looks great. It boots very quickly although I haven't timed it. Performance is better than expected - I can't tell a difference between this and my Thinkpad R61 when running Microsoft Office applications or browsing the web. I'm not sure if it has a fan because I haven't heard it kick in yet. It stays fairly cool except when charging. The keyboard takes some getting used to. It has great feel but I can tell it is slightly smaller than the HP netbooks I've tried in stores. As noted in some reviews, the mouse buttons are pretty stiff but after a couple of days I've gotten used to it.
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on April 7, 2009
I got this thing last week. upgraded the ram.. everything good. I was loving it and it was working very well.. UNTIL tonight I touched the screen and it cracked. I know have a black mark on the screen abut the size of two dimes and a crack mark.. very unhappy. Like I said I barely touched it. I subsequently found a full page of reviews about the screen being very cheap and damaging super easily. Acer will not cover it under warranty and wants $200 for a replacement screen.
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on February 18, 2009
I just received my mini yesterday and I love it. Much better than I expected although it takes a little (just a bit) getting use to the slightly smaller keyboard thanks to my fat fingers. The screen is great, it is nice and bright, as is the overall feel of the unit. It feels quite sturdy and is so quiet you wonder if it even has a spinning harddrive (it does). It stays cool and it charges very quickly. Some may think this unit is to small, but that is what I like about it. I bought it to take with me, to keep in the car, to travel with, etc. It fits that bill exactly. This is just great for surfing the web, jotting down notes or using as an mp3 player, etc. You probably don't want to use it as your main PC unless you just use a PC to do what I mentioned above, but I guess if you attach an external monitor, keyboard and mouse there is little reason why you can't.

I was originally going to wait a bit more before buying it, but the lure of possibly getting the 5800 mh battery instead of the 4400 convinced me to buy it now. It worked I got a 5800 mh battery that last about 8 hours SWEET!!

Now my boss is thinking about buying one, it's just a matter of time, because he's drooling.

The only down side is the nice blue cover shows finger prints, though they wipe off easily, and the mousepad is a little tricky for me but I have never liked mousepads so that's just me.

I may get another one soon, since my son is already eyeing this one. Oh the joys of being a pushover!

UPDATE: Boss just ordered, couldn't hold out any longer, he is weak. My friends husband, Oscar is interested in one, it's just a matter of time, these things sell themselves!
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on May 12, 2009
Strongly recommend to not buy ACER Aspire One. Less than 3 months after purchase, the monitor cracked and no longer works. Upon returning it for warranty service and repair, was told it is not covered as it is physical damage. I explained that it was on a hotel desk one night working and did not work when started the next morning. The service technicians response was that I had probably closed the notebook with only one hand and that could damage the monitor. It is not covered by warranty. Such a piece of junk should not be considered a notebook/netbook that is used for travel. It is absurd that it is so poorly constructed that closing it with one hand would destroy it.
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on February 27, 2009
I had seen these and similar units available for some time. The Acer models caught my attention the first time I came across them browsing through hardware for an order I was placing. They are sleek netbooks with a nice clean paint job resembling a showroom sports car. Ultra portable, thin and lite, these are the best balance of functionality and extreme mobility.

Like I said in my introduction I had seen these online for some time but never bought one. I thought they looked attractive but doubted there efficiency for office use. I didn't want to spend $300+ on something I wasn't sure could meet my needs. I had used a HP mini and hated it. Found the screen too small and unstable. Noticed some flickering with the HP units that turned me off from the netbook PCs. However something about the Acer units kept me curious.

The wife must have noticed how curious I had grown, and surprised me with one for Valentines Day. This was the best gift I could have gotten. This PC is awesome and totally destroyed my skepticism.

The video was amazing! Nice sharp display, perfect resolution for the size. Runs games I never expected it to run. Half-life one based games run great, and the Half-life 2 demo runs playable (although not well enough to be competitive online 15-30fps) Hard-drive has plenty of room for a mobile PC. Divx and Netflix Instant watch runs nice with a great picture quality. Another feature that amazed me was the audio quality. HD audio with great sounding speakers that were remarkably loud!

This PC is also amazingly light. It's solid, well put together, and barely even gets warm when running with full CPU load. The six cell battery gives me almost 7 hours of continuous use. The long battery life means if I take it out on call, and forget my power cord, I do not have to worry about it dying on me. This is the first laptop I have ever came across that can virtually give you a full days use on one charge. This is a great stride for the business user who relies on their PC to work all day.

Office applications run great. OpenOffice and Microsoft Office 2007 runs nicely. My only complaint is the PC is running XP Home. The types of consumers who would benefit most form the system would need XP Professional. This is not Acers fault. Microsoft only allows XP Home to still be sold, and only for netbooks. All other sales of XP has been stopped. This is because even though XP has reach it end-of-sales status, Microsoft has recognized that vista is too much for these low end netbooks. But what about Windows 7? The full release of windows 7 is expected to hit shelves by Christmas, and with the growing popularity of the netbook and Microsoft claims that 7 requires less resources than vista with more features, Windows 7 might be a good choice for the netbook class of portable PCs.

I had already tested Windows 7 on an older Athlon system and it performed surprisingly well. It was also very close to the specs of the Acer. Running a 1.4Ghz with 266Mhz fsb system with 1GB DDR 266Mhz ram it was pretty close. In fact the Acer is more powerful, 1.6Ghz with 533Mhz fsb and 1GB DDR2 533Mhz, it should prove a viable system to run Windows 7.

It was simpler than other users made it seem. Most people who installed other Operating Systems on the Acer Aspire One claim you had to use a USB flash drive properly formatted with the installations files on. Then boot form the flash drive and install windows. That was because a lot of USB CD/DVD drives are not bootable. The first one I tried wasn't. I use a thermaltake USB drive enclosure with a NEC 16X DVD+-RW. Works good for installing and burning on the Acer but not recognized during boot. However I did have a USB to IDE cable I use to recover information from crashed hard-drives. I plugged it into a burner I pulled from a dead emachines PC and it worked liked a charm. Booted from the DVD no problem and installed Windows 7 Beta.

First thing I noticed is that it recognized all the hardware right away. I ran windows update and received all the updates and this PC is amazingly stable. The Aero interface runs flawlessly, with all the effects. Some stuttering but only noticeable by picky users like me. Windows 7 looks beautiful on this machine and really compliments the high quality LCD included with Acer. Even the slide show wallpaper feature runs nice. The wallpapers transition every 5 minutes and do so very smoothly even with full CPU load! (JORDAN VARDEN, Jordos Computer Services, Tupper Lake NY)
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on February 27, 2009
This is a cool little computer. Of the netbooks currently available (late February 2009), it has the best combination of features and price. These were the particular features that sold me:

- a usable keyboard, with properly positioned Shift keys. Many other netbooks compromise here, using a small weirdly-placed shift key that can make it very difficult to type accurately. The Acer's keyboard is slightly reduced in size, but I am able to touch-type on it with no problem.

- a 10.1" screen, with 1024x600 resolution. Bright, clear, and easy-to-read.

- a 160GB disk drive; quite generous storage capacity for this class of machine. Plenty of room for photos, music files, and the usual day-to-day work.

- extended run-time on battery. This is perhaps one of the greatest advantages of a netbook over a more traditional laptop. Because of the power-efficient processor used, even the smaller 3-cell battery will usually have double the battery run-time of a regular laptop. And with a larger 6-cell battery, the Acer will run for an entire workday. Like other early orders, mine (ordered on Sunday 2/22) was shipped with the larger battery. This adds an enormous degree of convenience and utility to the netbook; true un-tethered portability.

- a compact, attractive case. It's a nice change from the usual black or monochrome computer.

Along with the 3 USB ports, good wi-fi connectivity, an ethernet port, external monitor jack, built-in webcam and mic, 1 GB RAM, and 1.6Ghz processor, it has everything most of us need in a portable computer, and nothing that we don't.

The only thing that I actively dislike is the mouse-button. What were they thinking? As others have noted, it is truly heinous, requiring an incredible amount of force to press. Unbelievable, especially when one considers how well thought out the rest of the design seems to be.
(UPDATE June 2009): I was in Walmart today and checked out the two Aspire One's that they had on display. The stiff mouse-button problem appears to be fixed in the latest models! The feel was quite reasonable on the current store-models that I tried.)

Fortunately, there is a partial workaround for the stiff button... using touchpad tap/gestures in place of the mouse button for single or double-clicking, and marking text. I haven't got a great workaround yet for click-drag operations (e.g. moving windows, dragging files). I've had to turn that into a two-handed operation; left finger holds down the mouse button, right finger drags on the touchpad. This is something that I do infrequently enough that the overly stiff button isn't a deal killer. However, it is a serious flaw in an otherwise excellent design.

(UPDATE: the touchpad can be configured to allow "Locking Drags" on the Acer. Bring up Control Panel -> Mouse -> Device Settings. In the listbox, click on the Synaptics Touchpad entry, then click on the Settings button. This brings up the Properties dialog for the touchpad. Select +"Tapping" (expand the entry), then "Tap and Drag". There is a checkbox for "Locking Drag" so that you can turn on this behavior if it suits you. It can provide a workaround for the unwieldy click-drag behavior caused by the Aspire One's stiff mouse button. )

Wishes for a future version:
1) improved button!
2) an even higher-res compact display; say 1280x800.
3) somewhat faster dual-core processor, when they become available (a BiAtom processor?), but without seriously compromising battery life.

That's about it. I wouldn't want a built-in CD/DVD or much bigger display because I want a netbook to be small, convenient, and compact. I like getting 7 to 8 hours on a battery charge, and don't want that to suffer.

Overall, the Acer Aspire One has an almost ideal combination of features and price. Recommended.
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on June 23, 2009
I bought this computer in january at Costco mainly for travel. I fly at least once a month and my regular laptop is 17" and a real pain to lug around. I figured this would be perfect for travel since I don't require it for much more than the net. I also bought a new IPOD and didn't want to back the entire library onto my regular computer and felt this would be perfect for this.

After only about 40 uses the hard drive started makinga grinding sound and I had to shut it down. It will not reboot now. Costco gave me a number for acer and their customer service is awful. They told me I could ship it to them but it could take a couple weeks to get it back. Here is the REAL rip off, I have had this computer less than six months and am told I have to pay the shipping costs to return it. I had problems with an HP once and they handled the shipping fees and overnighted it back to me.

A friend has an HP netbook and I wish I would have spent the extra $[...]. If you want this just for emailing and the web I would recomend getting an IPOD touch instead. It's about the same costs and a lot more convenient.
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