Acer Aspire Netbook Review

Acer Aspire One 10.1-inch model

Acer Aspire One 10.1-inch model

Recently, I purchased an Acer Aspire One to accompany me on a trip to Europe. I needed a computer to keep up on my daily email, update my blogs, and do a little writing on the road, and I didn’t want to have to lug around a hefty laptop. About the length and width of a magazine, less than an inch thick, and a featherweight at less than 3 pounds, the 10.1-inch model was an almost perfect solution.

I say almost, because if I had it to do over, I would have shelled out some extra money for the 11.6-inch model with the longer lasting battery – 7 to 12 hours rather than 2 to 3 hours. The larger screen and keyboard would’ve been nice, too.

If you’re thinking of buying one of these puppies, the following sections provide a rundown of the pros and cons.

What I liked about the Acer Aspire One 10.1-inch model

  • Affordable
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • 160 GB hard drive… twice as much storage as I have on my desktop computer
  • Fast enough
  • Good display – clear, bright, not much glare
  • 3 USB ports… perfect for connecting a full-size keyboard and mouse along with an external DVD drive or a wireless Internet adapter
  • Great built-in Webcam
  • Built-in microphone (pretty good quality, too)
  • LAN port
  • VGA port, so I can plug in a real monitor
  • 54g Wi-Fi networking (802.11b/g) – great for hotels and cafes that offer wireless Internet
  • Compact adapter… sometimes the adapter can be as bulky as the computer, not this one

What I disliked about the Acer Aspire One 10.1-inch model

  • No CD/DVD drive… perhaps the biggest drawback. I had a multi-user version of Microsoft Office and couldn’t install it without purchasing an external USB CD/DVD drive. Also, you can’t play audio CDs, watch movies on DVD, or burn a movie DVD of all those great photos you took on your trip.
  • No modem for dial-up, but I probably wouldn’t use a dial-up modem anyway.
  • No Bluetooth, although newer models have it… be sure to check.
  • Trial version of Office 2007 is pre-installed, so you have to buy the license after 60 days. (Does include non-trial version of Microsoft Works.)
  • Screen is small, especially if you’re using MS Office 2007 with that huge toolbar you can’t get rid of.
  • Cramped keyboard, but you know that going in. Even so, it’s better than most comparable units of its size.
  • Touchpad… I hate touchpads. Particularly annoying about this one is the tap-and-drag feature. I keep putting the thing in drag mode, and I’m not real sure how I do it. (In a future post, I’ll tell you how to disable this feature.)

If you own an Acer Aspire One, either the 10.1-inch or the 11.6-inch model, please share your opinions by posting a comment. And come back next week to find out about some accessories I recommend for your Acer Aspire One.

Meet the Author

Joe Kraynak

Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Computer Basics.

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