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Hands on with the Acer Aspire One

I've just spent ten minutes with the Acer Aspire One, a Linux-powered subnotebook with these specs: 9" screen, 512MB RAM, 8GB flash storage, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, three USB ports, 2 SD card slots and an Ethernet port. It's running Linpus Linux 9.4 Lite -- based on Fedora -- with an Xfce desktop for added snappiness.

Following Asus's lead with the Eee, the Aspire One's interface features big, colourful buttons on the desktop to launch the included software, most of which is geared towards internet and office jobs (Firefox, OpenOffice.org etc.) Physically, the machine feels robust and well constructed, with a small but usable keyboard and a trackpad that has mouse buttons on each side, which takes some getting used to.

Is it an Eee PC killer? I'm in no rush to ditch my Eee, but Asus certainly has some competition on its hands, especially with the Aspire One's £230-ish price tag. Also, Asus really needs to trim down the range of Eee models on offer -- just look at this buyer-bewildering pile-on.


Your comments

Oh god, not another

Oh god, not another glorified PDA for you to play around with! :p

How did you feel about the

How did you feel about the difference between Linpus and Xandros? Personally, I preferred the Linpus Lite live CD I played with under VMWare to Xandros' OS on theEeePC, but that could just have been because I had a large keyboard and screen to use.
I am looking forward to the next issue of LXF for the tutorial on replacing the default OS on my EeePC (yes I'm too lazy to look up all the details on t'internet, either that or too tired).

Functionally, the OSes are

Functionally, the OSes are very similar: big launcher buttons, Firefox, OpenOffice.org etc. I didn't get to look at the configuration tools. You can open a terminal via the file manager (Thunar), but there's no toolchain installed. Presumably you can add extra software with yum/pup/whatever Fedora uses thesedays.

Curiously, the 8GB flash drive was split into two equally sized partitions, one for root (/) and one for /home. Given that the average user isn't going to add new software, this seems a bit wasteful -- it only provides 3.5-ishGB for personal files. It would've worked better as one single partition, I reckon.

M

>>I didn’t get to

>>I didn’t get to look at the configuration tools. You can open a terminal via the file manager (Thunar),

I wonder how many people have noticed that you can do the same thing from XFM (not to be confused with Xfm, of course) on the EeePC?

I will refrain from asking the several other questions about I have about the Aspire One as I'm sure you'll answer them in your forthcoming review in the magazine. ;)

The one is sure something,

The one is sure something, cheap, good looks,

If you want, come and join a forum dedicated for the acer aspire one,

aspireoneforum.com

see you there.

This may seem a bit naive,

This may seem a bit naive, but are either of the super light, super cheap laptops (Asus or Acer) wireless ready?

Yep, both have Wi-Fi! It's

Yep, both have Wi-Fi! It's also worth keeping an eye on the Dell E (see the news story on the main site front page).

M

Cool, thanks Mike

Cool, thanks Mike

Also, the Advent 4211 has

Also, the Advent 4211 has been getting some pretty good press. The 10" screen may be useful and not too big.

Has anyone been able to compare the SD 512MB version to the HD 1GB version? Is there much difference in performance, more importantly, is there much difference in battery life and weight?

The Advent is looking quite a contender, only real concern is battery performance.



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