Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Acer Aspire One Review

For Father's Day, my kids (and fiancee) got me an Acer Aspire One netbook PC. I've had a few days to play with it now and have formed a pretty good opinion of it.

Quick review: It's a full-featured laptop, only smaller. I like it!

Slightly longer version: It's essentially a standard laptop with a small screen and no CD drive. The screen size is only a mild sacrifice as you can still read Cheezburgers with it and watch YouTube videos. I don't miss the CD drive at all. It comes with Windows XP, my preferred OS, already installed. The WLAN connected to my home network without any fuss.

The most surprising part about the Acer are the speakers. They have an impressively rich sound. I dialed up the celebration scene from The Caine Mutiny and the dialogue was just as deep and manly from the tiny Aspire One as it would be from a normal TV - no tinny, wimpy voices here!

Having said all that, it suffers from the same problems that all laptops do. It's small. I still love working on my big, dual-monitored desktop machine (where I am writing this now). Neither the Aspire nor my other laptop have the CPU horsepower to run Adobe Creative Suite programs for anything other than emergency situations. The Aspire is clearly underpowered in this respect, but you don't buy a Netbook to edit videos with Premiere Pro, you buy it because you can take it anywhere and surf the Interweb Tubes.

I haven't used it for mobile blogging yet, but this weekend we will be going up to Santa Clara. I'll bring the Aspire and one of my small cameras (not my Nikon artillery piece) and see what I can do mobile blogging with a very small footprint. I'm sure it will do just fine.

Finally, its compact size and low cost make it ideal for toting around the house for those times when you want to surf the web or stream music and you don't want to set up a base camp for some bigger laptop. It will be great in the kitchen when I want to scan through Cook's recipes or watch instructional videos on cooking like this one. I plan to have a stereo jack waiting for it on my home audio system so I can use it for Internet radio or Pandion or just listening to my music.

All in all - I really like it.

My test video.

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