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Acer Aspire One A150 Netbook, Windows XP Home, 8.9-inch Crystalbrite TFT LCD, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, Intel Atom Processor N270 1.60 Ghz (Blue)
I WANT A SMALLER LAPTOP SO>>>
With my latest Dooyoo Amazon vouchers plus some others from various review sites I decided that I would treat myself to a mini net book laptop for when we are travelling. My lovely hp laptop is great but it is still quite heavy so I looked around for a long time reading various reviews trying to make up my mind which to go for. Despite my neighbor trying to convince me how easy it was to use Linux I decided I'd ignore him and stick with windows as I am used to that system and I don't want to keep changing from one system to another as I use different computers. There were some very cheap deals but the net books had such tiny memory that I thought they would not be worth bothering with.
I decided to buy mine through Amazon through a seller called laptopkit. The first one to arrive did not switch on so I contacted them and explained the problem. They arranged for a new one to be sent out and the same courier collected the other faulty one. The new one has been fine and I have had it since the beginning of October. It is now on its first holiday in Spain for a week getting good free internet wifi through the hotel.
WHAT IS IN THE BOX?
In the box is the little Acer Aspire net book, a power supply, the battery was already in the laptop and that was about it
There are no software driver discs as everything is pre-installed when I bought it. The Acer has no internal disc drive. On one hand having no restore discs is okay as you don't have to worry about where to keep the discs but I'm not sure what will happen if I have to go through a total restore but hopefully that won't be a problem for a while.
There are no instructions since these are also accessed via the Acer itself. Having said that there really was no need for any instructions as it started straight away, needs no password set up and all I had to do was put on the office software and MacAfee which I have multi licenses for and I was away.
HOW BIG IS IT?
The notebook is tiny and measures 179.6mm x 267.8mm x 32.4mm, and weighs less than 1kg complete with battery. It is about the size of a large paperback but half the depth .At this size and weight the net book is perfect for what I wanted and very portable without breaking my back in my back pack when we travel.
The keyboard is very small which is to be expected and buttons are quite flat probably as the lid/screen fits very snugly over the keyboard when closed which makes it a very slim item. I could even put it in my handbag but at the risk of something spilling on it or scratching it I do keep it in its small carry bag that I bought separately from another Amazon store for under £10.
When I first starting using the notebook, I found my typing took a definite turn for the worse. I found that with such flat keys you have to be deadly accurate and get rid of any "fat finger" syndrome very quickly as my word documents became riddled with typos and errors. With lots of perseverance and plenty of practice using this keyboard has become much easier and the errors and typos less frequent.
The Aspire one I have learned from the blurb has an 8.9" CrystalBrite LED backlit LCD with 1024x600 resolution and an integrated CrystalEyeTM webcam . I find it very clear to read and not too much smaller than my trusted Hp pavilion laptop which I have reviewed previously.
The picture quality when watching video clips and movies is clear and sharp and much better than I expected. However my husband struggles to see it and I catch him squinting and frowning at it and he certainly would never watch a movie on it for pleasure so we do not take any with us when travelling hence my laptop storage memory is not filled with films to watch.
The small screen displays exactly the same information that would appear if a larger screen was used, it is just much smaller. For example, if I was looking at the Hotmail homepage on the HP Pavilion and the Acer at the same time both screens would look identical with the same information displayed. However if I really cannot see something and want to enlarge it I can use the touch mouse pad like an iphone and spread my fingers and the screen will enlarge the image size - obviously you see less of the full screen but more magnified if that makes sense. Initially I found that I would suddenly find the screen enlarging or zipping up a page as the mouse pad is very sensitive.
This Acer Aspire One comes complete with Windows XP Home, and whilst this is not the most modern and up-to-date operating system I am more than happy as I find it an easy system to use and it works for me.
The software with the package includes Windows Media Player and I have purchased Office upgrade or at least I already had a 3 user license so I upgraded from the trial ones with the one I had purchased previously. It also come complete with a recovery utility - HDD recovery, should it ever come to that but hopefully won't need that. It also comes with McAfee Internet Security Suite with 60 days free virus update. When I purchased my HP I bought three years virus protection from McAfee so I used the same user license to upgrade this one to the full thing.
This netbook has an Intel Atom processor N270 but I am not entirely sure what this means. The 1.66 GHz processor means that this little netbook is quite powerful and fairly fast.
This 160GB hard drive I consider quite adequate for my needs as I put all our holiday photos on as we go around on our travels. I write my reviews and talk to family on hotmail or Skype.
On the sides of this netbook there are various card slots that enable you to transfer data to and from it. One is an SD card slot but not sure about the other as I never use them. There are three USB ports which may be different speeds but again I am not technical enough to be able to tell, they all work with my USB pens and all our camera leads. There is a headphone/speaker jack and an expresscardTM/54 slot.
Being a netbook there is no dvd/cd drive and this means if you want to add software you need to transfer it via a USB pen or buy it on line.
CONNECTING TO THE WEB
This Acer has an integrated wireless LAN with a good range I can wirelessly connect to any network and use my laptop anywhere in our house and we have a three story house so I am quite happy with this..
Once connected to the internet I find the speed whilst internet browsing is very good and compare well with my other laptop and I don't have to wait ages whilst internet pages are loading. I haven't had any problems with downloading software or uploading photos on to different sites.
For when you do not have a wireless enabled network handy or if you prefer to use an ether-net cable there is an ether-net port on the left hand side of the netbook.
The webcam is built in and works well though I do not use it often. Only when talking to family on Skype - no-one else gets the dubious pleasure of seeing me while I am on line! There is a time delay as movements are transferred to the screen but this happens with all webcams so to be expected.
Sound is okay for what I want. I don't watch movies or listen to music on this so it does what I need and gives out quite a decent sound for listening to Music while working on the laptop, not really good enough for listening in a large room with other people. I can hear people on Skype clearly at half volume.
The battery life is poor. It lasts about 2 hours which considering this is a netbook and people will want to use it on the move I do feel this is a bit of a letdown. In my humble opinion the battery life is rubbish. I spend hours waiting in airports and after my first wait my battery is dead. In Amsterdam we had free internet during the volcanic ash hold up and I was trying to sort out possible escape routes and maybe book a hotel and after two hours I had no means of getting on the web as my battery had died. There were plugs around the airport but we had no European adapter as we had not been planning a stay in Europe; we were on our way back from Canada.
HOW MUCH AND WHERE CAN I GET ONE?
I bought my netbook from Amazon with my Dooyoo vouchers and it cost me £209, I see it is for sale at Tesco Diect for £239 with free delivery. The Tesco one is white and mine is a lovely shiny dark blue though.
SO IN CONCLUSION
* Small, compact, light weight
* Looks sleek, stylish in a lovely blue colour
* Media card slot
*Good built in webcam
*Great quality, high resolution wide screen
*Wireless internet or ether-net connection
* Great for browsing the internet
NOT SO GREAT
* The battery life is far too short
* No disc drive means installing programmes can be a challenge
I definitely recommend this little Acer if you want a smart looking tiny netbook that is light weight, quick to use and has a good memory. If you want a computer to work or play on a train, bus, in a coffee shop or to take travelling with you then this is the ideal product since it is light and portable. Just remember that the size does mean some compromises, which that includes a small screen and keyboard and no dvd/cd drive. If however you want this as your main laptop at home then possibly a bigger laptop might suit you better.
(This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name
I never envisaged buying a netbook but my mum aged 65 bought one and I was so impressed that I went out and bought the same one as she had. This is perfect for someone who enjoys surfing the net. My children use it for MSN, bebo, facebook etc and it is just brilliant. I am not too good at the technical talk but this has significant memory. We have hundreds of pictures on it. Dozens of music albums and a few films. Nowhere near its full capacity yet. It is very very easy to use. My mum has now got a bigger laptop as she was having difficulty seeing the screen but still has her netbook for her grandchildren to use when they go and visit. THe keyboard seems small initially but you soon get used to it and it is set up the same as other qwerty keyboards so nothing new to learn there. This netbook has a built in webcam as well which is perfect for the MSN mad teenagers. The one downfall that I have to point out is that it does not have windows. There are other applications that can be downloaded but for me they are not the same. So for a computer that is for browsing and networking I think this is a great buy and wouldn't be without it now. Probably not the best buy for someone who wants/ needs the full range of applications that a laptop or personal computer has but great starter computer or secondary one.