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The Acer Aspire One Pro 531h-0Bk is an exemplary netbook and in my experience is ideal for the average person that enjoys the daily leisure of the internet on the go, whether it's taking it to work, or to restaurants, cafes, or even the train, as I have been known to do occasionally.
=== Style ===
The netbook is extremely thin, and elegantly designed with an exquisite black exterior that gives it a very contemporary look and feel that is nowadays something desired in a netbook.
=== Body ===
The netbook is roughly 25.5 cm wide, with a 1.8 cm depth (less than an inch) and a length of 19 cm, as well as weighing a meer 1.15 kg, making it perfect for both adults and teenagers, as it's very easy to transport the netbook and store it without risking damaging it, although I would recommend buying a case for the netbook because I found that I sometimes vaguely scratch it by misplacing various items on my desk.
=== Processor ===
The 1.6 GHz (single-core) processor is more than enough for running web browsers, or even media players as I occasionally do on the move, and even though it may seem slow when compared to a notebook for example when using a Microsoft Office program, that's because the netbook isn't really designed for extensive use of Microsoft Office and multiple other programs running at the same time, although the processor is decent with handling those programs.
=== RAM ===
The netbook has a 1024 MB RAM, which is more than enough for running web browsers, media players, and even Microsoft Office programs (individually), and the netbook is decent at running either two of those together, although with three or more, it begins to slow down a bit more noticeably, although that's again due to the fact that the netbook is designed to be a compact device that is used for the internet as a main use of the machine, as well as occasionally typing up documents on a Microsoft Office program.
=== Storage ===
The netbook comes with a 160 GB HDD (hard disk drive) that is more than enough for years of file saving and storage. The 160 GB HDD also means that like me, you are able to carry around any important files that you may need to work on or refer to when working without having to buy a USB and take on the hassle of remembering to store your important files on it, and then remembering to bring it with you whilst you travel with your netbook.
=== Video, Audio ===
The graphics card isn't exactly the best that is available because the netbook isn't really for gaming (although it's relatively decent with games), but it's good for watching YouTube videos on the go or other media. Also, the speakers are quite powerful for such a small laptop and of course not too loud because they can be disruptive to those around you, and I'm glad that they're not too loud because at the current maximum volume, I do get a few looks when I forget to plug in my headphones.
=== Display ===
The netbook has a 10.1 inch TFT screen that is a good size because nothing really appears too small on the screen and it's more than enough to work with, especially with a screen resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels that gives it crisp looking graphics.
=== Camera ===
The integrated webcam above the display is center aligned, and good enough for recording videos or video chats, although it isn't exactly movie quality, and I think the webcam is VGA, although I'm not really sure.
=== Input Devices ===
The netbook has a QWERTY keyboard, excluding the numeric keypad usually located on the right-hand side of a keyboard although it's not really required, and I find that the standard number keys are just as good because they are in closer reach of my fingers when I'm typing.
=== Other Information ===
1) The netbook has a 5-in-1 card reader, excellent for people that want to retrieve information from cards from digital cameras or phones for example, although I haven't really found use for it because I extract all of that information to my notebook.
2) The battery life can last for up to 7 hours, but that's without really using the netbook, whereas when running a program constantly, such as Internet Explorer 8.0, the batter lasts for about 2 and a half hours.
3) The laptop also has a built-in ethernet port in case you want to connect to the internet through a port (which is generally a lot faster than wireless, and there are usually several ethernet ports in so many places, for example in all of my classrooms).
4) The netbook has 802.11b/g wireless networking which isn't the best possible, although the most common, and it works very well for me.
5) There is also a Windows XP Home operating system although some companies may have upgraded that to Windows 7, which 'eats' a bit more RAM like on my Vaio, although the difference isn't extremely life changing.
6) Half of the software included is left untouched by me, and some uninstalled because it comes completely useless to me, and the free trials of Microsoft Office run out after 60 days or so, although I recomment buying either of the Microsoft Office's if you wish to work on the go like I do.
I also post on Ciao under the same name.
My old laptop was looking tired ,had a broken hinge,isn't that annoying?
It was a quite good Advent 7073,purchased from Currys about 5 or 6 years ago for £399,reasonable at the time as it was ex display.I would not buy an ex display model again,it had a knackered battery due to being on all the time,only found out when I tried to use it for the first time,lasted just over an hour hopeless.
I needed something portable but powerful enough to do the job and have a decent battery life.My target price for such a machine was £300-£400 max.I thought I would try PC world for a change and after looking over a few laptops found this smaller notebook at less than £300 that would do the job!
Ok Advent and Acer are amongst the cheaper makes but they are good enough for most people.I had chosen the Acer Aspire One Pro 531h-0Bk Atom,I decided I could not be bothered to keep looking around anymore and this seemed a bargain late last year in 2009.
For under £300 you will get N270 Intel Atom 1.6 GHz processor,a bit less than my old Advent laptop that had a 3.0 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor but I really do not notice any difference.It has 1 GB RAM and HD 160 GB,alot more than my old machine!The screen was smaller than I am used to a 10.1" TFT compared with the 15" TFT of my old Laptop but the keyboard is nice and big,well laid out too.Comes with Windows XP home edition installed.
It works fine at home with my USB wireless adapter and the battery life is an impressive 4 to 5 hours! More than enough for most of us,it has a built in webcam I never use anyway and other features I am not really bothered with,it does what I want it to do ,so I am happy.
It has LAN,WLAN,Memory card reader,mmc,rs-mmc,mem stick,xd-Pc card,XD mem card too,all very useful for such a compact light weight machine.I am sure if you need to work on the move this could be well worth checking out,I have had mine 6/7 months and its been fine.PC world will try and push insurance for breakdown etc but you should be covered for a year free anyway.
I recommend this one,excellent value.
Hope my review has been useful and I thankyou for leaving a review for me,much appreciated.I have more reviews on DooYoo and Ciao website,thanks for looking!
Okay, the best thing about this thing is size - its tiny. You can easily wield it in the palm of one hand, and it doesn't even feel heavy. With a slim case, you would be hard pressed to notice it in a carry on or backpack. There have been some accusations that the qwerty keyboard is too small for most people to use, but I don't really think it is. The 160 HDD is more than adequate for most people, and although windows XP is getting on, it services all my needs. I have been reliably informed that you can run Windows 7 OS on the Aspire one, albeit on low spec. I find this system has most of what I need, with a wifi slider on the front, 3 USB 2.0 ports, multimedia - card reader for easy photograph transfers, and the crystal eye web camera is surprisingly clear when using Skype. The only real issue I have is the sound is pretty terrible. You would really need external speakers to be connected to the jack in order to fully hear a conversation or listen to you tube for example, or alternatively use headphones. Another minor issue I have is the boot sequence is rather slow - the slowest of the 3 netbooks I own. But this is a minor quibble. Definitely recommended at the price.
So you want a small computer which weighs next to nothing and takes up hardly any space? - Check.
So you want a computer just for browsing the internet, checking your e-mails or writing up a word document? - Check.
So you want a computer which will play all the latest games and play high definition movies? - Not so fast there eager beaver, your at the wrong end of the market for that!
The Acer Aspire One (AO531h-0Bk) is one of the current AAO netbooks on sale around the UK. I got mine for £250 from Currys and haven't looked back since. I generally hate computers which take a long time to open windows, load applications or fail to play movies smoothly. I blame this on my high-end desktop computer, but the AAO keeps right up with it! Granted any netbook isn't as fast as a desktop computer, but this little workhorse doesn't slow down.
The AAO was/is shipped with Windows XP Home edition. Now with the release of Windows 7, drivers for this netbook have appeared on Acer's website, so if you buy the netbook with XP and want Win 7, you are covered in the drives department.
The general specs of the machine are much the same you find in every netbook today... 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB DDR2 RAM, Intel Mobile graphics, 160GB Hard Drive along with a 10.1", 1024 x 600 display, full QWERTY keyboard, 3 USB 2.0 ports, a multi-card reader, a SD card expansion slot, Wifi, Ethernet and VGA display out. Not to forget a headphone socket and a mic-in socket.
The battery in this netbook is next to top at present. The battery, on a full charge, and out of the box will keep your netbook going for a solid 6 hours. It is advertised as 7 hours but you will need to tinker with your power settings to achieve that time. The downside to this larger, 6cell battery is that is that is sticks out of the back of the netbook. This isn't a big deal.
Now, graphics wise this netbook will play some old games such as Call of Duty 1 and also rather low end games such as Peggle or World of Goo, but if your wanting to run the latest games, your never going to get it running. Under Windows 7 with it's fancy User Interface, the netbook has no problems what so ever, no struggling and no lagging. I have at one point had iTunes playing music, Internet open with several tabs, Microsoft Word open as I was working, MSN, Tweetdeck and Skype! Now, for such a small machine it coped perfectly fine with it and even went to sleep and woke up again fine with them apps running.
The built in sound is a bit poor, as to be expected from a small machine. It's not crackly, it's not feint, it's just a bit tinny and definite lack of bass. But, if you run the sound through some headphones or a sound system, it's just like a normal machine.
Overall this netbook is top notch. It has never let me down since I've owned it and run anything I've thrown at it baring high end games. I have successfully ran 720p HD content off of the netbook and also on my HDTV @ 1080p resolution. If your in the market for a cheap, yet surprisingly powerful netbook which will do anything you want it to, this is defiantly the one for you.
Also, for you Linux heads out there, it is said that Linux will run on this machine, and it does as I have tried it, but the Wifi will not work. You may have to by a new Wifi card in order to use Wifi, but out of the box you would want it to work, especially if your a newbie to computers.