Thursday, July 23, 2009

Acer Aspire One 10.1"

Despite the recent successful ressurection of Kiasumalice (the Dell desktop replacement that served me through college), I've been craving a new laptop. Something genuinely portable. So when Woot had an refurb Acer netbook up for grabs for $250, I couldn't resist!

I'm finally in possession of Kiasubitty - a blue Acer Aspire One AOD150. Not for lack of Fedex trying, who left the laptop laying right in the middle of my driveway. Good job, guys! But nevertheless, I have it, and it works exactly as advertised.

Here's the executive summary in way of review:
  • Sexy blue steel look. None of this silly white nonsense.
  • Removable 6-cell battery. Battery life is like six solid hours!
  • Respectable BIOS. In-BIOS support to recover to factory from a hidden partition. Solid network boot support. Boot from USB. Boots fast too.
  • Good ports: 3xUSB2, 2.0 audio out, mic in, card reader, VGA out, gigabit ethernet.
  • 160GB HDD, so you have room to install more than a barebones OS.


  • Trackpad isn't very good - the buttons in particular kinda suck. Though apparently old Acer netbooks were even worse.
  • Not quite enough horsepower for HD video. It can (barely) handle 360p from Hulu though.
  • No integrated bluetooth.
  • Using an HDD not SSD.

The default install has a ton of stuff installed by Acer. Nothing you'd particularly want (McAfee trial, Works, Office trial, some Acer in-house junk), but nothing outrageous for a default install. Pretty much the only offensive apps were the full Google Desktop and Toolbar suites, and some news aggregator free trial, which were quickly uninstalled.

Of course, none of that matters, since I installed Windows 7 on it right away. Windows 7 installed flawlessly - just click "Install Windows", and wait for the magic to happen. It automatically picked up drivers for all my hardware, and it honestly seems to perform better than the base XP install (albeit that may be due to McAfee and the other software that was pre-installed).

It's a nice little netbook! I won't be raiding on it any time soon, but being able to surf the net during a long presentation has already made it worthwhile.

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