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Acer’s Atom-based Aspire One £299 Eee Rival
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Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:05 pm Reply and quote this post
The new machine does have something of an identity crisis – Acer iscalling it a “mobile internet device” when others are calling similarlaptops sub-notebooks, micro laptops and suchlike. There certainlyseemed to be some discrepancy between Acer’s label for the machine andIntel’s descripton of it as a ‘netbook.’ Acer has even sent us a‘positioning document’ that says “the Aspire one is an all-newcommunication device designed to provide a true mobile and wirelessexperience through continuous access to the Internet no matter whereyou are.” Nice.
But, marketing claptrap aside, the Aspire One looks like aformidable prospect, especially given its £199 price point for the 8GBLinux version with 512MB of RAM. Acer has engineered a bespokeinterface, rather like Asus’ for the Eee PC. Open Office is offered, asis a Messaging app that can handle MSN/Windows Live, AIM, Yahoo andGoogle Talk. Likewise an integrated email app can handle variousaccounts including Google Mail, but not Hotmail.
Windows XP Home is also an option (£299) but Acer only had the LinuxLite version available for us to look at during this morning’s launch.The uprated Windows XP option provides 1GB of RAM with an 80GB harddrive. Various models will be available, including a version with7.2Mbps HSDPA. Acer was also talking up WiMAX, but we all know itsappearance in the UK will be long and drawn out. 802.11b/g Wi-Fi isincluded as standard – part of Intel’s 945GSE chipset.
The Atom N270 chip is the Diamondville variant (Silverthorne is forUMPCs and MIDs) and runs at 1.6GHz with a thermal envelope of 2.5W.That’s the top end of the spectrum for Atom, which doesn’t need a fan.
In terms of weight and size, the Aspire 1 is just over 1KG and ismore-or-less perfect for a train-top table. It’s still an 8.9-inchdisplay, though Acer plans some bigger-screened models in future. Othernotable features include an SD slot for expanding the memory as well astwo available batteries – a 3-cell that Acer says promises three hoursof battery life as well as a 7-cell for a pretty impressive sevenhours. Take some time off this if you’re buying an XP-based variant.
The Aspire One will make an impression on the market, that’s forsure. The £199 Linux offering is impressive and pound-for-pound the XPversion is better value than the MSI Wind. Acer clearly wants to makean impact – the company will hope the Atom will give the Aspire One thespringboard it needs.

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