Going Smaller (Acer Aspire One)

Gadgets
5 Comments

photo2I have previously mentioned that I cannot phantom possible use for the rise in the Mini-PC laptop world. You know, the kind where you have to hunch over like a squirrel about to devour a nut and contort your fingers in order to type anything while you sit 3″ away from the 7″ screen that you can’t make anything out on. Paired with the latest in the light-speed C7 chip not fit to power a middle school calculator watch, it really makes one wonder just who in their right minds would want one.

Then my mother pretty much makes me eat my words by asking for a small PC so she can chat and email now that she’s done working. My parents are typical middle aged couple that have postit notes and directions on what to click on, what to drag where and how to troubleshoot their home laptop. But there is unrest at the Sr. Mazek household – they have been fighting over the PC. My dad has been accusing my mom of messing up his computer. And now that they want to watch their grandson around the clock, mom wants a PC.

My first (mean) thought is to ask the folks in Dallas to pull one off the rack and ship it to her. I figure once they plug in one of the monsters and it blows them clear across the room they’ll stop asking. But I figured, OK, I’ll go find you a cheap laptop.

So I went and looked at Eee’s, and MSI Wind (which I wanted but they are all out of stock) and I ended up with Acer Aspire One since it was 1) In Stock 2) Cheap and 3) Had a webcam. About $300 or so, with 9″ screen, 120GB hard drive, 1.6 GHz Intel Atom, Windows XP Home, 0.3 Megapixel camera, bunch of USB ports (3) and connections, Ethernet (Gigabit lol), VGA out as well as a memory reader:

photo 

Here it is next to a can of coke and Red Bull. It’s tiny. That’s pretty much it’s only downside – it’s tiny. The keyboard is very hard to type on and the mouse pad sucks. Instead of Dell-style mouse tabs on the bottom it has them on left and right. However, when you tap the mousepad twice it does left click so it’s not as bad as it might appear.

Weight just about 2lb. Promises about two hours of battery. I am sure that assumes that no applications are open, that you’re running in BIOS, with the light display turned all the way down.

For $300, not bad. For more, you’re better off with a real laptop.

5 Responses to Going Smaller (Acer Aspire One)

  1. David Armstorng says:

    “I have previously mentioned that I cannot phantom possible… ”

    “phantom” – Do you mean fathom?

  2. Richard Tubb says:

    I’d be called out by the hyenas at my local user group if I didn’t stop to publicly defend my beautiful and much loved Eee PC here Vlad (http://tinyurl.com/6kryrt) – if you’re one of Vlad’s favourite people, an SPF, then dropping a lightweight Eee PC and a 3G Dongle into your rucksack means you can still service your clients whims and demands wherever you are – you can almost have a real life!

    To balance the scales though, my main laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1720 which weighs as much as a pregnant Elephant and is as large as Vlad’s mouth after his Tooth Surgery.

  3. vlad says:

    David,

    You’re going to have to quit your full time job if you intend to make spelling corrections on Vladville.

    Richard,

    It’s just a personal preference, I find the Eee’s profoundly ugly and slow.

    But that’s just me. All of these PCs look like the UNICEF rejects that even African kids without milk would send back.

    -Vlad

  4. Jeff M. says:

    I love the UNICEF hit. Yeah, they are a tad slow, but the majority of schools in the US will have these solid state “NetBooks” in the hands of kids in less than a year. Then none of us will be able to “phantom” the amount of $$ ASUS and others are raking in. My ugly bastard comes in very handy when writing comments on Vlad’s site.

  5. vlad says:

    It’s not really a hit, it’s just what it is. An ugly laptop. Same as one of those one laptop per child deals, just a little uglier.

    As for “huge” I think you are seriously overestimating the potential of the school market. The schoolhouse computers have no connection to the adult purchases, and colleges are all on Gmail/Apple/Edu.

    -Vlad

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