Acer Aspire One Linux Netbook Review

by Michael Kwan on May 24, 2009

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Netbooks have very much become an integral part of our hyperconnected lifestyles. These smaller computers slot right in between the functionality of a proper smartphone and a larger laptop, making them an affordable way to gain access to the “real” Internet without lugging around a big notebook. While a lot of people prefer to take the route of Windows or even a Hackintosh’d Mac OS X-powered netbook, the cheapest and least resource-heavy route is that of Linux.

One of the most affordable netbooks on the market today is the Acer Aspire One lineup, particularly when you look at the lower end of the scale. While its specs won’t best some of its more expensive compatriots, the cheap Aspire One is just as capable of checking your email, watching some YouTube videos, and surfing around on TheTechZone. At just a touch over $200, it’s even cheaper than a lot of smartphones on the market.

Features and Specifications

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As with most other netbooks available on the market today, the Acer Aspire One comes in a number of different configurations to fit a wide range of budgets. When it first came out, the Acer Aspire One was only available with an 8.9-inch screen, as is the case with today’s review sample, but there is a 10-inch model available now as well as rumors for ones with 11-inch and 12-inch displays as well.

Looking at this particular unit, you get the 8.9-inch WSVGA display, Linpus Linux Lite, Intel Atom N270 processor, 512MB SDRAM, 8GB SSD NAND flash, Intel 945GME graphics, multi-card reader, VGA webcam with mic, Wi-Fi, VGA, three USB 2.0 ports, and RJ-45 Ethernet.

The RAM is upgradeable, but based on some of the tutorials that I’ve been able to find online, it could be more of a process than what it’s worth. There is no quick access panel on the underside. Instead, you have to take apart the entire shell, removing the keyboard and trackpad to gain access to the RAM slots. For this reason, if you want better performance, it may be better just to buy the higher model Aspire One in the first place.

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