Sunday, March 8, 2009

If you are someone who prefers to use a compact, light-weight Netbook as your primary laptop, you won’t find a more suitable option than the Acer Aspire One AOA150 – 1784! Weighing just 2.1lbs, it also makes for an ideal travel mate or a handy mobile connector for business professionals. Students unwilling to spend too much but not wanting to compromise on storage will also find it attractive. With a starting price of $329 you’d find it hard to get a better deal. Let me fill you in on the details and you’ll see what I mean.

In terms of the processor, there’s nothing new on offer but that’s not unexpected. The AOA 150 – 1784 comes with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor N270 with 1 GB RAM and a whopping storage size – for a netbook -- of 160GB and 1GB RAM (512 MB onboard/ 512MB SODIMM Slot).

Acer InviLink 802. 11b/g wireless LAN and the Acer Crystal Eye Web cam, include the other features. Windows XP Home Edition with SP3 comes installed making it easy to accomplish everyday tasks at home and work.

The chassis comes in a glossy Sapphire blue and the build quality is solid. Plastics have been used but they are sturdy and don’t exhibit any flex.

The 8.9 – inch LED back lit WSVGA display comes with a native resolution of 1024 x 600. It provides reasonably good viewing at horizontal and vertical angles but minor glare issues are evidenced outdoors. Slightly annoying, also, is the manner in which the display seems to attract finger prints in no time.

Just below the display are the integrated speakers that are surprisingly good for that size though they can’t be expected to fill up large spaces. It holds up well while watching video clips and browsing the internet without compromising on clarity. The keyboard which is the most distinguishing feature of all Netbooks, extends from end to end in an attempt to provide space between keys and minimize typos by swiping the neighboring letter. However, if this is your primary laptop, it’s advisable that you get yourself an external keyboard (acer provides an external USB Mouse). The touch pad is of a decent size and responds well though scrolling could need a bit of getting used to.

Interfaces on the sides include 3 USB ports, a VGA port, a headphone jack, a microphone jack, an Ethernet port, and AC adapter connector and a Kensington lock slot. Card readers include a Multi-in-one card reader, an SD card reader a MultiMediaCard (MMC), Reduced size MultiMedia card, Memory stick, Memory stick Pro and an XD picture card.

The lack of a CD/DVD drive and Bluetooth are significant cons. Short battery life (2.6 hours) in spite the presence of a six-cell battery, is another noticeable downside.

There’s no doubt the Acer Aspire One AOA150-1784 doesn’t offer cutting-edge technology but its ultra portability, remarkable storage size and affordable price definitely make it hard to resist.

Price: Approx. $300

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