Tag Archive | "aspire one"

Acer Aspire One 522 Live Review Videos and Results

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There’s one thing that was clear from last nights live testing of the Aspire One 522 – I’m the worst person in the world to demonstrate 3D games. Interestingly though, that’s because I never have devices that can play games. In the last 5 years we’ve seen just a handful of mobile devices that can play games and the fact that I was thrown into Half-Life 2 and Unreal Tournament demos shows that the Acer Aspire One 522 is quite unique – and an indicator of where netbooks are going next. We tried hard to find showstoppers and major issues, design problems, heat and noise or anything that would confirm that this is a cheap device but no, after 3 hours, it was clear that the Aspire One 522 is a real bargain and a true upgrade option for those with first or even second generation netbooks.


Aspire One 522 (12)

Highlights and Lowlights

  • 1080p playback via local or YouTube works flawlessly on-screen (1280×720) or via HDMI
  • In normal use, this is a 6 hour working device with a 3-hour gaming capability, 5 hours or more video playback and up to 10 hours with radios-off in low-power use as a text-entry device.
  • No heat or noise to speak of although the fan is constantly spinning and can sometimes be heard or felt through the chassis.
  • The Hard Disk seems to be a bottleneck in some situations
  • Mono speaker just about does its job
  • The glossy screen appears to be a little washed out compared to high-end displays
  • Wifi reception is better than average
  • No USB 3.0 or charging USB port
  • Plastics very thin
  • Access to memory and HDD is easy. Upgrade to 4GB is possible (Only 2GB available in Windows 7 Starter)
  • Gaming needs more testing but viewers on the live session seemed very excited!
  • Battery life / weight ratio is very good

A word of warning though, in terms of CPU processing power, there’s not a lot of difference here between the Intel Pinetrail platform in single or dual-core variants. in a pure-CPU video rendering test we saw the Aspire One coming in at 15% faster than a Intel N450 CPU which puts it between the N450 and N550 in terms of processing power. Compared to first-gen netbooks, that’s a great improvement but its far from mainstream.

It’s the ‘balance’ of CPU, HD Video and 3D that works so well with the Acer Aspire One 522 (and, we suspect, other Fusion C-50 APU -based devices) and if Intel don’t one-up the C-50 with Cedar Trail in a significant way, they will lose a good percentage of netbook sales. At €299, there’s very little room for beating AMD on price.

So here are the three videos we made during the 2.5hrs online last night. As usual they are captures of the low-quality stream but I’m sure you’ll get a lot out of them. Thanks again to everyone that joined and helped-out in the live session. Spread the word – this is how reviews should be done!


Part 1 – Overview and first impressions.



Part 2 – Heat, battery life, video performance, browsing tests



Part 3 – Video testing, webcam, high and lowlights, Crystalmark test


Acer Aspire One 522 – AMD Fusion Netbook – Live Open Review Today


Update. Live session finished -  Live Review report and recordings are now available here.

I’ve had the Acer Aspire One 522 for 24 hours now so it’s time to go live and open up the video cams and chat session to allow you to take a look, ask questions and work out if this is the netbook for you. It’s also the first time we’ve had the AMD Fusion C-50 APU for detailed testing so we’ll learn something about that too.

Aspire One 522 (1)Aspire One 522 (17)

The Acer Aspire One 522 specifications are available here along with links to the gallery, videos and articles.

The LIVE OPEN REVIEW of the Acer Aspire One 522 is planned for Tuesday 8th March at 2100 Berlin Time [Other timezones here].  Join us at UMPCPortal.com/live for video, chat and your chance to ask questions and watch everything happen live. Nothing is covered-up!

Agenda: (With Q&A from chatroom between each session)

  • Overview
  • First impressions
  • Testing – Synthetic tests. CPU, Disk, GPU.
  • Testing – Video playback. Local, YouTube, External video
  • Testing – Video encoding side-by-side with N270 CPU.
  • Testing – Games
  • Testing – Other

Agenda subject to change. Session duration planned – max 2hrs

Some sessions (not all) will be recorded.

Acer Aspire One 522 (AMD C-50 Netbook) Unboxing, Overview, First Tests – Video and Report

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Update: Live Open Review is planned for today. More information here.

Update: Live Review report and recordings are now available here.

Sometimes gadget purchases go from zero to ‘own’ in a very short time. That’s how it was today as I assessed devices for the Ultra Mobile Video Editing series and checked out the Acer Aspire One 522. It’s an AMD Fusion device running on the C-50 APU at 1Ghz. CPU performance, as we’ve already determined, is lower than the dual-core Atom N550 CPU but there’s a trick or two up its sleeve when it comes to video playback and 3D graphics performance because the processing platform includes a Radeon HD6250 GPU. The whole AMD Fusion package is also tuned for low power consumption making it compete in the netbook power envelope but with better capability.


More images in our gallery.

I’m not convinced the Aspire One 522 will help me achieve my goal of 720p editing on a lightweight, low cost computer but at €299 and with a need to research what AMD are doing with Fusion it makes sense to buy it. When your local store has it in stock and there aren’t many reviews out there already, it adds up to a must-buy for this blogger! Update: Liliputing is also testing the 522 right now.

Acer aren’t regarded as a high-end product builder as they tend to build to a price. Quality does suffer and I’ve experienced it first hand. Others will report similar experiences but out of the box, the Acer Aspire One 522 appears to be an absolute bargain. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever had this much computing power in my hand for so little money and it looks good and feels good too. It even weighs under 1.2KG which, for a netbook with a 6-cell battery, is class-leading. 1080p playback? No problem (*1). A hi-res 720P screen (1280×720) is included too. Long battery life? You’ll clearly have trouble getting less than 5 hours out of this and I’m sitting here now with 43% battery left after 4 hours of on-and-off testing. 3D performance will blow any Intel-based netbook out of the water. Even the build quality seems better that you’d expect for this money.

As I write this, I’ve had no showstoppers so far. BUT – I’m only into the 7th hour of ownership here so beware, there could be issues. Don’t get over-excited about the CPU or GPU power too. It’s good for a netbook but nothing like a low-end notebook. A 3D Mark 2001SE score of 5959 is good for a netbook but I seem to remember that my 5-year old Ti4200 graphics card would pull in 12K on that test. For 300gm and 200 Euro more you can get something much, much more powerful.

A glossy screen with less than 768 pixels in the vertical (important for some software installs) a fan (barely audible) and a disk that, like other netbooks, seems to slow down applications load times are the only things I want to complain about so far. In reality, that’s not a bad hit-list and I’m feeling confident that when I put this through our live, open review, it will come out looking good.

LIVE OPEN REVIEW of the Acer Aspire One 522 is planned for Tuesday 8th March at 2100 Berlin Time [Other times here].  Join us at UMPCPortal.com/live for video, chat and your chance to ask questions and watch everything happen live. Nothing is covered-up!

Live Review report and recordings are now available here.

(*1) initial test with an H.264 file. 1080P at an average 13Mbps bitrate was perfect on the 720p screen.

Update: Out-of-the-box Crystalmark test result is here.

Acer D255 Dual-Core Atom Netbook – Hands-on. Initial Tests

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IMG_4962 My current laptop is a netbook. I’ve been using it as my portable computer for well over a year and I’m very happy with it. I’m using XP, it’s got a 2GB RAM upgrade and a fast SSD and a great built-in 3G module. The only issue with it is that any other netbook out there is a downgrade for me because switching to Windows 7 on a standard netbook is noticeably slower.

That all changed today when I took on the Acer D255 as a loaner for the Intel Developer Forum I’m attending this week. [Thanks to Intel – They paid for the trip over here] It’s truly the first netbook I’ve used that gives me a smooth and reliable Windows 7 experience and having already tested battery drain, 720p playback, Crystalmark and video rendering performance, I can say that it really does well, It’s light and Sascha (Netbooknews) tells me it only costs 350 Euros. That’s a stunning price for 6-8hrs of dual-core action.

Here’s a little look-round on the device. See below for some early benchmark results.

I’ve done three benchmarking tests on the device. The first is a battery drain test and I’m pleased to see that Acer appear to be getting the best possible out of the platform. With screen brightness at minimum and Wifi off I was able to get a figure of just 4W. With Wifi on, that went up to 4.6W. Average drain for web browsing is around the 7-8W mark which means that the 49Wh battery is going to give a good 6hrs of action. Rendering a video with all cores and at 100% i was 11W of drain. For a device that weighs 1250 grams thats pretty good. A better quality 6-cell battery could yield even better results.

Acer D255 Minimum drain

I terms of CrystalMark, I’m seeing results that will make anyone happy. 35K is not a figure we see often in the mobile computing world. The hard disk is impressive to.


My final benchmark was a video rendering test. It looks like I’m going to save 25-30% in terms of time on rendering and that’s well worth the 50-euro premium that a dual-core Atom netbook is costing.

Weekly Netbook Roundup 3/2

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Welcome to this week’s netbook roundup. In this space every Monday I’ll highlight netbook news items that might not need their own individual posts but are still be interesting.

  • Dell Mini 10 dissected — Dell support released a guide for disassembling the Dell Mini 10 [Portal page]. Looks like there are some PCI-e slots which will be good for modding, but RAM is soldered to the mobo which will make it very hard for users to do RAM upgrades.

  • HP Promises a Fix for Mini 1000 Webcam Woes — HP acknowledges that there is an issue with the HP Mini 1000′s webcam and says that there will be a method to fix it. Apparently the film over the webcam has a lower reflectivity than it should.

  • Gigabyte M1022 netbook has a cool dock — Jkk shows us a pretty slick looking dock for the Gigabyte M1022 which has VGA out, USB slots, and some other ports. It’s nice to see a dock for a netbook, but I hope the base is heavy so the netbook isn’t easily knocked over!

  • Dell Mini 10 Netbook Officially Available: $399 — The Dell Mini 10 becomes officially available in the US for $399.

  • How to fix the dark webcam on the HP Mini 1000 — Liliputing links us to a new video (after the one taken down) that will show you how to remove the film over the HP Mini 1000′s camera, improving brightness.

  • First look at the new slim Acer Aspire One — It looks like Acer is planning yet another 10 inch Aspire One, despite the fact that their latest update has just recently been released.

10" Acer Aspire One inches closer to reality

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It seems like we’ve known about the upcoming 10″ netbook from Acer for a while, but things just got a little bit more official. Netbook3G has found details about Acer’s second netbook at the FCC. Among the images are plenty of internal photos, and it seems like the FCC even has the manual hosted. Swing by Liliputing where Brad has pulled a bunch of the photos and put them in one place for your viewing pleasure.

It doesn’t seem like there are many differences between this Aspire One and the original [Portal page] [review], but of course the 10″ screen and some cosmetic changes and the inclusion of Bluetooth. I can’t say I like how the hinge accents have been changed from circles to teardrop shapes. The overall design seems a bit more noisy than the original as well. We’ll have to wait and see how this new 10″ version fares against their original which we thought was a pretty good jump into the netbook market. Acer claims that the first Aspire One is the worlds most popular netbook.

3G Netbook in US subsidy deal.

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Highlighting the huge differences in the state of cellular carrier markets in the US and Europe is possibly the first ever carrier-sponsored netbook deal. We’ve seen this happen with UMPCs before in the U.S. (Sony UX, OQO) and you can’t walk down the high-street in the main European countries without seeing a 1-Euro netbook deal (the ASUS 901Go being a particularly interesting one) but as far as I know, its the first time we’ve seen a popular netbook get the 3G treatment in the U.S. Be careful though. It’s a trend we’ll see a lot more of in the future and both the deals and data contracts are likely to improve in a very short time.

The Acer Aspire One (#2 in the UMPCPortal popularity list) being offered through Radio Shack (160GB HDD, Windows XP) is normally $500 but for a $60 per month data contract (probably the data connect 5GB per month plan) you get $400 off the price which, if you were looking for a data plan anyway, knocks $16 per month off the price. The problem is here that the market is going to change fast. In the last 24 months in Europe data contract prices have come down by about 50% and the pricing war has only just started.

There aren’t many alternatives though. You could look at the the pre-paid ATT GoPhone MEdia Net plan. Its about $5 per week for 1GB but as it’s pre-paid, you only use it when you need it and are not committed to 2-years of contract. You’ll have to get hold of a 3G netbook somehow though or do a mod which makes the process fiddly and time consuming. Alternatively, there’s the tethering or smartphone-as-hotspot option.

If you were thinking of buying an Acer Aspire and then signing up for a $60 per month data contract before you read this, go ahead. It’s a good deal. If not, think carefully about your requirement and, if possible, try and find a 12 month or pre-paid data deal.

Source: Engadget. Via GottabeMobile.

Black Friday deals from Dynamism

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The good folks over at Dynamism have put up some nice Black Friday deals for those interested in a mobile computing. These will be good through Sunday or while supplies last.

If you are looking for a great deal on a netbook that will be able to handle your basic computing tasks, take a look at the Acer Aspire One [Portal page] [review] which can be bought for $249. The Black Friday Aspire One comes with Linpus Lite (Linux), 8GB SSD storage, and 512MB of RAM.

If you want some serious mobile computing power in a tiny package, Dynamism has the Raon Everun Note [Portal page] [review] for $599. The Black Friday Everun Note is configured with an AMD Sempron 1.2GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, and Ubuntu Linux.

Want something hand-held? You can pick up a well equipped OQO 02 [Portal page] [review] for $1599. The Black Friday Special OQO 02 comes with a 1.6GHz VIA C7-M CPU, 1GB of RAM, 120GB HDD, and Windows XP Pro.

And last but not least, there is an Asus Eee PC 900 [Portal page] for $299. The Black Friday configuration of this computer has the Intel Celeron 900MHz CPU, 12GB SSD, 1GB of RAM and Windows XP.

Check out the rest of the Black Friday Specials page for deals on other products as well. Again, these deals will only last until Sunday or possibly sooner if stock runs out, don’t let this one slip by.

Acer sells and estimated 5.8 million Aspire Ones, 10" model for the future

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aspire oneAccording to Akihabaranews.com, Acer will sell an estimated 5.8 million (you read that right, 5,800,000) Aspire One netbooks [Portal page][review] by the end of the year. That is a pretty big number considering that the Aspire One wasn’t even released until Q2 of 2008. Akihabaranews says that Acer sent them some press info showing the sales for each quarter as well as the estimated number for the final quarter:


# of Aspire Ones sold








2,800,000 [estimated]

In addition to these impressive figures, Scott Lin, Acer Taiwan president has also stated that they will be following in the steps of some other companies and offer a 10" version of the Aspire One. Said to have the same specs, lets call it the Aspire Ten for now, will go on sale possibly in February or March of 2009.

Aspire One utility provides functionality that doesn’t come standard

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I was baffled during my review of the Acer Aspire One [Portal page] at the apparent lack of power management software that should have been included with the netbook. Aside from some hardware toggles, there were no settings beyond the default Windows power options to help get the most from your battery. I reported a while back on a nice utility that allowed users to control their Aspire One’s fan, but there wasn’t much more in the way of power management.

Luckily there are people out that who are passionate enough about their technology to spend time making good software for them. Take a look at a small freeware utility called a1ctl. For its tiny size, this utility has a lot of features:

(continue reading…)

Read the full story

Pick up an Acer Aspire One on woot today only for $289

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One of the most popular netbooks here in the Portal can be bought from my favorite deal-a-day website, Woot.com for $289. I’ll cut right to the chase so that those of you who want the Aspire One can get the facts and go pick one up before they sell out!

Take a quick look at my Aspire One review to get a general feel for the hardware; software review can be disregarded as the Aspire One on Woot is running Linpus Lite (Linux) instead of XP like the one I reviewed (of course you could always put your own OS on it). So anyway, here is what you are going to get for $289 (+$5 shipping):

  • 1.6 GHz Atom N270 CPU
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 8GB SSD
  • 1024×600 8.9" screen
  • Linpus Lite (Linux) OS
  • All the other goodies that are common across every Aspire Ones

And there you have it, you can pick up a nice netbook for $289 if you are quick on the trigger, I feel certain that it will sell out quickly. Remember, the deal will only be available today and only until it sells out. Make haste!

tnkgrl mods everything you need onto the Acer Aspire One

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aa1modTnkgrl has been on a modding-spree with her new Acer Aspire One [Portal page]. I noted in my review of the Aspire One that some of the important connectivity options were lacking, such as Bluetooth and 3G. Luckily smart people like tnkgrl are here to show us how we can fix some of those important but neglected components.

Moving on to part three of her Aspire One modding-spree, she shows us how to put HSDPA into the Aspire One for 3G connectivity. Amateurs be warned: this is not a simple RAM upgrade, but if you still feel up to the task, tnkgrl has provided a helpful list of steps, images, and a video of making it all happen.

Also don’t miss part one and two where you can find out how to dissemble the Aspire One, add RAM, Bluetooth, and a 1.8" HDD.

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