Acer Aspire One: Unboxing and first thoughts

Posted on 16 September 2008, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

The good guys at Dynamism have sent me an Aspire One netbook for review; have a look at the unboxing shots (if that is your thing), and read my initial impressions below.

Aspire One Unboxing

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Initial Impressions

As I opened the box to take a first look at the Aspire One I was immediately impressed with its design. They went with a very minimalistic approach and they did a really good job. Lots of curved edges make this netbook look really smooth, and it is apparent that they took their time making the device look nice. I don’t think the average person would realize that this is a only a $449 piece of hardware. The red/orange metallic looking highlights near the hinges provide a well balanced contrast between the otherwise minimal tone. For some reason it bothers me that the red/orange rings aren’t actually part of the hinge, even though they appear to be when the lid is closed. Well I suppose it doesn’t actually bother me, but it is perplexing.

The unit is really solid when it is closed and the screen hinge is just tight enough. There is a webcam and microphone in the top of the screen’s bezel. The screen does not wobble easily, and the battery also sits snug in its holder, leaving no wiggle room, which is always an indicator of good build quality. The mouse pad is a bit larger than the Kohjinsha SH8’s and is very usable… if you configure it correctly. The keyboard’s layout is pretty much standard, so there is no need to learn where keys might have been relocated to. Dark blue symbols on the keys are Fn functions; the blue symbols on white keys look good even if it is a very subtle effect.

I’ve been enjoying the device more than I had expected to for the last few days, keep your eyes peeled for the full review coming up in the next week or two. Drop a line in the comments if there is anything in particular you’d like to know about the Aspire One.

30 Comments For This Post

  1. rahul says:

    DO you have a 3-cell or a 6-cell version?
    Please do record battery life.

    Also about the mouse-pad : can you elaborate a bit more on the features of the mouse-pad? Is it easy to use? It has 2 buttons on the sides. Does that bother you?

    I have an EEE 1000h which has a really neat touchpad : 2 finger scrolling, clicking using tapping and also zoom using pinch. This is the first touchpad that I am actually liking. If you have experience with the eee 1000, then any comparisons will be appreciated (about the touchpad and also in general).

  2. ben says:

    The mouspad is smaller than on a standard laptop, but configuring it to your liking will make it much more useful than its default setup. It is Synaptics input and control software which I believe is similar to that of the Eee’s. There are lots of configuration options for the trackpad which is great. I would love two finger scrolling, but I did not see the option when I went to look through the settings, I’ll double check and include a section on the trackpad in my review. I know that it has some form of two finger pinch zoom in/out, but it doesn’t seem to work very consistently at this point, which is probably a result of the browser that I am using (Chrome).

  3. rahul says:

    Oh and how do you like the screen? I saw a friends Aspire One briefly but found that the screen was too reflective. However the screen is supposedly usable outdoors.

    And finally : you have the hard disk version with 1gb of RAM with XP? Or some other? 3-cell or 6-cell?

  4. Melay says:

    Can you scroll with 2-finger scrolling?

  5. h3bm says:

    Hello!
    I’m interesting on the Linux one, do you have the 8GB ssd?

  6. TareX says:

    I can tell the Everun Note beat it on day 0. Still, there’s a 400$ price difference…

  7. Matt says:

    Should we be worried about brand snobbery? Acer seems to have this nasty habit of including flyers in Sunday newspapers alongside one for the worlds most comfortable shoes. It just doesn’t say quality to me. Does it matter anymore as long as spec and build quality are good?

  8. ben says:

    Matt, I would leave it up to the quality of the product rather than the way they advertise it most of the time. I’m pleasantly surprised with the Aspire One as the first Atom device that I have used, hopefully I’ll answer many more questions in the full review.

  9. ben says:

    For those asking about which version I have: It is Windows XP, 1GB of RAM, 120GB HDD, 3-cell standard battery.

  10. winter says:

    hay dudes,
    just my 5c
    last month got a an eee 901 it was very solid good for travel on hols batery lasted for ages(6H could use for a full day with out charge not constant use)
    and feature ritch but did seem to stutter for no apparent reaason in the end i gave this to a friend as the keyboard was just an bit to small for my chubber fingers and found it a littel to unconfrtable for extende typing(more than 10 min)

    i then picked up and asus apire one 8gb ssd wil *inux on first to use for any work i needed to put XP on it.

    i found this device very comforatble to use typing on the couch was very much at home and the extra SD slot was handy but …

    the battery live was about 3H(not bad realy for a three cell )there is a much less compleate feature set (eg. not 11n no blue tooth less powersaving …) and the stutter very quickley made the device unusable looking in to the problem the flash disk that is used reads at about 27Mbit ps but onlay writes a 5Mbit i can onlay asume this is to do with using cheap MLC flash to keep cost down

    i have now swaped box for the 150 model with 120 gb hard

    i am still evalutaing but …
    i have no more stalls im running a light vista(areo off) build and office 2007.

    this is feels as fast as my vaio SZ.
    ill keep you posted on progress

  11. Jerry says:

    I really hope English is not your first language with all your spelling errors.

  12. winter says:

    no c# is my first language :)(auto complete ON)
    but yes English is my native tongue (although i cant spell my Middle name)

    Please accept my apologies for being rude and not running through a spell checker first (I get a bit over excited some times).

  13. Tom says:

    get a life Jerry !

  14. Jerry says:

    Sorry, but it’s unacceptable if we need to translate the English of a native speaker. Winter is probably a wonderful person and no offense is meant for him/her, but the web is littered with poorly written prose that shouldn’t be rewarded by ignoring it. That justifies the behavior and diminishes all of us eventually. Check out the movie “Idiocracy” to see what I mean.

  15. winter says:

    Thanks jerry I do appreciate the reminder to use the spell checker as I would ask you to bare in mind other peoples feeling less confident than my self. Folks that may be lacking in confidence to post to a forum as well read as this. I would rather translate the comments of some one with some one with information I am interested than be without(some times posting from a mobile can leave at the mercy of the readers). Idiocracy I will make a point to watch it as most things mike judge has worked on made me smile but maybe we should not take every thing we see to hart as in deed, you would not use his other work “Beavis and Buthead” as a moral compass.

  16. DavidRGilson says:

    I’d like to know about it’s 3G capabilities. I have heard that it has a SIM card slot. Although if I bought one of these without any form of mobile contract, would it still have the modem built in for me to use an existing SIM card with?

  17. winter says:

    As far as I am aware there is currently no SIM slot(I use a usb dongle )
    There is plans for one with a SIM slot to be released in November (in Taiwan )

  18. DavidRGilson says:

    Take your battery off and have a look behind there. I think I remember reading CNET UK’s review of the Aspire One and that they mentioned a SIM slot.

  19. winter says:

    just done a quick check there is a plastic place holder where the SIM slot should be. It would have been nice thought.

  20. John says:

    Chippy

    Can you compare the size of the Acer with that of the Note? Some pictures would be really helpful! How do the two keyboards compare? I am asking because many of us can see an Acer in some store, and this would give us a better idea of the Note…

  21. ben says:

    Hey John,

    Actually Chippy isn’t doing the review. I don’t have the Everun Note myself to compare to the Acer. I’ll see if I can borrow a friends Eee 7″ version to see if that will provide a bit more perspective.

  22. tanjeraldy says:

    read from somewhere that SSD read/write performance would be greatly improve if you use FAT32 instead of NTFS.

  23. dkarale says:

    Hello. how’s the fan noise? some people complained about the fan noise.

  24. ben says:

    Fan noise does not seem to be an issue so far, even when it is cranked up pretty high.

  25. Electric Vagabond says:

    Nice unboxing pics you have uploaded. You mention this is the first Atom device you have experienced. It would be really nice if you could get your hands on an MSI Wind and an Eee PC 901/1000 to compare. Those are the two major players in the Atom market and for the Aspire One to succeed it will need to compete with those machines. My experience with my Wind and the 1000h are very positive and a huge step in the right direction for portable computing. When I owned a 701 I felt that too much was sacrificed for the sake of portability. The Aspire One looks great and I have had a brief play with one. It seemed more than reasonable.

    Sorry to sound skeptical but I feel a review of this machine by somebody who hasn’t used the other market players for comparison may be limited in use. Nevertheless I look forward to reading it!

  26. BIOS says:

    What BIOS does it have? I’ve noticed there was a new version released recently.

    http://macles.blogspot.com/2008/08/acer-aspire-one-bios-v3304.html

  27. Steve Weingartner says:

    I purchased an Aspire One a month ago. Very happy with it so far. Using Windows XP, and no problems whatsoever. Very speedy. Wireless works perfectly, built-in camera too. Got it for just $300 at Micro Center! The 120 GB HD is great, allows me to load it up with videos, pdf books, music, and both Word and WordPerfect (I use both).As for the keyboard: Even though I have big hands, but the keyboard is easy to use. Only two complaints: the 3 cell battery; and the resolution in the browser leaves a bit to be desired. But these are small complaints. Overall, this is a gem.

  28. Sean says:

    I`m curious about when the 6-cell, 160gig hard drive models will be shipping. That`s the one that I feel is worth spending my cash on. I`d like to get it from a brick-and-mortar location, too.

  29. Full Name says:

    Hi Sean,

    I’m wondering the same thing. Since Amazon has reasonable pricing at this time, I went ahead and pre-ordered one, but no word on release date yet..

  30. Jo says:

    Note: Site above is not up yet:)

    I ordered a Acer Aspire One 8.9″ LCD, 120GB HDD, 1GB RAM. Running Windows XP Home with Intel Atom Processor N270,
    But, it is coming in with a 3-cell Li-ion battery. Does anyone know if a 6 cell will fit this computer.
    I need the battery life, that’s why I bought it.
    My notebook at home is an Aspire 9410 and it is about three years old. No problems with the Acer computers or Acer name.
    I’ve had Gateway (UGG), Dell, Sony desktop I still use.
    The only problem with Acer is their e-management system. Takes a long time to load. I unloaded it in startup on my notebook and now it is faster.
    Back to my question. Anybody know about changing the battery?
    Thanks,
    Jo

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