Thursday, 18 December 2008

Acer Aspire One - review after a few hours

It was the cheapest one in the shop. I tried PC World (spit) first but despite doing the eye thing on about a dozen of the milling around serving folk, none of them asked if they could help me, so I wandered into Currys next door, and got about three folk flocking to my side when I'd identified my required aisle.

So I just wanted a cheap laptop, something I could check email, surf the net, run open office and write the great British novel. They had Advent netbooks, Acer netbooks and Asus netbooks, all below £350. The Advent one had a bad looking keyboard, all flat with indistinct buttons. I'd been fantasising about owning an EEEPC for a long time, but when it came to it, the 12Gb hard disc seemed a little weedy compared to the Acer's 120Gb, hmm maybe that was a typo.

My budget didn't quite stretch into getting a Windows machine, or at a pinch the machine would be too low specced to run it as well as I'd like, and no way, no way was I going to get a Vista machine, that way lies madness.

So here I have an Acer Aspire One, half a gig of ram, 120Gb disc space, some version of linux, its not Ubuntu, some mysterious file structure.

Its pretty neat, its surf the web okay, but there's lots of wee things that need tightening up.

Like if I was some secret agent like Jason Bourne and needed to buy a wee netbook to slip into a passer-by's pocket for some convoluted reason, this wouldn't do the job.
  • Unable to do MSN messenger on the wee built in messenger thing.
  • The pre-installed MP3 player is crap and takes forever to clock my external hard-drive's MP3 archive
  • The pre-installed OpenOffice suite doesn't have open office base
  • Its an old version of OpenOffice version 2.3 when they're up to version 3.0 even 2.4 would be nice, but its not intuitive to update
  • No built in audio software to use the mic
  • The built in photo software is a bit crap and its not intuitive how to install gimp
  • It doesn't want to update Firefox to the latest version
  • Didn't recognise my usb graphics table thing when I plugged it in.
  • When the battery runs low it just switches off rather than tells you you're running low
  • Wait, my ipod isn't going to work with this, is it?
  • The SD memory card slots don't lock the cards in, there's some kind of spring mechanism, but you can just pull them out.
  • Does the fan really need to be on all the time?

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