The folks at Laptop Magazine managed to get their hands on a pre-production Acer Aspire One unit and while there are a few known bugs with the prototype model, overall it seems like a pretty decent machine. It’s main selling point is its low price. The Aspire One will have a base price of $379 for the Linux model and $399 for the Windows XP version.

You’ll have to pay a bit extra for an extended 6 cell battery, but with 8GB of solid state memory, 512MB of RAM, an 8.9 inch 1024 x 600 pixel display, and a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, the Aspire One looks like one heck of a bargain compared with the $599+ Eee PC 901 or even the $399 Eee PC 701 4G.

A few things I learned from Laptop’s article:

  • The built in speakers are pretty wimpy. But seriously, does anyone buy these little computers for the speakers? The headphone jack works just fine.
  • The 0.3 megapixel camera is designed for low light situations, which means it generally works much better than the 0.3 megapixel camera on the Eee PC 701.
  • Online video playback is good for most sites, but jumpy on Hulu. This is true with the HP Mini-Note as well, but Acer tells the folks at Laptop that one of the known bugs on this pre-production unit is difficulty playing certain video formats. So hopefully this issue will be resolved.
  • The Aspire One has 2 card readers, a dedicated SD slot and a 5-in-1 card reader. The multi-card reader works exactly as you’d expect, while the dedicated SD card reader acts as an easy way to expand your computer’s storage. Stick in a 4GB card and your computer will report that you have 12GB of storage instead of 8GB. Be careful though. This doesn’t mean you can download an 11GB file. The computer will not be able to split large files across your SSD and SD card.

While the Linux version of the MSI Wind laptop will sell for just $20 more than the Linux version of the Acer Aspire One, it will pack twice the RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and a 10 inch screen, which could make the Wind a more attractive choice. But if you’d rather buy a computer from a company known for making PCs and not motherboards, the Aspire One looks like quite a bargain.

The Aspire One is expected to hit store shelve ssometime in July.

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4 replies on “Acer Aspire One preview: Weak speakers, decent webcam, low price”

  1. does it support sdhc ??
    early promo shots weren’t conclusive

    big -ve if not

  2. the linux msi wind only has 512 mb ram for $399 so it packs the same amount of ram…not twice

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