aspire 1410 left side

The Dell Inspiron Mini 10v wasn’t the only laptop to show up at Liliputing HQ today. The folks at B&H Photo and Video were kind enough to send me an Acer Aspire 1410 laptop to review for the next week or two.

You can check out my unboxing video after the break. It also includes a brief comparison with the Asus Eee PC 1101HA, which is about the same size. But while the 1101HA has a 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520 processor and GMA 500 graphics, the Acer notebook packs a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500 CULV processor and GMA 4500MHD graphics.

The Acer Aspire 1410 isn’t positioned as a netbook. It has 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display and runs Windows Vista. But thanks to its $450 price tag, this laptop will undoubtedly go head to head with a number of netbook-like mini-laptops including the Asus Eee PC 1101HA, Acer Aspire 751, and Lenovo IdeaPad S12.

The first thing I wanted to know about the Acer laptop was whether it can handle full-screen Flash video from Hulu. I have yet to find an Intel Atom powered computer with a screen resolution higher than 1024 x 600 pixels that can play video from Hulu in full screen mode without getting choppy. Unfortunately, despite the faster processor, the Acer Aspire 1410 has the same problem. Hulu video looks great in windowed mode, but gets choppy when you blow it up to full screen.

The netbook does have an HDMI output and should be able to handle HD video playback from the hard drive, but I haven’t put that to the test yet. Windows Vista also appears to be a bit of a resource hog on this system. It’s possible it might run better with Windows XP or Windows 7. But since no restore discs were shipped with the computer, I’m probably not going to try changing the OS since I have to send the Aspire 1410 back within a few weeks. That means any tests I run will likely be in Windows Vista, although I might try popping in an Ubuntu LiveUSB stick at some point.

The Acer Aspire AS1410-8804 is available from B&H for $449.

Update: Following the advice listed in the comments, I tried installing Google Chrome and playing Hulu in full screen mode. It made no difference. But then I installed Windows 7 RC, which is much lighter on system resources than Windows Vista and had much better luck with Hulu. Using Internet Explorer, Hulu was still choppy. I haven’t tried Firefox yet, but Hulu plays back perfectly in full screen mode when using Google Chrome. Going forward, I’ll be testing the computer with both Windows 7 and Windows Vista, since anyone who buys the Acer Aspire 1410 in the next few months is likely to get it with Vista preinstalled.


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45 replies on “First look at the Acer Aspire 1410 – Video”

  1. Your review helped me decide on buying the Acer 1410as, for 399.99 at BJ’s warehouse. I love it! I watch hulu with no problem, I used the cling sticker showing ffinger swipes, turned it sideways to create an edge for the touch pad. And I do have bluetooth and Home/End keys – I heard people complain this model does not have them? Thank you for your review! Love this notebook!

  2. Does it have blutooth? How are the speakers? How well does ubuntu run?

    1. 1410 does not. Options are mod it or go with a usb dongle. Cirago Bluetooth BTA6210 seems to work okay and is a class 1, versus the more common class 2.

  3. Does Linux play well with this hardware? I hate Vista. That would be a dealbreaker from my buying this if I couldn’t dump Vista for Linux, or even XP Pro.
    tia

    1. According to all the specs I have seen, Linux should play very well with it. Graphics, sound, and wireless systems should be supported out of the box with Ubuntu. This is the main reason I am interested in it. GMA500 which was in a lot of the recent netbooks does not play well with Linux.

  4. just to confirm, does this use a 2.5″ sata drive? looking into possibly adding a ssd to this notebook.

  5. Does the video card support the use of a second monitor (dual-monitor mode)?

  6. Thanks for the unboxing video! I tried to see if the 6-cell battery on this new Acer 1410 is the same butt ugly “hump” design like so many other netbooks / laptops have in this size category. However, the video went so fast when you installed the battery that it was too hard for me to tell. Please give info on the battery design… butt ugly “hump” or smooth integrated design. Many thanks and keep up the good work!

    1. Hey Mark, the 6 cell battery fits beautifully and seamlessly inside the body and does not pop out like AO751.

  7. Brad, it would be great if you can run wPrime and PCMark05 on this machine so that we can stack it against 11z.

    1. PCMark05 appeared to run properly, but for some reason it didn’t show
      me any scores at the end.

      wPrime gave me a score of 112 seconds in Windows Vista and 116.5
      seconds in Windows 7. I was surprised, because Windows 7 generally
      feels snappier to me. But both scores seem very close to the Intel
      Atom scores NotebookReview posted. Of course, this test doesn’t take
      the GPU into account, and the graphics processor on the Acer 1410 is
      much better than the integrated graphics in most netbooks as you’ll
      see in an article I hope to post later today.

  8. I don’t understand why Hulu has such crappy performance. Why does the flash container using h.264 have playback problems, but an mkv container using h.264 not have problems? It doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s not like the mkv is getting accelerated. Is it perhaps a codec issue with flash?

  9. Looking forward to your detailed review. When you do it, could you size up the 1410 with some of the common 10″ netbooks (your new Dell 10v, EeePCs, etc), just to get a feel for the size? I’ve never seen these two in the flesh, but I’ve handled a lot of the 10″ models.

  10. Hate to do this to you, but this is what you get for answering some propmptly and competently: The new 12″ MSI is available for pre-order, though it hasn;t been confired yet. it uses an AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 1.6GHz processor instead of the Intel CULV. Is this better? Appreciably so? or is it bascially AMD’s comparable verision to the CULV?
    Thanks

    1. I haven’t seen good comparison benchmarks, but my guess is that it will be somewhat faster, but it will have much shorter battery life and possibly weigh more. AMD is still playing catchup on power efficiency.

  11. Can you please comment on the webcam? I’m hoping it is the same one the European 1810T (720p webcam). There have been no mention anywhere of what kind of webcam this unit has except it’s an intergrated crystal eye or something lik ethat

  12. Any idea when you’ll have the final review done? I am almost positive this is the netbook I am going to get b/c of the sweet combination of battery life and faster processor combined with the 11.6 screen (I don’t want to wait for the dual core, i’m not goign to be watching any HD stuff), but I want to see another review. No one has touched this netbook yet except for someone in Europe, and I am just waiting to get another impression.
    I would also consider the new Dell 11z, but I don;t want to wait for those idiots to release a standard six-cell battery, and then who knows how much it will cost
    Thanks

    1. I hope to have a detailed review in the next week or two.

      In other news, I’ve succeeded in playing full screen Hulu video
      without any choppiness by installing Windows 7 and Google Chrome.
      Windows 7 and Internet Explorer wasn’t good enough, but Win7 and
      Chrome are golden.

      Now I’ll get back to testing other things. I may have another post or
      two up my sleeve before the full review is ready.

      1. That is very interesting indeed, i’m curious how this laptop handles youtube HD or Vimeo HD in combination with windows 7 and google chrome.

        Does the choppiness also stay away when you have about 15 tabs with websites open?

        1. I’m not really sure why you’d want/need to watch Flash veo in full
          screen mode with 15 browser tabs open. But the long and short of it is
          no, YouTube HD and Vimeo HD videos are still choppy, as is 480p or
          higher resolution video from Hulu.

          The Aspire 1410 definitely has a bit more oomph in the CPU area than a
          typical netbook. But if you want real performance, it looks like
          you’re going to have to pay for a more expensive laptop or
          ultraportable.

          1. So, do i then understand correctly that the Aspire 1410 is able to play Youtube HD, Vimeo HD and Hulu HD without choppiness if you run window 7 + google chrome and no other websites/applications open?

          2. No. Just Hulu standard definition. Vimeo HD, YouTube HD, and Hulu 480p
            are still choppy even with Windows 7 + Chrome. What Windows 7 + Chrome
            does is allow you to watch 360p Hulu video in full screen mode, which
            makes this system *slightly* better than a typical Intel Atom powered
            netbook with a 1366 x 768 pixel display when it comes to Flash video.

            But that’s just Flash video. In terms of overall performance I’m still
            testing the Acer 1410, but it seems generally zippier than most Atom
            powered machines.

  13. I read somewhere that after the release of Windows 7, this model may have a “brother” with a Core 2 Duo SU9400. That CPU has a TDP of 10 watts whereas the SU3500 is only 5.5 watts. With a beefier battery, that proposed unit would really be awesome. I think I’ll wait. The problem is, that unit probably will NOT be less than $500 like this one is. But then, in time, perhaps it will be. (Black Friday is only three months away!)

    I wish it came with a matte screen: lots of screen reflection in the video.

    1. I wish it came with an Ati HD 4330, just like all the other Acer Timeline laptops.

  14. I’ve been streaming full screen video from Hulu all day on mine and it hasn’t been choppy at all. I have stripped off the bloatware that it came with and upgraded to 4 gigs of RAM. Also using Google Chrome.

    1. I’ve disabled pretty much every unnecessary service and tried Hulu on Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. It doesn’t seem to make a difference. Full screen playback is choppy. Same goes for HD video from Hulu.

      I’m going to try some 720p and 1080p from the hard drive soon though, and I might try a game or two. I do believe the graphics are better on this model, but the CPU just isn’t up to full screen high quality Flash video, at least not with Windows Vista and 2GB of RAM, which is the default configuration.

      1. It came preloaded with Windows Vista and I plan to review it with that
        OS for that reason. But as an experiment, I’ve created some backup
        discs and I’m installing Windows 7 RC today to see if it makes a
        difference.

        1. I’m more interested in how it does with windows xp, since windows 7 essentially uses the same drivers as vista does.

          Windows 7 is more optimized and less resource hungry though, that is true.

    2. Fullscreen playback in the default 360p mode works fine. It’s when you use the “higher resolution” 480p mode that Hulu’s flash has problems.

      1. Actually, that’s not true. Even 360p video stutters in full-screen mode when played on the Acer Aspire 1410 or any netbook with an Intel Atom processor and 1366 x 768 pixel display.

    3. hey im trying to make my acer run faster as well, but I don’t know which applications are considered bloatware. Do you remember what you got rid of?

  15. BTW, you should consider retrying the Hulu test in the Google Chrome browser if you haven’t done it yet. Flash video is noticeably faster on my 751 using the Chromium engine.

    1. Wow, Chrome really does make a pretty big difference. Just fired up the 5101 and tried out an Arrested Development episode and the frame rate was much better!

  16. I’ve been waiting for this for months- 11.6 inch screen, better processor than the Acer 751 and new Asus 11.6 inch , and better battery life than the Gateway. Not perfect, but probably the best in this category for a while

  17. I believe the 1410 is supposed to get ~6 hours of battery life as it has a lower capacity battery than it’s European counterpart.

  18. Unfortunately, for video playback, CPU doesn’t make as big a difference as the graphics controller. That is why I was curious about this vs. the std Atom GMA 950 controller.

    1. When it comes to Flash video, it’s all about the CPU, because Flash
      isn’t optimized to take advantage of the GPU. Most netbooks with Intel
      Atom N270 CPUs and GMA 950 graphics can handle 720p video without a
      problem, but standard definition video from Hulu looks choppy in full
      screen if you have a high resolution display.

      Within the next year or so, we should start seeing Flash support for
      NVIDIA and Broadcom graphics chips. But right now it’s a CPU-intensive
      application.

    2. OK thanks, I didn’t know FLASH was handled differently than oher graphics.

      I still like this one though since I wanted the higher-res screen. It’d be nice if it came with the higher capacity 6-cell which I am not getting why Acer wanted two battery types for Euro and US.

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