Advantages easy to use, small and light, long battery life
Disadvantages Comes with rubbish software pre-installed, can be slow when multi-tasking
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Since my boyfriend got a laptop last year I've spent most evenings complaining that his laptop is permanently glued to his lap. I think this might have been the reason that he was generous enough to surprise me with this little gem late last year.The Aspire One was released by Acer in June 2008 and has become one of the most popular netbooks on the market. The D255 is a newer version of the 532h and D260 which are exactly the same in hardware, however the D255 comes with new software including the Windows 7 Starter Pack.
The Aspire One is everything a netbook should be to look at. It is small, light and compact - easy to carry around comfortably without taking up too much space in a bag. When it is closed up it folds up neatly and the cover displays it's name "Acer Aspire One". The netbook is only 10 x 6 inches and is only about 1.5centimetres in thickness so a perfect size for carrying about. It's a very attractive netbook; slick and compact and well designed.My netbook is in 'Seashell White' but it is also available in Sapphire Blue, Golden Brown and Coral Pink which all also look very attractive. Their website is all about personalising netbooks so that they reflect the personality of the owner which is why they released these different colours rather than the traditional black and silver. I would say that the colours, coupled with the size of the laptop make it quite a feminine design and that this would be much more suitable for me than my dad or boyfriend. Also, I don't think white reflects my personality - Alex said it was more about choosing something I wouldn't get bored of and availability!
The Aspire One has built-in WiFi technology which is probably the most important thing to me as I generally use it for connecting to the Internet. It has three USB ports, an RJ-45 Ethernet port and an SD memory card reader. I didn't realise that for the first few weeks though and continued to upload my photos using a USB cord! There is another port for connecting it to an external monitor which is useful for when I need to connect Sky Player up and can watch Man City games and The Ashes on the big screen!When I got the netbook and read up on it, one of the things that the Internet kept telling is that it has Android technology but I'm afraid I still don't know what that means and don't think I've used it! It sounds like it is something to do with Google though. As mentioned earlier, it also comes with the Windows 7 starter pack installed; an edition of Windows 7 which contains only a few of the new features (this is common in netbooks).
The Aspire One comes with the Intel Atom Processor designed specifically for low power consumption while delivering power and performance for full online freedom. It has 160GB of hard drive memory which I was pleasantly surprised about with it being such a tiny computer!The keyboard is a full QWERTY keyboard with numbers and according to the PC Advisor website, it has the best keyboard to type on of any netbook apart from the Dell Inspiron Mini 10! Oooohhh! It is possible to build up a good typing speed thanks to the large keys and space between them. The touchpad is wide with a matt finish, which blends in with the rest of the netbook and is sensitive and responsive. It has other features enabled such as 'pinch' to zoom in and out on the screen (this can get annoying as it often happens by accident!) and a two finger scroll which is useful if you're feeling lazy!
The netbook is available from a range of shops and online stores and retails for anywhere between £200 and £300. I've listed some of the cheaper options below.PC World/Currys/Dixons £203.97
The best thing about this netbook is the small size and weight of it. The fact that it is so small means that it is really useful for me as I spend most of my time on the netbook for internet purposes, emailing people or writing reviews! We have a PC at home which I would use for uploading photos and downloading music/streaming etc so the netbook is used entirely for things that can be done on my knee, either in front of the TV or while I'm travelling. For this reason it's important to have a long battery life and at 7 hours this is perfect. The long battery life is down to the 6 cell battery pack. As I said, I like to use if when I'm travelling, either on the train or as a car passenger and at just over 1kg in weight you hardly notice that you are carrying it. It is small and light enough to put in your handbag and be able to carry it around comfortably, unlike larger notebooks. It is also very quick to turn on, loading up in less than 30 seconds.There is also a Crystal Eye webcam and microphone installed on the laptop which are ideal for Skype and are both easy to use. One of my favourite things about the netbook is actually the charger! It isn't in two parts like many laptops chargers with the big adapter attached. You just plug the power lead straight into the laptop from the plug socket - magic!
The negative thing that I found straight away with the Aspire One was that the netbook came with lots of software already installed. If these had been word processors and useful programmes I'd have been delighted, however these were Oberon Media games such as Cake Mania and Airport Parking Mania! I deleted these almost immediately and I noticed an instant improvement in speed and how long it took to load up the computer (which wasn't long anyway!) I've noticed that when I have many things loaded up on the computer, even just multiple Internet Explorer windows, this slows the netbook speed down considerably which is quite annoying.The netbook also doesn't come with Microsoft Office installed which I think would have been ideal for this product. In fact, it didn't even have Microsoft Works on it which is very uncommon. I spent the first few months using Wordpad - something I hadn't used since I was about 12 years old! Not a problem at all as I expect with most laptops to have to buy Microsoft Office but it would be nice for the netbook to have some of the things that they expect their customers would require, rather than these random games! Also, with it being a netbook, there is no CD drive. I can see this being a problem in the future, however I haven't had any issues so far. Luckily when I needed to install Microsoft Office, there was a note in the box to say that if you have no CD drive you can get the package from their webpage and use a product key to register the programmes. It also doesn't have Bluetooth which some of the higher end netbooks do but I don't know what this would add and it's not something I miss. Obviously without a CD drive you can not play DVDs on the netbook either.
I think the Aspire One is an excellent value netbook. It has been an absolute dream for me and I'd recommend it to anyone who doesn't require some of the extras that a laptop or a PC have. It is best for those who want to use it for Internet, email or word processing and I've got to be honest, it's come in very handy for reviewing! My friend was late to meet me last week in a restaurant and I took it out and wrote some of this review!This is such a handy little piece of technology that now I'm the one in the relationship who always has the computer on my knee! It's slower than I would like which does get annoying if I'm trying to do something in a rush, but it's great for me and I couldn't want more from a netbook at this price!
A super netbook but not for everyone. 4/5!
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