Acer punts £199 Linux laptop
Aspire One launched at Eee-beating price
Computex Acer has launched its Eee PC wannabe, the Aspire One, pitching the product to Brits at just £199 including VAT - even though it's "not a low-cost notebook", according to the company.
The One's specs largely match those of its rivals: 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor; 512MB of 533MHz DDR 2 memory with a single SO-Dimm slot for more; and an 8.9in, 1024 x 600, 262,000-colour LED-backlit display. There's a 0.3-megapixel webcam in the screen bezel.
Acer's Aspire One: Eee-beating price?
As per usual with Small, Cheap Computers™, the One comes with a choice of Linux or Windows XP Home. The former is fitted with 8GB of solid-state storage, while the XP model packs an 80GB hard drive, a higher price and a lower battery life.
Under XP, expect two-and-a-half hours out of the standard, three-cell battery, or five hours if you buy an optional six-cell power pack. Run Linux instead of XP, and those numbers rise to three hours and seven hours, respectively, Acer said.
The One uses Intel's 945GSE chipset, so it's got HD audio on board and basic 3D graphics support. The machine has 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and 10/100Mb/s Ethernet for networking, three USB 2.0 ports, 3.5mm audio sockets and VGA - again par for the SCC™ course.
However, the One has two memory card readers: one for SDHC that's intended as a storage booster, and a separate multi-format reader for data transfer. The former is presented as a single file system integrated with the main drive - clearly, Acer expects Linux users to load the slot up with a big SD card and keep it there.
The One contains two Mini PCI slots, one for the Wi-Fi and a second to take upcoming optional HSDPA or WiMax modules. The HSDPA unit runs at up to 3.6Mb/s, but Acer said it will be upgradeable to 7.2Mb/s and 2Mb/s HSUPA soon.
The battery life may be weak, but there's no arguing with the One's price: £199 for the Linux version and £299 for the XP model. It'll be made available - later this month - in a choice of blue or white, with pink, red and black models following down the line.
Not out until "Summer"
So ASUS can keep their current prices for another couple of months.
Reasonable idea but you will then have to find all the drivers to make XP work with the hardware.
So not quite as easy as you thought?
So why not do the honest thing and at least try the (cheaper) linux version.
You would never go back!
Again, shame it's Acer
Having had experience of Acer's warranty service, I really couldn't recommend the brand to anyone. That said, it's a £200 machine with no moving parts (Linux version) and a low-wattage CPU designed to not need much cooling. And with Linux it's very little hassle to rescue your system i(both config and data) if the non-storage hardware croaks. Mo MS Anti-copy bollox to get around.
But ideally it'll just force ASUS up make some price cuts, and I want to see an Eee 1000 before settling on a 900.