As for ports, the three USB sockets - two on the left, one on the right - are joined by Ethernet, VGA, audio in and out, and a multi-format memory card slot. We found the USB ports to be tight, with attached devices requiring a pretty hefty tug to remove them.
Audio is provided by two speakers situated at the front of the laptop. They’re not especially loud, but at least there’s no distortion when the volume's at full whack.
The innards are easy to get at, but a memory upgrade isn’t an option
A 250GB hard drive provides plenty of storage and networking comes in the form of the 10/100Mb/s Ethernet port and built-in 802.11n wireless. According to Acer, Bluetooth and, more interestingly, 3G are both options, but we couldn’t find any such models on sale in the UK.
Acer has done a sterling job in making the internals easy to get at. Two separate panels can be removed on the underside: one lets you access the hard drive and wireless card, the other reveals a single memory slot. If your geek brain is already formulating plans for a 2GB upgrade, we’ve some bad news for you: the 532h will only recognise 1GB. This limitation is a real shame, especially since the installed Windows 7 Starter would benefit hugely from a memory upgrade.
In need of a performance boost, we installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Impressively, everything appeared to work without the need for additional drivers, including the wired and wireless network hardware. As expected, it was also much faster than the Microsoft alternative. Further testing revealed a few glitches, such as the microphone and SD slot not functioning, and no multi-touch gestures on the touchpad, but nothing too major.
Crap flat keyboard, crap touchpad. What's next, take the last human interface, the screen, and paint it to match the chassis color?
I'm beginning to think nobody that designs these things ever tries to use them.
It's a problem raised before on such forums... er.. fora... er.. whatever... as these in that one of the main ideas behind the original netbook was to produce something that was smaller, lighter and cheaper than a full blown laptop. I bought my own Aspire One last year as a clearance item from PC World and, apart from replacing the rather tame Linpus offering with openSUSE 11.1, it did all the above at around £170. At the £300 mark, I'm more likely to go looking for a low spec laptop.
The only operational gripe (aesthetically, I do wish these sodding companies would stop it with the piano gloss finish on such machines is it is totally impractical) I had about my own N270 based machine was the appalling arrangement of the touchpad and buttons, a fault that Acer still doesn't seem to have grasped with this bobbly pad arrangement on this new model. Other than that, and allowing for the fact that the review machine has a standard drive as opposed to my own system's 16GB SSD, there is little to choose between them. That being the case, I know which one I would choose and, since I already have it, I hardly think that I'm likely to change!
Dunno about the keyboard
I've an 10 inch Eee (ok, no, 2 Eee's actually) and have found the 10 inchers pretty ok to use. Can't say anything about this specific model, I think lappies are like shoes, you really need to try em on first, but what I'd probably object to is the glossy screen.
I hate glossy screens.
Absolutely hate them.
A great Netbook indeed.
I just purchased my Aspire One 532h-2Cr in Bangkok a few days ago. It cost the equivilent of £205 and came with a 250GB HDD & 1GB RAM, bluetooth was also included. There is no Microsoft Tax in that price as it came with something called Linpus Linux. This I wiped and replaced with Ubuntu 9.10 as soon as I got back to my hotel room! Just upgraded the RAM today to 2GB, a Kingston PC2-6400 (800MHz) module and its working great, so I don't understand why Acer in the UK has put, what seems to me, to be an artificial cap on the RAM amount in the system.
I would have liked the higher def 1280*720 screen, but that wasn't availible where I was shopping, and would have probably been significantly more expensive as well. As far as the keyboard goes, it is one of the best I've seen on any Netbook. I have quite fat fingers, but I'm able to touch type with out any problem on the Aspire's keyboard, which is more that can be said for most Netbooks that I've tried. Admittedly the keyboard on mine is an International one, not UK specific, so all of the 'problem' keys mentioned in the article are fine on my keyboard. As for the touchpad, I've never been a fan of this type of pointing device, so I'm using a Microsoft Arc Mouse with the Aspire, which works well for me. I'm happy to carry the mouse, especially as it folds up pretty small, along with me.
Over all I'm really happy with this system, especially now that I've upgraded the RAM and have Ubuntu desktop (not netbook remix) installed.
I have upgrqaded mine to 2GB
The strange thing about this netbook is that it uses (mine at least ) PC-6400 800Mhz original 1GB ram module, not PC-5300 667MHz ram as the spec says. I swapped mine with a Kingston PC-6400 2GB module and it works just fine.