As with the Asus Eee PC 1005PE, Intel’s new Atom N450 didn’t do anything special in the PCMark05 benchmark. The CPU and Memory scores were a smidgen higher than the 1005PE achieved, but they still lag behind many of the old, N280-based netbooks we’ve tested.
The six-cell battery gives the netbook a slight tilt
3DMark06 just about ran, with an overall score of 156 at the 532h’s native resolution. The internal fan seemed to do a good job of quietly expelling hot air during the benchmarks. As is common with netbooks, the section nearest to the vent on the left did get a little warm.
Despite Intel suggesting otherwise, Pine Trail was never really about improving performance. Lower power consumption is its main plus point, and we were therefore hoping for decent battery life. Sadly, we were disappointed, with the 532h drawing around 11W during our standard video playback test, the six-cell 4400mAh (48Wh) battery could only tick away for four hours and 11 minutes before the lights went out. Switch off Wi-Fi, dim the display and stick to word processing, and you’ll likely get closer to Acer’s claim of eight hours.
And don't forget, we had the unit with the six-cell battery - the cheaper, three-cell power unit will deliver half the numbers we recorded.
The Aspire One 532h is by no means a bad netbook, but there’s nothing particularly jaw-dropping about it either. Battery life is unspectacular, while performance can’t quite keep pace with last year’s netbooks. The awkwardly-designed touchpad also holds it back. At just under £300, it’s reasonably priced, but with our almost flawless Ubuntu experience it’s a shame you can’t buy it without having to slip a few bob to Microsoft. ®
Thanks to SaveOnLaptops.com for the review unit.
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Acer Aspire One 532
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.