With Intel's 1.6GHz Atom N270 CPU, specifically designed for low-power Netbooks, you get enough computing power for basic tasks, such as Web surfing, working on documents, and some basic multimedia playback. As expected, the Aspire One AOD150 performed on par with more expensive recent Netbooks, such as the HP Mini 2140 (and slightly faster than Sony's P-series Lifestyle PC, which is saddled with Windows Vista). We'll soon be seeing the first laptops with a faster version of the Intel Atom, the N280, which may expose some major fault lines in Netbook performance (or not, as small clock-speed bumps are often inconsequential).
The system ran for an impressive 6 hours and 17 minutes on our video playback battery drain test, using the included six-cell battery. Note that our test unit had a slightly beefed-up battery (5800mAH versus 4400mAH) compared to what it will ship with, and we'll retest with the official six-cell battery when we get our hands on one, but we expect you'll still get 5-plus hours. The trade-off, of course, is the system's weight and size (as the battery is heavy and sticks out from the back).
The Aspire One includes an industry-standard, one-year, parts-and-labor warranty, but the company has a confusing maze of overlapping support Web sites. The tech support number is impossible to find (it's 800-816-2237), but we were eventually able to locate basic driver downloads on Acer's site.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
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Acer Aspire One AOD150
Windows XP Home SP2; 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 224MB Mobile Intel GMA 950; 160GB Hitachi 5400rpm
HP Mini 2140
Windows XP Home SP2; 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 224MB Mobile Intel GMA 950; 160GB Toshiba 5400rpm
Sony Vaio P
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520; 2048MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel GMA 500; Samsung 64GB SSD
Dell Inspiron Mini 9
Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.6GHz Intel Atom; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 64MB Mobile Intel 945 Express; STEC 16GB SSD
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