Pros It can be upgraded, Hard Drive, Memory, USB external drives.
Cons Small keyboard and touchpad, glossy case, fingerprints a many.
You might have to start wearing your reading glasses.
Summary As a computer it is very compact, low cost, very protable. I had the original 8gb ss drive version that went to the kids after I found this one at the local WalMart @ $298. After working with it several weeks I decided to do a little upgrade work. I installed 2gb memory, and replaced the SATA hard drive with a 320 gb Westeren Digital. Using a goasting program to move all of my programs and files, I also upgraded to Windows Vista Home Basic, which I had purchased for my old machine but never installed it. The installs went without a problem, Vista runs very well, quick responce and no hangup as of this writing. Installs of other programs were a little more difficult due to the screen resolution. I was able to install my Microsoft Office suite, AutoCad LT, Corel Draw, and Adobe Illustrator, by using a standard outboard monitor to get by the install system requirements. After they were installed I have not had a problem using them. In addition I have install several audio editing and recording programs that seem to run very well. With about 180gb of free space for files.
Although the sound from the internal speakers is week, the installed sound card can push a good pair of headphones, and when attached to my Bose Monitor's is a very good entertainment center on my desktop. By using a USB Dvd, Lightscribe drive I can produce CD and Dvd disc as needed, in addition to being able to watch a favorite movie when wanted.
My inconvience with the keyboard is minimal, unless I have to type a large report, which can be eliminated with a USB keyboard if needed. The same for the touchpad, with a small footprint external mouse.
Either out of the box, or a major overhaul, I cannot see going back to the desktop machines that I have used up until now. This machine as it was, was great. Get creative and it is better. For students it should fill their every need with little extra additions. It comes with the Xp home, and MS Works, with the Office suite trial installed if you want a more powerful word processor or spreadsheet.
It will run Windows Vista Home, and I do not see a reason that you cannot upgrade to the new Windows 7, when it arrives. In all possible cases, it may be the only computer you may need. After you get used to the size, and if you are not heavy into games on the net, you will want it with you when your home or on the road.
Pros Bright screen, connection to internet is a breeze, hard drive space, construction
Cons Touchpad, shiny case is a fingerprint magnet
Summary I have the "250" Version of this Aspire to supplement my desktop unit. A photogrpher by trade, I )like to use the bright screen as a portable photo album (which the 160 GB hard drive supports well, although only 142 GB is usable). I figured it was too slow to run any photo editing software, but just downloaded a trial version of Paintshop Pro and it runs well (as well as a screen of 10.1" can edit photos). For me, it's a tool to surf the web, do some online banking and bill paying, track investments and read the news. Connecting to my home WiFi was almost too easy. I activated the connection switch on the front and the unit instantly found my network. One click and I was on-line. The unit feels solid and sturdy. I had narrowed my choices to this and the Dell Mini 10. The tiebreakers were 1) the Acer has expandable internal memory and 2) while both units had a $298.00 (US) price point at the retailer, only the Acer was in stock. XP and Microsoft Works are familiar and run well. There is a 60-day trial of Office as well as McAfee anti-virus. I may look at one of the many free AV offerings when the McAfee expires. Processing speed is adequate for a 1.6 ghz chip. The keyboard is, well, a netbook. There's a learning curve (this review is typed on the Aspire so excuse any "fat finger" errors). My only real gripe is the touchpad, which is less than half the size of a business card (not a deal-breaker, though). I highly recommend a USB mouse; it makes using the Aspire much more enjoyable. I have read other reviewers complain that the Aspire generates excessive heat...to date I would say it's average (and acceptable) for a portable unit. Also, I have the 3-cell battery version; a mortal faux pas on every review I've read. To be honest, the meter indicates I have @ 3 hours on a full charge and I've yet to spend that long on the unit away from an AC source...it's more than adequate for me. Perhaps if i travelled more I would upgrade the battery. As far as an optical drive I've found external USB powered units on ebay; CD-ROM for around $20 and CD/DVD-RW for @ $55. This will be my next purchase. One more point, keep a lens cleaning cloth handy. The smooth, shiny loves fingerprints. In summery, I find the Acer Aspier 10.1" to be a journyman netbook which performs well. As long as users realize the limitations of this type of unit vs. a full-size laptop I think they'll be pleased.
Pros Portable XP capable computer. Great for document reader and Wifi user. Easy connections at my hotspots.
Cons Keys are tight. Miss CD/DVD, ended up buying external USB later. Slow but expected as such.
Summary Knew what I was getting and couldn't even get $100 more, so accepted this purchase and am glad I have it.
Pros Good performance, can run some games that other netbooks cant. The price is also reasonable.
Cons Small touchpad making scrolling quite a nuisance
Summary I've been using this netbook for almost a year and a half now. It's pretty neat to look at, and very portable, but the only thing I don't like is the small touchpad, I always carry my mouse wherever I go.
Pros Lightweight, attractive design, Windows 7 Starter
Cons Small keyboard, glossy finish touch pad, tweaking required
Summary I did a lot of research before I bought my netbook. I needed something to take notes on for college and I wanted a very basic netbook with Windows 7. The size, portability, and configuration are all huge pluses to me. I can put this netbook in an over-sized purse and just carry that around from class to class. If you or your college student is sick of lugging around a huge backpack full of pens, paper and notebooks for each class get a little Acer Netbook and solve your back problems.
The one I have is purple, with Windows 7, and I upgraded the RAM (memory) from 1 GB to 2 GB. All the rest is the same as the model that CNET reviewed.
I have done several tweaks to this netbook after I got it. First, I uninstalled all the games, second I use Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer. I cannot tell you how much I recommend Google Chrome. I'm a rather tech savvy gal and I'm always concerned with keeping my computers as zippy as possible. Google Chrome cuts out all the needless toolbars and opens up wasted space and also is INFINITELY faster than IE. I've also installed an app to change the background on Windows 7. I know this is an issue for most people. The one I have is called Oceanis, which I find to be the best out there for the average user who wants a light weight app.
Also, if you're going to do word processing on this netbook, I highly recommend using Open Office. It's free, light weight, and doesn't bog down your speed like Microsoft Office will. I still have Office on my netbook, but only because I'm much more accustomed to editing documents with it, as I'm an administrative professional by trade. However for note taking, which is this netbooks main purpose for me, it's garbage.
Do your research, take advantage of free apps that will make your life much easier when using this resource slim netbook and you'll just love it! I'm super happy that I didn't buy the new model, the D260, because from what it sounds like you can't upgrade the RAM, but it's comparable in speed!
I also get constant compliments on the glossy, purple finish on mine. I know it attracts fingerprints, but I don't mind. I kind of like the attention! Plus it has little jewel accent on the hinge which just make me giggle. The purple is just silly cute.