Acer unveiled its latest Ferrari-branded laptop on Thursday, but, unlike the sleek, powerful
laptops we've come to expect from Italy's finest, this one's a lowly netbook.
Actually, it's not lowly at all. The Ferrari One is billed as the most exclusive and exquisitely designed
netbook on the planet, and, following our hands-on session with it at Ferrari's Monza F1 circuit, we're
inclined to agree. It's arguably the most attractive device of its type, sporting a 'racing red' lid, contrasting
black chassis and numerous other design details, including four tiny rubber tyres moulded to the underside, that set it apart from the competition.
Refreshingly, the Ferrari One has a core specification that's nothing like the majority of its rivals. It uses
a large, 11.6-inch, 1,366x768-pixel display and trades the commonplace Intel Atom CPU for a dual-core
AMD Athlon 64 X2 L310 CPU, as well as 2GB of DDR2 800MHz RAM (upgradeable to 4GB). Graphics come courtesy of a DirectX 10-capable ATI Radeon HD 3200 adaptor, so gaming and high-definition video playback are a distinct possibility.
Storage is provided by a 250GB hard drive, but Acer tells us it may ship versions of the Ferrari One with drives as
large as 320GB. Further storage can be added via a memory-card reader, which supports the SD, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro and xD-Picture Card formats.
Connectivity is sorted, too, thanks to 802.11b/g and draft-n Wi-Fi and an optional surf-anywhere 3G module.
The keyboard, normally a netbook bugbear of ours, is surprisingly good. The Ferrari One has a relatively wide
285 by 24 by 204mm chassis, so the chiclet-style keys are large, and provide good travel and feedback.
The mouse trackpad, meanwhile, is sensitive to multi-touch gestures and reacts to the same stroking, pinching, stretching and swiping movements
popularised on Apple laptops.
The Ferrari One will ship with Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, or Windows 7 Home Basic, and a six-cell battery that promises up to 5 hours
of battery life. It'll go on sale on 22 October for a starting price of around €450 (£395).
While you wait, go check out the pictures in our photo gallery.
On the left, Acer has thrown in a D-Sub VGA and USB port. That large, elongated, HDMI-looking thing is actually an ATI XGP connector, which can feed video and sound output to up to four external displays -- including to HDMI if you have an appropriate adaptor.