Aspire One Netbook: Acer says come and get it

Acer announces its Aspire One Netbook is now available.

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The ever watchful eye of Crave spied Acer's Aspire One Netbook on a few online resellers last week (while our British brethren got their hands on one last month), and today Acer makes it official by announcing the U.S. availability of its 8.9-inch Netbook. The company outlines three models, which range in price from a very low $379 to $449. By comparison, the latest Asus Eee PC 901 comes in at $599, while the MSI Wind is priced at $479.

All three Aspire One models use the 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor (which is what we saw in both the Eee PC 901 and the MSI Wind) and an 8.9-inch, LED-backlit display with a 1,024x600 resolution and a Webcam above it. You also get three USB 2.0 ports, two media card slots, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and 10/100 Ethernet.

Acer states the Aspire One weighs 2.17 pounds, which is a few ounces lighter than either the 8.9-inch Eee PC or the 10-inch MSI Wind. It's available in blue or white currently, with golden brown and black options coming later in the year.

The $379 unit includes 512MB of RAM, an 8GB solid-state hard drive, a 3-cell battery, and Linpus Linux Lite OS. A $399 model bumps you up to 1GB of RAM, turns the SSD drive into a 120GB spinning hard drive, and switches the OS to Windows XP Home. Lastly, the $449 Aspire One supplies a 6-cell battery, 1GB of memory, the 8GB SSD, and Linux.

A quick scan of the reseller mentioned Acer's release this morning--Best Buy, Circuit City, and CDW--reveals only the $379 and $399 models at CDW. It would seem that 6-cell batteries are still in tight supply. Given that a mobile Internet and communications device like the Aspire One is likely to spend much of its time away from a wall outlet, we'd hold out for a model with a six-cell battery.

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