Acer Aspire One Pro 531 review: Acer Aspire One Pro 531

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The Good Long battery life; plain design may appeal to some.

The Bad Unremarkable specification; cramped keyboard and trackpad.

The Bottom Line The Acer Aspire One Pro 531 doesn't really do much to distinguish itself from the netbook herd. Its no-nonsense design will probably appeal to some and its long battery life is a definite plus, but you can find other netbooks that last for longer away from the mains, and have much better keyboards

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Following Asus' lead, Acer continues to churn out netbooks like tomorrows are in extremely short supply. The 10.1-inch Aspire One Pro 531 is billed as a business machine, with enough battery power to last all day away from the mains. It's available in four configurations. Here we review the mid-range 531h-06k, with 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. It's available for around £330 online.

Bland chassis
We're not quite sure what distinguishes a business netbook like the 531 from mainstream offerings from other manufacturers. Maybe it's non-descript design. But that's not to say the 531 is unattractive, and the matte black case looks sleek. We suppose bland is best when it comes to business use.

This model ships with a relatively large, 5,200mAh battery. While this adds to its overall size and weight, the cylinder that houses the extra three cells at least pokes from the back of the case rather than the underside, so it's not as awkward a shape as some other big-battery netbooks.

Runs with the pack
Claimed battery life aside (and more on this in a moment), there's not a great deal to distinguish the 531 from other 10.1-inch netbooks. The matte, 1,024x600-pixel screen is crisp and clear, but the keyboard isn't quite as wide as those on netbooks from Asus and Samsung, and the keys feel slightly cramped as a result.

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