The tiny trackpad is also awkward to use. Occasionally, it misinterprets a pointer-moving finger swipe across its main area as a scrolling drag along one side. That's annoying, but not the end of the world.
Screw-on panels cover the hard-drive bay, single SODIMM slot and mini PCI Express slots on the 531's underside. The latter was empty on this particular model but it can be filled with an optional 3G modem.
The 531 refused to run our PCMark05 and 3DMark06 benchmark tests. But, with an Intel Atom N270 processor, 2GB of RAM and Intel GMA 950 GPU, it will perform more or less like every other similarly specified netbook.
It did, however, run the Battery Eater tests quite happily. The good news is that Acer's claim of up to 7.5 hours of battery life isn't overly ambitious. In the demanding Classic test, the 531 ran for just under 5 hours and 15 minutes, and put in 8 hours and 18 minutes in the less punishing Reader's test. This puts it among the most road-friendly netbooks we've ever reviewed, and it's only bettered by the Asus Eee PC 1000HE and .
The Acer Aspire One Pro 531's battery life is very good, but that's about all that differentiates it from the netbook herd. If you appreciate a no-nonsense design, it's worth a look.
Edited by Charles Kloet