Acer pulls the curtain on its Aspire one laptop

Hot on the heels of Asus and MSI, Acer unveiled its entry into the low-cost subnotebook market at Computex this morning. Dubbed Aspire one, the “Eee killer” from the world’s third-biggest PC vendor closely follows what’s becoming the standard formula for cheap subnotebooks.

The Aspire one packs an Intel Atom processor and an 8.9″, LED-backlit display with the same 1024 x 600 resolution as the Eee PC 900/901 and the MSI Wind U100. Acer’s new baby also includes either 512MB or 1GB of memory, 8GB solid-state and 80GB mechanical storage options, 802.11g Wi-Fi, a five-in-one card reader, and either a three- or six-cell battery. The three-cell battery can provide up to three hours of battery life, while the latter does up to six hours.

On the software front, the Aspire one mirrors Asus’ offerings by letting users choose between Windows XP Home and Linux. Acer’s distribution of choice here is the Fedora-based Linpus Linux Lite. As for the physical aspect, the Aspire one measures 9.8″ x 6.7″ x 1.14″ (25 x 17 x 2.9 cm) and weighs in at just over 2 lbs (less than 1 kg), making it a tad lighter than the Eee PC 901. The machine’s keyboard looks fairly large, and Acer opted to put buttons on either side of the touch pad, like the HP Mini-Note.

Acer says it plans to make the Aspire available in the early third quarter with prices starting at $379. Later this year, the company plans to release versions of the Aspire One with WiMAX and 3G wireless connectivity built in.

Comments closed
    • crose
    • 11 years ago

    Medic!!! Oh, wait.. I meant.. someone .. please put up a poll so we can decide if ppl prefer Trackpoints (a la Thinkpad) or Touchpads.

    Need to eat? Nope
    Need to shit? Nope
    Need to know if Trackpoints or Touchpads are prefered among ppl? Why YES!

    • thermistor
    • 11 years ago

    Was in a Circuit City last xmas helping relative shop for a lappy.

    The Acers lappies at that time had a fell-out-of-ugly-tree-and-hit-every-branch plasticy beige case.

    This new example looks like a Gateway from about a year ago.

    At the budget segment, people want some of the bling factor, too, I think. Acer just ain’t cutting it.

    • mad dog
    • 11 years ago

    geez these bloody idiots keep copying one another; why can’t there be a smart manufacturer who has the guts of pairing an atom, with a LED backlit display, SSD, 6 cell battery as standard and a goddamn TRACKPOINT INSTEAD OF LAME TOUCHPADS :(( and an aluminium brushed chassis …all in IBM quality… ok; it’d cost 500 bucks … so what … at least we’d pay for something that would earn its money instead of making compromises

      • Perezoso
      • 11 years ago

      Touchpads are the work of Beelzebub!

      • Chaos-Storm
      • 11 years ago

      Agreed. I can’t stand the touchpads. I guess I’ll be using an external mouse if I ever buy a new laptop.

      • CampinCarl
      • 11 years ago

      Because people who like trackpoints are in the minority of computer users?

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      What’s the difference between trackpoint and touchpad? Pressure sensitivity?

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        Different devices. With a trackpoint, you have a little cat-tongued nipple living in the middle of the keyboard, and your finger doesn’t move, it just twitches to apply varying amounts of pressure. After a couple days of adjusting to the technique you can travel any distance at any speed or precision without repeated strokes or jittering, and your thumb conveniently lives over the mouse buttons at the same time.

        Thus, being a small, simple, and technically superior solution, it was automatically doomed in the marketplace. People would rather have the equivalent of a detuned, 3in^2 Wacom tablet that can’t tell the difference between a fingernail point and ham hock.

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 11 years ago

          oh right. The pencil-eraser “nub” that UberGerbil hates so much. Yeah I liked those. Almost as good as using a real mouse.

            • Price0331
            • 11 years ago

            except when you tried to play a first person shooter of any sort, christ i ended up getting a blister on the tip of my finger.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      The components you list, at current prices, would be more like $800. You’re talking about 80-90% of a Lenovo U110 or X61.

      • FranzVonPapen
      • 11 years ago

      Touchpads and trackpoints are *[

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        Yeah, as I said in another thread, I had a Compaq 486 in ~1991 that had a trackball in the screen bezel with the buttons on the back side of the screen (so you worked the ball with your thumb and the buttons with your fingers, kind of pinching the screen). It worked very well.

        I kind of miss that machine. 486s in laptops were rare in those days, and I was running early beta copies of Windows, so in some ways it was one of the most advanced systems on the planet. I used to get really funny looks when I went into coffee shops and used it — for most people, that was the first time they’d ever seen anyone do that.

      • muyuubyou
      • 11 years ago

      heh hi end subnotebooks are not new. Check out the Toshiba Libretto series for instance.

      Hint: it’s MUCH MORE than 500 bucks, and that’s why it’s a completely different market.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      every trackpoint I’ve ever used has the tremendous flaw of “drifting” to the lower left or right upon occasiong{<.<}g

        • Rakhmaninov3
        • 11 years ago

        How expensive are touch screens anyway? It seems like they would be great in such a small package, better than (in my experience) clumsy trackpoints, postage-stamp-sized touchpads, or external mice.

      • Cuhulin
      • 11 years ago

      Maybe because some of us really hate trackpoints.

      Give me a touchpad any day of the week!

    • Price0331
    • 11 years ago

    But does it come in black?

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    Hey wow, those backgrounds make a huge difference. Thanks guys!

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    Well, it’s a nice shade of blue.
    🙂

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Based on the combination of price and product, it looks like this and the Wind will be killing the 8.9″ market. Unless Asus rethinks its own price structure, fast.

    • Xenolith
    • 11 years ago

    Now that the new UMPCs have been announced… we need that handy table that compares them.

    • joselillo_25
    • 11 years ago

    What amuses me is that years ago this small laptops were priced pretty high. I got a samsung Q30 that is similar to that laptops, but with a better screen.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      It’s not amusing, it’s significant. In fact, it’s vital. That the entire reason this whole “segment” has suddenly burst into such prominence. Ultraportables have been around since the 80s. But they always cost closer to $2000 than $500, and as a consequence the market for them was very small (since you could get a bigger notebook with more features for less money, that’s what people bought unless portability was the only priority…except in Japan, where for various reasons they were a bit more popular). But suddenly you can buy an ultraportable at budget laptop prices, and — surprise, surprise — there’s a lot of demand for that combination.

    • Xenolith
    • 11 years ago

    WiMax would be cool… if it was available in my town. Anyone see an up-to-date Wimax roll-out schedule?

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Mostly I’ve seen postponements and cancellations.

    • timbits
    • 11 years ago

    but how big are the keys!

    I’m guessing they are the same as the Eee PC

    • MrJP
    • 11 years ago

    Wonder how much for the version with 1GB RAM, 8GB SSD, and XP? Based on the minimum price listed, this Acer looks like it might be the best value option of all the competitors, though that obviously depends on the exact spec. Hopefully they haven’t cut too many corners to hit that pricing – it looks pretty good in the photos.

      • d2brothe
      • 11 years ago

      The pricing is better, but I’m still waiting for my 299 subcompact…..

    • gtoulouzas
    • 11 years ago

    So, then..

    We have MSI’s Wind which seems to be turning to the reviewer favourite, the Acer One, Dell’s contender which we haven’t heard much of (yet), and HP’s 2133 with the anemic C7 CPU. Also, rumours of a Gigabyte entry, though we have yet to ascertain the price-range of the latter, as it has elements of a UMPC.

    Asus had better re-evaluate the pricing policies of its Eee line, because they are setting themselves up for defeat. You don’t get to sell 550-600$ mini-notebooks in this crowded a market.

      • Spotpuff
      • 11 years ago

      It’d be great if someone other than HP offered a higher resolution screen.

        • d2brothe
        • 11 years ago

        Agreed, and yes, the market is getting rather crowded, rather quickly…

          • UberGerbil
          • 11 years ago

          And choices are a problem because…?

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