Acer AspireOne Netbook Review – Decent Product

As curses go, no one has received so many or deserved as much as manufacturers of laptops/notebook computers.

Because laptops are a pain to lug around.

Horribly heavy, most notebook PCs give you a pain in the shoulder before you even reach your destination.

Worse, the batteries run out before your work is done.

Acer AspireOne Netbook
The other day we purchased an Acer AspireOne 10.1-inch netbook for $329 from for a friend.

We ordered the Acer netbook on May 31 and received it on June 10, via the U.S. Postal Service. Since we are cheapo desis, we opted for the free shipping option and that’s probably why it took so long to arrive.

The Acer netbook model number is AOD 150-1165 and our color choice was Sapphire Blue.

Here are the key specs of the Acer AspireOne AOD 150-1165 Netbook:

* 160GB harddrive
* Windows XP operating system with Service Pack 3
* 1GB RAM (Max: 2GB)
* 3 USB ports (one on the left and two on the right)
* 1 RJ-45 Ethernet port on the left
* 6-Cell Sanyo Li-ion battery 10.8v 4400 mAh, 48Wh
* Multi-in-one card reader for SD, MMC, RS-MMC, Memory Stick/Memory Stick PRO and XD cards
* Touchpad navigation with two click buttons
* 10.1-inch Acer CrystalBrite TFT LCD screen, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution
* External Display (VGA) port
* Intel Atom processor N270 (1.60 GHz, 533 MHz FSB, 512 KB L2 cache)
* Webcam
* Microphone
* Jacks for headphone/speaker/line-out and microphone-in
* Dimensions – 10.2 x 7.28 x 1.31 inches
* Weight – 2.95 lb

Easy Setup
The set of the Acer netbook was fairly simple.

It took us about two minutes to unpack the netbook from its box and another three minutes to put it together.

The battery is in a separate plastic bag and you’ll have to attach it to the back of the netbook. It took us a few tries before we heard the click sound of the Sanyo Li-Ion battery sliding neatly into the netbook.

Next, we hooked up the netbook to the electrical point in the wall and started the process of setting up a new user name, picking the default search engine, selecting the right time zone (U.S. Eastern Time, in our case), connecting it to the Internet easily via the RJ-45 ethernet jack and then doing a Windows update to secure the netbook against the various security holes in the Windows XP.

It took us about 30 minutes to install the critical security updates (we did not have to be in front of the netbook while the updates were being downloaded and installed).

Acer Netbook (with plastic wrapper on it)

Ease of Use
After installing 23 out of 24 high priority updates from the Microsoft web site (we ignored IE 8), we logged on to YouTube to check out videos.

We played an old Hindi favorite Dum Maro Dum on YouTube from the old Dev Anand and Zeenat Aman movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna.

We encountered no issues with either the video or sound. Both were fine. Bliss it was to see Zeenat Aman’s character in the movie sway to the high of some nice hashish. 😉

There is no separate volume button in the netbook as in laptops or desktops. In this netbook, you control volume by using the function keys + up/down scroll buttons.

To change brightness or contrast, use the function button + left/right scroll button. There are shortcuts for other functions like sleep, screen blank (to save power) et al.

We were not too happy with the touchpad or the left/right buttons built on the bottom two corners of a single strip. Not sure how it’ll hold up to prolonged use. Our suggestion is to get a small mouse and use it wherever possible.

Another gripe we have is that the insert/delete button are on the top right of the keyboard, not at the bottom right as it usually is in most desktops or laptops.

We opened the notepad and typed a few lines to see how it felt. Did not seem like a difficult task.

Since the operating system in the netbook is the older and more stable Windows XP and not Windows Vista, 1GB RAM did not seem inadequate.

The screen was comfortable to read and thankfully the netbook was fairly quiet.

Battery Test
Besides weight, the other key issue with a portable computer (be it laptop or netbook) is battery life.

We tested the netbook’s battery by first turning off the system standby and hibernation features.

Next, we also turned off the default setting of ‘turn off’ monitor and hard disk while the netbook is working on the battery mode from 5 minutes to ‘never.’

This means the netbook was now powered on without any chance of going into sleep or hibernation mode.

Since we were busy with other work, we did not actively use the netbook but just let it remain idle.

The juice in the fully charged netbook’s battery kept it going for 6 hours and 58 minutes. Cool.

Presumably, if we were running video, playing music or using it for other routine activities, the battery would not have lasted as long. Perhaps, 5 to 5 1/2 hours. Still, not bad.

Wireless Internet
Since we already have a secure wireless network in place, it took us only a few seconds to enter the network key (passcode) and log on to the Internet. Again, Internet access worked as well as it did earlier through the ethernet cable.

This time, we played an old Hindi favorite Mausam Ayega Jayega on YouTube. The song is from the 1979 Bollywood movie Shaayad starring Vijayendra Ghatge.

Biggest Drawback
Lack of a CD/DVD drive is the single biggest issue with this netbook.

This means if you want to install drivers or other software, you either have to download it off the Internet or purchase an external CD/DVD drive for about $65 from an online store like Amazon or Newegg or your local BestBuy, OfficeMax or Staples.

You also need the external drive to create a recovery disc in case something goes horribly wrong with the netbook and you want to restore things to the original factory setting.

Then there are some minor issues like the crapware for trial versions of Carbonite backup and Microsoft Office 2007.

Good, Overall
But our complaints are mostly minor (except for the lack of a CD/DVD drive).

Overall, we’d say the Acer AspireOne 10.1-inch AOD 150-1165 netbook is a decent product for those tired of lugging around bulky notebooks with short battery lives.

But before you decide to buy it, you might also want to look at the Asus Eee PC 1000he 10.1-inch netbook for its longer battery life.

18 Responses to "Acer AspireOne Netbook Review – Decent Product"

  1. boopalanj   June 12, 2009 at 4:18 am

    Seems to be a good one..!!

    Btw, will it sustain memory intensive software such as Visual studio, or it is only meant for official use?

    As said, DVD burning is one of the major drawbacks. Anyhow data transfer will not be a problem.. Responds:

    1. Max memory supported is 2GB.

    2. You write: will it sustain memory intensive software such as Visual studio….?

    Doubt it. Here’s the minimum system requirements for Visual Studio 2008 Standard edition.

    Also, remember this is a single core system.

  2. Ænima   June 12, 2009 at 9:58 am

    does it have a DVD-ROM(I understood/misunderstood from your review that it has a DVD-ROM but no DVD burner)? I was looking at
    It says

    I am also in the market for one.. is Acer the best in netbooks? Costco reviews certainly indicate that it is the most popular.. probably because they are the cheapest? Dell seems to be offering good prices now. Responds:

    1. No CD/DVD drive of any kind.

    Replaced the words CD/DVD burner with CD/DVD drive in the above review to make it crystal clear for other readers. Thanks.

    2. You write: I am also in the market for one.. is Acer the best in netbooks?

    As we said in the last sentence of the review, you might also want to look at the Asus Eee PC 1000he 10.1-inch netbook for its longer battery life (but a little heavier). We might buy the Asus for ourselves. If we decide to go for the Asus, we’ll buy it in the next two or three weeks and review it here.

    Costco is $20 more for what looks like the same Acer Netbook.

    Problem with Costco is limited choice and not always the cheapest. We were members for five or six years, pulled the plug about 18 months back.

  3. Ænima   June 12, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I love Costco.. returned my lawn mower after 2 years and got a brand new one.. but for a netbook, i’ll definitely look for the best price.

    I am looking for a netbook which will double as a portable dvd player when flying on a long trip.. so I guess I need to keep looking.. or I’d have to just rip the movie and load it in hard drive.. all netbooks seem to have a lot of space. Responds:

    You write: I love Costco.. returned my lawn mower after 2 years and got a brand new one..

    Now, we know why Costco membership fees are higher than Sam’s Club.

    Could you please share with other cheapo desis the reason you offered while returning the lawn mower after using it for two years? 😉

  4. Ænima   June 12, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Simple.. “it is not working”.. my genius wife’s simple plan worked wonderfully.

    We spend thousands of dollars yearly.. so they probably don’t mind these things to ensure that we keep buying from them. They didn’t even force us to store credit.. just plain refund. Responds:

    1. Desi wives have a lot of tricks up their sleeve.

    Back in the mid-1990s, we had a Tamil friend living in Queen’s, NY. His then recently-arrived wife used to buy books from Barnes & Nobel, read ’em and return ’em.

    When it comes to saving money, we always tell people the Indians are way ahead of the Chinese.

    2. How about sharing one Costco Card with a few other members of the local Tamil Sangham.

  5. naseer   June 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    great product, but someone should gift it to me. Responds:

    $329 is not a king’s ransom. Even if you panhandle, you can raise $329 in a few days.

  6. naseer   June 12, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    in our country we manhandle.

    we should find a way to pirate the handware also. Responds:

    No, you can’t ‘manhandle’ in your country and get away with it. We know where you come from.

  7. naseer   June 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    SI: We know where you come from

    that harsh. Responds:

    Go away.

  8. ShikhariShambhu   June 12, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    i can’t believe people can be so cheap.
    there’s something repulsive about it. i know someone who, despite earning over $100,000 a yr, accepted used clothes for her new born baby girl. che!! Responds:

    When it comes to cheap, it’s not just hard but impossible to beat our desis.

  9. StrYngLad74   June 13, 2009 at 12:12 am

    AENIMA Said: “I love Costco.. returned my lawn mower after 2 years and got a brand new one”

    My friend’s wife did it with her 1.5 yr old microwave purchased from Walmart after it went bad. Rumor has it she carelessly heated a plastic container which had aluminum foil underneath the food.

    ShikariShambhu said: “I know someone who, despite earning over $100,000 a yr, accepted used clothes for her new born baby girl.”

    The concept of “uttaran” is a tradition in India, believe it or not, but the ones receiving these “uttaran” or previously used items often happen to be maids/servants and the givers are the masters. Unfortunately, this concept has also resulted in transfer of used items (toys, clothes, etc.) from an older sibling to a younger one or a relative giving their child’s used items as “heirlooms.” I know from experience that refusing such a “priceless gift” (pffft!!!) results in the classic, Indian-style “talking behind the back” treatment.

    SI Said: “Back in the mid-1990s, we had a Tamil friend living in Queen’s, NY. His then recently-arrived wife used to buy books from Barnes & Nobel, read ‘em and return ‘em.”

    I am guessing the arrival of the wife activated the dormant “cheapo” gene in your friend. Responds:

    You write: I am guessing the arrival of the wife activated the dormant “cheapo” gene in your friend.

    No, our Tamil Iyengar friend was a hardened cheapo desi even before marriage.

    He used to sleep on newspapers in the Queens apartment when he was earning $70,000 + in the mid-1990s.

    By God, that’s the absolute truth. When we visited him those days, we too were forced to sleep on the newspapers one night (and escaped to Chicago the next day).

    Strange are the uses that the New York Times has been put to.

  10. StrYngLad74   June 13, 2009 at 1:09 am

    “He used to sleep on newspapers in the Queens apartment when he was earning $70,000 + in the mid-1990s.”

    Ayyo…that really really sucks! Sorry if I am going to rant, but that reminded me of my mom’s cheapo behavior. We’d go on a vacation, and she’d force us to haul her utensils and bags of rice so we can eat her shitty cooking and save money INSTEAD OF EATING OUT AND HAVING FUN. Those vacations at the resorts in Goa and Kerala will be forever etched in my memory for some of the worst times I ever had during a vacation. Imagine hauling a 10 kg bag of rice and utensils all the way from Delhi in a train and then refusing the help of porters at station to save money, only to end up eating her shoddy sambaar, rasam, and poriyal for dinner EVERY FOOKING DAY!!! We were spared in Mahabaleshwar cos the resort did not have a kitchen in the suite and we didn’t bring anything along (thank goodness for small miracles!).

    That said, I often wonder if our cheapness is indeed a product of our society. I mean, we hardly let any individual feel his/her own worth and that he/she deserves to enjoy life instead of spending every waking moment in bondage and servitude of others. I wonder if your Iyengaar friend was busy sending a bulk of his money home, so his parents could hoard money for showing off to make other Iyengaar families jealous and buying more and more fugly Murugan calendars.

    Hell yeah, we fooking suck at our cheapness! Responds:

    1. Some vacation. Must have been worse for your mom, with no respite from the daily drudgery and, not to forget, the unappreciative brats. 😉

    2. It’s possible that self-esteem and individual worth are now less prominent elements of the Hindu weltanschauung.

    Most likely, the repeated Muslim invasions followed by nearly two centuries of British rule completely crushed the balls/self-esteem of Indians/Hindus. For the most part, Indians are effete, lily-livered poltroons in their interaction with the external world. Seldom taken seriously by the rest of the world.

    3. Shoddy sambar is a contradiction in terms.

  11. Ænima   June 13, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Many Indians in the US pack stuff (puliyodharai, lemon rice, roti and force the kids to eat it for the whole duration of the vacation) and take it on vacation.. I pity those fools.

    LOL @ buying more and more calendars.. but why would Iyengars buy Murugan calendars.. isn’t that the Iyers?

    accepted used clothes for her new born baby girl.. As far as I know, even whites do that..(no, we didn’t do it) I have seen ads for maternity bras on craigslist.. yewww..

    Most of the “cheapo” acts(of me and our friends) are from the “better” half.. some of them make us males squirm.. Gals have more balls when it comes to the “returns” department, but we males will be happy at the end results.. And brahmins are usually considered to be more thrifty than the other clans

    Lad’s rant against his mom’s cooking reminds me Kamal’s rant in Guna

  12. ShikhariShambhu   June 13, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    when i have money, i’m gonna spend it. Responds:

    Haven’t you heard of Spend Now, Pay Later.

  13. naseer   June 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    heard of WaterBed. Your friend’s PaperBed is very much inspiring. Responds:

    As we said earlier, the New York Times newspaper has many uses for desis.

  14. naseer   June 13, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    any guess, why is your friend so specific about using only New York Times as his bed ?
    why not other newspapers ? Responds:

    Our friend used to live in Queens then and subscribed to the New York Times because it’s the local paper.

    Unlike the New York Times (which is in broadsheet format), the other prominent newspapers in NYC (NY Post and Daily News) are in tabloid format.

    A broadsheet newspaper covers a greater surface area compared to a tabloid format daily and hence is more suited for use as a bed by the Iyengars.

  15. naseer   June 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    did u inform NYT about this ?
    Make them aware. Responds:

    Word must have spread that the Iyengars were using NYT as a bed, so the others stopped subscribing. 😉

    Hence the paper is in dire shape now. Thanks to the Mexican gazillionaire Carlos Slim, the NYT got a new lease of life.

    Now, go away.

    We have to go to Sam’s Club (no, it’s not a strip club run by Uncle Sam).

  16. ShikhariShambhu   June 13, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    kind of, but no idea how that works and not interested in finding out. i’m Indian enough to not ever be indebted. Responds:

    Haven’t you heard of the desi who ran up a debt of $60,000 on four credit cards and vamoosed to Ezhupunna or Erode or Ahmedabad?

  17. முனிAndy   January 28, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    didn’t you also review a cheap desktop? I was searching for that review, but could only find this..

    My dell pc is dead.. I think it is the 50$ power supply, but thinking of moving on from Vista to 7 via a new PC. Responds:

    Here’s the post:

    If it’s just the power supply, go over to CompUSA, buy one for $29 and they’ll install it for free. We did this a few months back for one of our old eMachines PC.

    We have a Windows 7 on an Acer AspireRevo that can stream movies and YouTube kinda stuff directly to TV but haven’t played with the OS much.

    • முனிAndy   January 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm

      thanks.. will do that.. also look for deals.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login