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Acer Aspire One Netbook - Acer Aspire One Netbook

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


Opening the One's lid reveals a shiny black surround framing the 8.9in screen. It's quite attractive, especially as there are no speakers to ruin the clean lines as these are instead integrated into the bottom of the netbook's chassis, with the detrimental effect on audio quality you'll probably already have guessed. The keyboard is matte black, which doesn't give it the most cohesive of looks when combined with the reflective black bezel and shiny blue surface that makes up the rest of the One's upper chassis, including the touchpad - not that we're complaining about the keyboard being matte.

Speaking of cohesion, when you start paying attention to little details there's even less of it to be found: we have a silver power button with an embedded green LED, and metallic orange trims on the hinge ends. While these certainly add to the One's individuality, I'm not so sure they're an inspired design decision. Still, with the sides and base matte black to match the keyboard, overall the One is moderately attractive.

Moving onto connectivity, the One is pretty average, with one unique touch and some nice future potential. There are no connections at the unit's front or back. On the right side, there is a memory card reader that will handle SDHC, MMC, MS/PRO and xD. This is joined by two USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks and like on most netbooks you'll also find a Kensington lock point.

On the other side is the power jack, VGA out, LAN and a further USB port. We then come to a unique feature that elevates the Aspire One a little beyond mediocrity and the competition: an extra SD(HC) card slot. Now obviously there's a bit more to this than just the ability to put two memory cards in at once since the extra slot acts as storage expansion, meaning you can easily and cheaply expand the native 8GB already present. The One will incorporate any SD memory card into its file system through an application it calls Smart System Management, showing the joint storage devices as a single unified space. This worked flawlessly when I tried it with a 16GB SDHC card, effectively tripling the One's capacity in the blink of an eye.

As I said, this is a really clever solution. Yes, it's possible to do this with other netbooks, but it won't be even half as elegant. For one thing, they won't incorporate the extra memory into local storage, and for another, you won't actually be able to insert another memory card (if, for example, you want to get the pictures off your camera) without 'removing' this extra space. This way Acer has given consumers a modular way of increasing their storage that will only get cheaper and more spacious as time goes on, without needing to mess about with the machine's innards. One minor gripe is that since you will potentially be loading applications onto this second SD card, it would have been good to see some kind of locking flap in place, to ensure that you didn't eject the card by mistake at an inopportune moment.

Unlike most of its competitors the One does not come with Bluetooth installed, and Wi-Fi doesn't extend to Draft-N. However, before you make too many sounds of barely-suppressed disgust, it's worth mentioning that Acer has said future updates will include integrated WiMAX and 3G/HSDPA options. Interestingly, our model had an upgrade slot that could easily accommodate an HSDPA module and I found a SIM slot hidden behind the battery, so this is definitely a possibility.


August 5, 2008, 4:10 am

A note about cohesion: in the course of my job I deal with many Acer products, and while they may function well and are reasonably reliable (I have a few things from them myself) they don't 'feel' well-designed. More like a pile of off-the-shelf parts with an Acer badge and some deplorable software (don't get me started on Acer software!) ;¬)

Brian Houng

August 5, 2008, 10:03 am

Are you going to be reviewing the Windows XP version? I just purchased my One(XP, 120HDD, 6-cell battery)in Taiwan a few days ago, and I have to say this review doesn't do it justice. I hope you will review the new version, because it is really beyond than best bang for the buck.


August 5, 2008, 11:53 am

A good review but I have to disagree with "...the Holy Grail of netbook superiority: price.". IMHO this should be battery life. It is very sad that Acer are not shipping this model with a 6-cell battery.


August 5, 2008, 1:10 pm


The One certainly doesn't feel thrown together, it's in fact a very nicely put together device.


We will certainly keep an eye out - looks like that version could be the sweet spot.


I guess it's a bit of both. It's beginning to become a fairly clear trend that the netbooks with large batteries are more expensive so there's definitely a trade off.


August 5, 2008, 1:21 pm

I want the one with 3g


August 5, 2008, 11:27 pm

Personally, I think that this beats the Eee on looks but for me the deal breaker is integrated HSDPA. As soon as a netbook comes out with that, it's mine.


August 27, 2008, 3:31 am

I just discovered the One in a high street shop (C....). I like it but I am put off a bit by the price. Why? I discovered that the most expensive model (Win XP, 1GB RAM, 120GB harddrive) is $350 in the US, but 𧷤 here in the UK (almost ouble) which is strange, because it is the same machine on both sides of the Atlantic.

Jo 2

September 25, 2008, 8:04 pm

I have owned an Acer Aspire One (Linux, 1gb RAM, 120gb harddrive, blue) for about a week and I have to say I am blown away - its an awesome piece of kit. So simple to use, everything I need to send and receive emails, surf and even creating some basic documents (on OpenOffice). I've plugged in my 3G Broadband dongle and get roughly 7050 kb/s - not too bad really. I've set the screensaver to show my pictures and the screen resolution means I get plenty of comments. It fits into my handbag and imho is the sexiest (useful) toy I've bought in years!!!

Bryan Cheetham

September 27, 2008, 2:53 pm

I have bought the One from pc World at 𧵿 including VAT. Works fine but playing DVDs, though possible, is a bit of a hassle. Works fine for e-mails and I put Skype on (cheap calls from abroad) but putting Skype on and having the symbol viewable is not easy. Still its good value and works fine. Be prepared to spend more to get the memory stick that will give you up to 32g for about 㿼

Tobias 1

September 29, 2008, 11:06 pm


May I ask please how did you manage to get online with your 3G dongle? 7 Mb/s seems amazing. I bought exactly the same Linux model but took it back for a refund after 2 days as I couldn't see how to set up my USB broadband dongle (a Huawei E160G from 3-mobile) and didn't find any help on the Acer website despite a flyer in the box that said I would be able to. The Huawei website didn't help either, and I didn't want to get the Windows version as it is dearer, bulkier because of the bigger battery, heavier & presumably much slower to boot up - my Linux screen was there in under 30 seconds.

Apart from that it seemed an excellent machine and easily logged on to broadband in WiFi zones. One other fault though - the screen flickered every few seconds whether on battery or mains. A display model in the shop didn't so I guess it was a fault on that particular machine.


October 5, 2008, 11:42 pm

I have just bought a 1.6 ghz 1gb ram 120gb version in blue and i am very impressed to say the least i use it for selling on e bay using 3 network and orange dongles.

i bought an elonex webbook several months ago for the same purpose but had to change the ubunto to xp as turbo lister didn't work with it and neither did most on my programs either, but as soon as my orange dongle was plugged in the webbook froze i am on my second dongle and its still happening.

i would certainly thoroughly recommend this little acer i had a bit of a struggle with my 3 dongle getting the drivers to install but thats happened with all of my pc's whether it be a laptop or a desktop.

I would give this a 10 out of 10.....

Steve 6

October 23, 2008, 7:33 pm

Hi Roger,

Can you please tell me which 3 network dongle you are using and what you need to go through to get it working if possible?

Thanks in advance,


Steve 6

October 23, 2008, 8:25 pm

Sorry, should have said that this is for use with the XP 1gb version (which I think that you are using).



November 20, 2008, 3:27 pm

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Best wishes,


Mark 13

December 4, 2008, 10:40 pm

Hi, i have had a my 120gb 0.5Gb RAM Blue version with Linux about a week. I am really impressed with it, although Linux is a bit different from XP. Got my 3 network dongle working fairly quickly, i found connecting it to my ADSL router via ethernet cable and running the live update loads in the Mobile Partner software, after looking on some forums found how to set it up and away it went. I think i might upgrade to the 6 cell battery though.


December 20, 2008, 11:42 pm

Hi there can anyone tell me if you can expand/increase the memory on this acer aspire one at all?


December 22, 2008, 10:31 pm

I want to add Skype to my Acer Aspire; can I get at a command line to do so? Or is there another method?

Rebecca Gamble

December 26, 2008, 1:56 am

Hey, i just got one of these aser aspire one netbooks and i cant seem to download itunes onto it? It downloads and then its in my documents, but when i try and open it nothing comes up, so can you download itunes at all?

graham bolton

December 27, 2008, 7:08 pm

ive just got my son an aspire for xmas, can anybody tell me how to get a three dongle to work on it ? thankyou. GB

Paula Potter

December 31, 2008, 2:32 am

My husband has just bought me an Acer Aspire 1 for Christmas which I think is great but I don't seem to be able to open all the page of facebook and the mouse keeps freezing - can anyone please help?


January 2, 2009, 10:37 pm

For questions about the three dongle (Huawei E160G) on the Linux (Linpus) version of the AAO there is a thread at http://www.linux.com/forums... from September that may help. In addition the Acer support site has a download for Huawei dongles (including the E160G) at http://www.acer.com/aspireo... - following the instructions for this will install a 3G connection manager from Huawei ('Mobile Partner') in the 'Connect' set of application of the Acer desktop. Have not tried it yet because I am trying to find installation solutions before buying a package.

Nikki Jay

January 13, 2009, 2:56 am

Got this with XP and 1gb RAM. Absolutely loved it. Did everything I wanted it too and more. Took it virtually everywhere with me. Then just after I had finished raving about it to anyone who would listen, I pickedit up with one hand and must have held the underside a bit more firmly than usual. Of course, the next time I powered up, couldn't type because half the keys were now typing the uppercase, which has happened to me before on other thin laptops over the years, but I have always previously been able to find a fix around. Not so for this little acer aspire. There must be some extra sensitive soft spot on the underside and came to the conclusion it was a physical soft spot and mechanical damage had been done. Fortunately this happened before day 28 so was able to return. Now I am without a notebook and starting my search again. Just wanted to log this for the record as I can't imagine I will be the only person to come across this issue...

S Noe

June 2, 2009, 6:29 pm

I have just had my second failure on my netbook that I bought on March 15. I now have ship it back to them a second time. I have treated it with kid gloves because these things are so fragile you can break them easily. I have a special padded bag that I carry it in to make sure nothing happens to it, but still it fails. It will not boot up. It gets to the XP screen and shuts down. Other than that. I love my netbook.


August 24, 2009, 11:05 am

I am a bit concerned about this decision I have to make. I am very interested on getting a very small 8.9in great netbook (at regular budget category...not the vaio P series budget).

I've seen posts stating some users have had issues with Aspire One: touchpad weired behaviour, screen going black (apparently, BIOS issue).

Has any of you also experienced or heard such issues?

Side note: I still have not found any issues related to toshiba NB100 (well, I could get NB105. It's the one being sold in Chile).


January 20, 2011, 7:28 pm

I bought the laptop battery for this laptop from http://www.doodon.com

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