Matching these are metal mouse buttons that taper downwards towards the front of the notebook. These don’t feel comfortable to use at all unless you press right at the bottom edge, but there a ridge present to allow for this. ‘Ferrari 1000’ is engraved into these but bizarrely the font used for the word ‘Ferrari’ is not the official one, an irksome lack of attention to detail.
There’s another niggle – below this are the slider switches for turning on the wireless and the Bluetooth. These are funkily designed angled buttons that look good, but one of them has 3G imprinted on it. This got us excited thinking the 1000 even included an integrated 3G SIM card but it doesn’t, indicating that Acer is using generic switches. You’re not going to find generic parts on a Ferrari F430, so why would you want one here?
Next to the switches is an infra red port for retro connectivity action, while the headphone socket doubles as the S/PDIF, and the line in for the Realtek integrated audio. The speakers are behind a cool looking grille but the sound output from them is quite poor and weedy – however over a good pair of headphones it sounded full and sweet.
At the far left at the front there’s a card reader accepting the usual suspects – SD, MMC, MS and xD. On the left had side you’ll find a USB port and a full size Firewire port. This is handy for attaching DV Camcorders but you’ll use it mainly for the aforementioned external DVD-ROM drive. It might be external but Acer has at least given it a really cool design in keeping with the rest of the notebook – it has angular buttons and a red streak down the side – it looks like Darth Vader’s personal external DVD-ROM drive – and that’s a good thing.
Also on the left toward the front is a PC Card slot, 3G data card ready, while at the back left is a large output area for the CPU heatsink. Even just running Windows, a web browser and Word, a fair amount of heat is shunted out of this grille. The Turion X2 ML-60 is a fairly power thirsty beast and that energy has got to go somewhere. Behind this is a Kensington lock for keeping your Ferrari secure.
On the right hand side, you’ll find two more USB ports, a 56K modem and a Gigabit Ethernet port, which is good to see. There’s also a VGA output. The rear is taken up mainly with the battery but there is a port replicator dock at the rear.
The display is a 12.1in widescreen with a resolution of 1,280 x 800, which is a perfectly acceptable resolution for this size of screen. Screen quality is good – it’s evenly lit, colours are bright and it’s adequately sharp. Vertical viewing angles are poor but that is very common on laptops. I was pleased to see a webcam embedded into the bezel at the top of the screen. Even if it’s something you’ll rarely use, when you do need it, it means it’s already there and avoids clutter or extra expense.