Delving a little deeper reveals both Gigabit Ethernet and Draft N wireless from Broadcom and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, so networking and wireless connectivity are well covered. Other sundries include a smart slot-loading 8x DVD+/-RW optical drive, a fingerprint reader and a 0.3 Megapixel webcam. Overall, there’s not a great deal that’s missing from the Ferrari 1100, but does this really equate to a notebook you should think about buying?
It certainly helps, but even when you take all these great features into account there are quite a few things about this machine that raise doubts. Before talking about performance in detail, which is hit and miss, there are quite a few niggling issues that are quite disappointing for a notebook in this price range.
First among them is the keyboard. Many of the problems, if not all, are inherited from its parent machine, the TravelMate 6292. Layout is mostly okay, avoiding most of the common pitfalls but a slightly narrowed Return key seems like an odd move to make. Why, one would reasonably ask, would you compromise one of the most frequently used keys?
More concerning, though, is the actual quality of the keys. They simply don’t feel at all crisp or responsive, making typing feel like dipping your hands in treacle. This is exacerbated by a level of flex in the keyboard and as a whole the typing experience is pretty poor and certainly not to the level of a machine costing this much. It’s a problem common throughout some of Acer’s notebooks and one that could do with some serious work.
Our other main gripe with the Ferrari 1100, though, is the weight. We weighed our sample in at just less than 2kg, at 1.98kg. This makes it marginally lighter than the TravelMate 6292 by virtue of the lighter LED backlit screen, but despite weighing less than 2kg it’s still quite a heavy notebook at this size. Competing systems, such as the Samsung Q45, weigh only 1.86kg and though that may seem like a small difference, it’s a very noticeable one. Not only is it a comparatively heavy machine it’s not especially slim either, measuring 34mm thick all the way along.
In addition, its comparatively high price puts it up against some very exclusive opposition in the shape of the Sony VAIO TZ Series (see: Sony VAIO VGN-TZ11MN) and the Dell Latitude D430. Of course, neither of these systems can offer the ‘Ferrari’ branding and both use ultra-low voltage CPUs, but the Sony in particular can’t be claimed to be lacking in stature. Indeed, if you’re after a system that uses regular mobile components then the Dell XPS M1330 offers superior design and identical features in a 13.3in chassis that weighs exactly the same, while the Sony SZ Series (see: Sony VAIO VGN-SZ61VN) is another 13.3in machine that even weighs less, at 1.79kg.