It seems that quite a few people found my last post to be of interest, so here’s a little more.
In my view, Acer did two main things wrong: it chose a sub-standard fan and didn’t build an SSD model with XP. If they wanted to keep a low price point, it would very likely run just fine with 512MB RAM – after all, that was what most corporate machines had until a year or so ago.
Asus and other manufacturers have no qualms about shipping XP devices with SSDs, and I think that will give them an edge – even if I prefer the One, the 901s I got for my family are much more appealing to the general public.
I understand the reasoning for Acer going with a 120GB HD on XP (they’re pretty cheap right now, it seems), but for most intents and purposes that isn’t really necessary – that much storage pretty much negates the concept of a netbook, and I would rather pay the same price for a slightly bigger (and speedier) SSD than the one they decided to include.
For those of you still undecided, here’s a table I drew up that didn’t make it to the previous post (it was getting a tad too long):
|Aspire One||Overall||Good build quality||Fan noise stands out as a spoiler|
|Input||Excellent keyboard||Mousepad somewhat small, but perfectly usable|
|Storage||8GB storage is roomy enough for me||SSD speed could be a problem for other people|
|Operating System||Linpus shipped in a multi-lingual setup and was mostly well integrated…||…but was ultimately not polished enough. XP would have been a better option.|
|Other||Second multi-format card slots makes it very handy||No Bluetooth or recovery CD with XP model1, 3-cell battery was OK for me but not stellar|
|Eee 901||Overall||Reasonable build quality, quiet fan||Design isn’t very appealing|
|Input||The second worst keyboard I’ve used on a netbook2||Large, friendly mousepad|
|Storage||4 + 8GB SSD split that allows the OS to run speedily enough||Only one SD slot|
|Operating System||Ships with XP||OS supplied in Portuguese|
|Other||Recovery CD in the box, Bluetooth, 6-cell battery||Only one SD slot|
Anyway, on the notion of Apple coming up with something in this segment – again, I’m not holding my breath.
1 Their not shipping a restore disk with the XP model was not an issue for me personally, but does become an issue when faced with the prospect of providing support to other people’s machines, since restore partitions often become unusable.
2 The first is, alas, the Dell’s. But I won’t get into that.