A Little More on Netbooks

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.

A lot more could be written regarding Windows and netbooks, but most people aren’t aware of variants such as XP embedded or FLP, so I’ll skip that.

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):

Machine Category Good Bad
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.

Realistically, I’m more likely to grab a One again if they fix the fan, SSD and shipping OS than of getting an Apple netbook.

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.