First Impressions (8gb SSD, Linux Version)

Discussion in 'Acer Aspire One' started by smacman, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. smacman

    smacman

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    It's been less than 24 hrs since I unboxed the new toy but I thought I would post some first impressions.

    The build quality is very good in my opinion. One of the reasons I held off from buying the EEE PC was it's toy like flimsy feel. The Aspire One feels more like a real laptop yet retains the ultra portable size and weight. I also have no complaints about the keyboard. It is obviously not as easy to type on as a full size, but in the short time I have had with it, I am getting quite used to typing on it. The display is bright with good contrast. The only thing I am noticing is slight color inaccuracy when I view my photos on it. There is a very slight blue/green tint to it which is only noticeable when I view photos. I didn't buy it for image editing so it does not really bother me.

    After powering it up, the first thing I noticed was how quickly it boots up. Within 5 seconds I was in a configuration screen setting my locale and time zone, etc. After this was set, one reboot (aprox. 15 seconds) and I was up and running on the Linpus desktop. They have really made the interface bulletproof in the sense that I don't think you could bugger this machine up if you tried. Settings are limited to very basic things (trackpad sensitivity, volume, date/time, etc.). There is no facility for adding/removing programs so you get what you get. Firefox 2.0.0.14, Openoffice 2.3, a media player, some games, a mail client (very basic), a messenger program (supports MSN, Googletalk, Yahoo, and AIM). I would have liked to see Skype preinstalled, as well as a better mail client like Mozilla Thunderbird. Considering most people will by this machine for basic tasks like document viewing, web surfing, and email, I think the software is adequate. I wish the OS could be customized a bit more. It would have been nice to have an advanced mode for users who like to tinker a bit. I am hoping to install Ubuntu on it soon.

    In terms of performance, it seems more than adequate. Firefox takes about 4-5 seconds to launch. Once running, websites seem to load quickly. It took about 12 seconds to open a large powerpoint presentation in openoffice. I was expecting the machine to be dead silent however there does seem to be a fan that runs almost full time. It is very quiet however and you almost need to put your ear up to the machine to hear it. The battery life is my biggest gripe. Acer claimed 3 hours for this machine however my battery lasted about 1:45 minutes during web surfing through wifi. With wifi off, working in openoffice yielded about 1:55 minutes. This really could have been better.

    All in all, I am happy with the machine. I will likely get the 6 cell battery when it is available. I will also try and get Ubuntu up and running on it so I have more flexibility. I think this is going to be a good seller for acer.
     
    smacman, Jul 8, 2008
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  2. smacman

    lotus49

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    Thanks for posting this. I am pleased you are happy with it as I have now ordered mine after months of prevaricating over which netbook to buy.

    Out of interest, where did you get it?

    I shall also be interested how you get on with Ubuntu as I also plan to install it pretty much as soon as I get mine. My expectation is that most things should work out of the box with the possible (or should that be probable) exception of the wireless card. I don't know what chipset the wireless card uses (do you?) but I know that getting this to work on the MSI Wind with 8.04.1 was possible, but complicated and ugly (the drivers need to be manually recompiled when the kernel is updated).
     
    lotus49, Jul 8, 2008
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  3. smacman

    B3n3v3nt3

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    Awsome, thanks a lot for the impressions ;)
    Don't forget to give us more information when you install Ubuntu, as a lot of people must be curious about it.


    @lotus49
    He got it from Hong Kong (as written in another post he made).
     
    B3n3v3nt3, Jul 8, 2008
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  4. smacman

    glibdud

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    Yeah, I'll throw in a "me too" as far as waiting for info on how it does with Ubuntu. Sounds good so far.
     
    glibdud, Jul 8, 2008
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  5. smacman

    mikeo007

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    Could you check the bottom of the machine and see if they added a door to access the DIMM slot to add more ram? This could be a deal breaker for me if it's not easy to access and upgrade :(
     
    mikeo007, Jul 8, 2008
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  6. smacman

    Duke

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    No, don't tell me they ship with TN-panels... :?

    There is an adding/removing feature.*

    It is installed.*

    There's an advanced feature.*

    Looks like you got yourself a pre-production unit?

    * According to Sofia, customer service, Acer Sweden.
     
    Duke, Jul 8, 2008
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  7. smacman

    smacman

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    I don't think it is a pre-production unit. I purchased it at a major electronics retailer in Hong Kong (Fortress). As for Ubuntu, I will certainly post back with the result. Unfortunately, I don't have an external DVD drive around right now and I am having trouble getting it to install from a USB key...
     
    smacman, Jul 8, 2008
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  8. smacman

    lotus49

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    Have a look at my recent post in the Software Linux section on this very subject. There is a very easy to use utility called liveusb that creates a bootable USB drive from which you can install Ubuntu in exactly the same way as using a LiveCD.
     
    lotus49, Jul 8, 2008
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  9. smacman

    dbs

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    I have a retail Aspire One with the Linux sitting in front of me and I can confirm what smacman wrote:

    - Skype is not installed
    - There is no Advanced Mode
    - There is no adding/removing feature

    You can however open a terminal (bit tricky), get root access and mess around this way. I've already installed some things on it but haven't tried to add them to the user interface yet. You can always start them with the File Manager when you know where they are located.

    The device has an update function and all those things are just software. I assume they can add that later and you just download the update when it's ready.

    I know a few guys who installed Ubuntu on it but they had problems with the wireless connection. It's not working out of the box but they found drivers; the card seems to be working but connection to a wireless network (even open ones) wasn't possible. It's still quite new, so maybe just wait a few days and see if someone figures it out.
     
    dbs, Jul 8, 2008
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  10. smacman

    speedcam

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    Can you confirm if there's a removable panel to allow access to the memory expansion slot?

    Thanks
     
    speedcam, Jul 8, 2008
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  11. smacman

    Duke

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    Who should I/we trust? You and "smacman" or Acer? :roll:
     
    Duke, Jul 8, 2008
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  12. smacman

    B3n3v3nt3

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    We shall see, at least those who already have one say the same thing...
     
    B3n3v3nt3, Jul 8, 2008
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  13. smacman

    sentinel

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    The last photo on this page shows it as an Atheros AR5BXB63.

    The MadWifi Wiki claims it doesn't work at all, but there seems to be a way.
     
    sentinel, Jul 9, 2008
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  14. smacman

    mikeo007

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    Would it be possible for you folks to take pictures of the top/bottom of the unit so we can see what changes have been made from the pre-production models.

    I'm really interested in the RAM slot access.
     
    mikeo007, Jul 9, 2008
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  15. smacman

    smacman

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    There is a RAM access slot.. Confirmed..
     
    smacman, Jul 9, 2008
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  16. smacman

    sentinel

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    Hurrah! If you can post pics you'll be the hero of the Internets. :mrgreen:
     
    sentinel, Jul 9, 2008
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  17. smacman

    mikeo007

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    That is great news, that was one of the last factors to help me decide which system to buy. Cheers.
     
    mikeo007, Jul 9, 2008
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  18. smacman

    B3n3v3nt3

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    Post some photos...please!!! :p

    Also, does it have bluetooth?
     
    B3n3v3nt3, Jul 9, 2008
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  19. smacman

    dbs

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    My device does not have a RAM access slot. It has a panel on the back but that won't give you access to the RAM.

    Did you just see the slot and assumed it was for the memory extension or did you actually open it? I opened it yesterday but the slot won't give you access to the memory module and there are no visible connectors there.
     
    dbs, Jul 9, 2008
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  20. smacman

    smacman

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    Ok.. I stand corrected. DBS is right. I assumed the panel on the back was a RAM access slot but it is not.
     
    smacman, Jul 9, 2008
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