My old laptop had to be returned to my employee when I left my job at the end of September. That left me with no computer to carry around, and with my Microsoft NEO coming up the week of the 12th, that just wasn’t going to do.
I needed something decent, but cheap; Something I could lug around the airport without any trouble, and open on the cramped plane. I’m a big guy, so big laptops on tray tables end up sitting on my chest like a bib – not very useful. I also wanted something that would still have utility or novelty once I got my new work notebook.
My budget was $500 or under. The typical netbook (Intel Atom, 1gig RAM, 160gb drive, Windows XP) go for between $299 and $399 depend on features. They also have 1024x600 resolution.
The machine I ended up getting is the Acer Aspire 1410 in sapphire blue. Cost was $429 on sale at Micro Center up in Rockville, MD.
Acer classifies the machine as a notebook, but the store had it on display with all the netbooks. The size is only about 1” wider than typical netbooks, and much smaller than all the laptops in the room. It seems to occupy some fuzzy space between true netbooks and full service laptops.
Here’s a review I found: http://www.liliputing.com/2009/09/acer-aspire-1410-review.html
I’ll be trying this out over the next week, and posting any interesting findings on Twitter. My first task is to pave over vista with Win7, and install Office 2010. I can’t wait to try out the multi-touch trackpad with Win7.
Here’s a shot of it, on my (obviously dusty) desk, with my mouse and trusty seltzer water for comparison. (As an aside, interesting how the flash makes my primary display look pink)
Below are the specs. You tell me if you would consider this a netbook or a notebook, or neither.
|CPU || |
Intel® Core™2 Solo Processor SU3500
(3MB L2 cache, 1.40GHz, 800MHz FSB)
|Chipset ||Mobile Intel® GS45 Express |
|VGA ||Intel GMA 4500HHD up to 732 MB DVMT |
|LCD ||11.6” HD LED LCD |
|Memory || |
2GB (2GB installed in one of two memory slots) DDR2 667 SDRAM
User upgradeable up to 4GB (one 2GB memory card in each slot) subject to availability of 2GB cards
|Storage ||250GB HDD |
5-in-1 card reader supports optional MultiMediaCard™, Secure Digital card, Memory Stick®, Memory Stick PRO™ or xD-Picture Card™
Optional external USB 1.44MB* floppy drive
No optical drives
|Bluetooth ||yes |
|Ports || |
Headphones/speakers/line-out with SPDIF support
HDMI™ (High-Definition Multimedia Interface™) with HDCP (high-bandwidth digital-content protection)
Three USB 2.0
|Audio || |
Microsoft® DirectSound® compatibility
Optimized second-generation Dolby® Sound Room audio enhancement
Headphones/speaker/line-out with SPDIF support and microphone ports
|OS ||Windows Vista Home Premium (Micro Center offers free Win7 upgrade) |
|Video || |
Acer® CineCrystal 11.6" WXGA (1366 x 768) high-brightness (200-nit) TFT display with 16:9 aspect ratio and LED backlight
Up to 16.7 million colors
Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
Microsoft® DirectX® 10.0 support
MPEG-2 DVD, WMV9/VC-1 (Windows® Media Video 9, VC-1 standard), H.264/AVC decoding
VGA and HDMI™ (High-Definition Multimedia Interface™) with HDCP (high-bandwidth digital-content protection) support ports
Support for simultaneous display on notebook LCD and external monitor
|Communications || |
Intel® Wireless WiFi Link network connection supporting 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N wireless LAN, Acer® SignalUp technology for enhanced antenna efficiency, WI-FI CERTIFIED™
Gigabit LAN, Wake-on-LAN ready
Acer® Video Conference with integrated Acer® Crystal Eye webcam supporting Acer® PrimaLite technology, which consists of a premium sensor, firmware and lenses to provide superior video performance under low-light conditions
|UI || |
84-key full-size Acer® FineTip keyboard, inverted T cursor layout, embedded numeric keypad, hotkey controls, international language support
10 function, four cursor, two Microsoft® Windows® keys
Multi-gesture touchpad supporting circular-motion scrolling, pinch-action zoom, page flip
|Dimensions and Weight || |
11.2" (285.0mm) W x 8.0" (204.0mm) D x 0.9" – 1.2” (22.1mm – 30.0mm) H
3.1 lb. (1.4kg)
Size and weight may vary depending on configuration
|Power || |
30-watt AC adapter
Six-cell lithium ion battery: up to 6.0 hours life depending on configuration and usage (may be reduced if Windows Vista® Aero is enabled)