Bill Roth, Ulitzer Editor-at-Large

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The Acer Aspire One AOA150-1165 10.1 Netbook (Sapphire Blue)

Radio Shack

Acer redefines mobile connectivity with the Aspire One 10.1" netbook.

Acer Aspire One AOA150-1165 10.1" Netbook (Sapphire Blue)

Love the AOD150

BillRoth San Jose, CA 5/29/2009


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4 5

Pros: Adequate Storage, Good Battery Life, Compact, Lightweight

Cons: Small Keyboard

Best Uses: Word Processing, Video Viewing, Blogging, Web Browsing

Describe Yourself: Quality Oriented

I have had my Acer AspireOne AO150 netbook for about a month, and I have to tell you…I love it. I bought it from Radio Shack in King of Prussia, PA, after doing research on RadioShack.com. I have to admit that this was the first technology purchase I have made that was fashion-based. I admit, with some trepidation, that I asked for a blue one. (They had pink ones in stock, and my fragile middle-aged guy ego would not allow that.)

For most things that I use my personal laptop for, it works great. It's surprisingly light, and more importantly, solid. My fear was that it was like the Sony VAIOs, which I have found rather chintzy. It comes with Windows XP, and I was easily able to add Ubuntu 8.10. Ubuntu works flawlessly, but I have a suspicion that it does not do as good a job managing the power as Windows does. But I could be wrong. The on-board wireless works without issue.

The greatest thing is that the battery lasts forever. The stock model has 1GB of memory, and the battery lasts nearly 8 hours. I end up traveling cross country frequently and even when I have to changes planes in Chicago, Phoenix or Dallas, I never need a charge.

To be clear, this laptop is not for everyone. I would not write code on it, nor would I use Photoshop or GIMP. I mainly use it for blogging and reading email. Browsing can be a bit chunky, and there are pauses from time to time. But this is to be expected, since it is only sporting an Intel Atom processor. I also use it as my principle iTunes machine. The 160GB drive is more than enough for my needs, with roughly 1600 songs, and a bajillion podcasts. I would have paid for an SRAM drive, but 32GB seems perilously small. 80 GB would be perfect.

I also watch a lot of movies. Most of my movies come from iTunes, but I also watch Hulu,.com as well. Here you have to be careful. Where possible you need to configure things that deal with streaming media to have as large a buffer as possible. Also, if you have a lot of applications running the video will be delayed and jumpy. Interestingly the audio always seems to be real-time. I wonder why. But, if you makes sure to shut down all extraneous apps, and if you know how, use the Task Manager to kill any processes you don't need. I turn off Google Desktop, but that could be a suspicion on my part.

The one issue that drives me crazy is the keyboard. I knew this going in, so my expectations were set appropriately. I think this is compounded by my atrocious typing. I never took Sister Judine's typing class, a decision I regret every day. (That said, I believe I am the best 6 fingered typist in San Jose). In the interest of fairness, I must say that after working on 2 1000-word blog posts (not including this one) in Microsoft Live Writer, I have to say I am getting used to it. Once you learn the keyboard shortcuts, you can become relatively proficient.

All in all, it was a great purchase and one I would recommend if you are looking for a netbook.


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Bill Roth is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 20 years in the industry. He has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like BEA, Sun, Morgan Stanley, and EBay Enterprise. He was recently named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Bloggers.