The Best Laptop is Acer Aspire One Netbook

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Summer has just begun, but parents with children headed off to college may already be shopping for a computer to pack off with their students. This generation is pretty connected to their smartphones or iPhones so they may balk at your offer to buy them a regular desktop computer.

How uncool is that?

Desktops are for parents, not college students. Laptops are portable, but tablets are fast replacing them as the portable device for word processing. However, there is another very affordable alternative, a netbook, such as the lightweight, featured-packed Acer Aspire One netbook.

Acer has a lineup of several Aspire One models which include the Aspire One Education and Aspire One Happy 2, and Aspire One D255.  These netbooks are not as heavy as a laptop but offer most of the utility.

They are preloaded with software to support droll college assignments for reading’, written’ and ‘prismatic, unlike tablets, netbooks have a physical keyboard and trackpad which make composing term papers much more convenient than the virtual keyboard found on most tablets.

Acer Aspire One Netbook Design and Usability

The Acer Aspire One D255 packs dual-core Intel Atom processors with each core running at 1.5GHz and a generous allotment of 512KB of L2 cache and supports hyper-threading. That may not mean much to a non-techie parent, but it equates to each core having the ability to multitask.  According to Microsoft Windows performance monitor, each processor is performing as if it was actually two processors.

Since this is a dual-core machine that gives your busy student the power of four processors. That’s a hunk of horsepower packed into a netbook that weighs about 1kg (2.2 lbs.). The hyper-threading capability of this processor provides better performance and response which is important to those who hate to wait for the computer to catch up to keyboard input.

Speaking of keyboards and tracking devices. The keyboard on the Acer Aspire One D255 is smaller than a laptop keyboard. It is 93% that of a standard-size laptop, but what really takes some getting used to is the trackpad. The trackpad is multi-gesture supporting fingertip navigation and control without a mouse.

If you are accustomed to using a trackpad on a laptop, your thumbs or fingers are trained to find the mouse left/right keys directly under the trackpad. The mouse keys on the Acer Aspire One are located on each side of the trackpad.

This really takes some tactile reprogramming. In fact, you may want to consider adding a wireless mouse to your purchase and forget about the trackpad altogether. The screen measures 10.1-inches and the whole unit is less than 1-inches thin making it very easy to pack away into a purse or Targus messenger bag.

The Acer Aspire One provides multiple connectivity options including high-speed sharing of media files or documents using Bluetooth 3.0 and connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi technology, Ethernet, or optional 3G. The netbook does not have a CD/DVD player which these days are rather a superfluous piece of hardware.  Music, video, software, and even backups are available streamed to or from the Internet.

Acer’s Crystal Eye webcam and microphone are built into the bezel so you can have a face-to-face conference call to chat about course, homework, and grades. Fun stuff that parents love to keep up with their kid’s battery life is reported at 8 hours, but that always depends on how the netbook is used.

Enough of the boring utility, let’s get to the important stuff – color choices! Your student can choose from five colors to fit her style and personality. These are Aquamarine, Diamond Black, Sandstone Brown, Ruby Red, and Seashell White. The logos are chrome-plated providing a sharp accent to the case. Also cool is the transparent power button that appears to kind of float on the case.

Pros

  • Standout with stylish colors
  • Dual-core Intel Atom processors with each core running at 1.5GHz
  • 512KB of L2 cache
  • Multi-threading support

Cons

  • Odd mouse key placement
  • No DVD drive

Overall Thoughts

You really can’t go wrong with the ultra-portable Acer Aspire One netbook. All the models in this series are the most affordable and provide all the utility that most students require for homework.

The lack of a CD/DVD drive really is inconsequential as most music is streamed from Rhapsody or similar services. The Acer Aspire One netbook is a very appealing computer, especially considering the deal you can get on it here.

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