The original Acer Aspire One has proved one of the best selling netbooks, we hear, helped along by its competitive price circa-£200. That first model had a 9in screen and ran a friendly graphical Linux operating system; now we find Acer has kept the bankable Aspire One name and followed the crowd with a 10in Windows XP mini laptop.
The Acer Aspire One 531 model here has a similar spec to the Packard Bell dot s – unsurprising since PB is now owned by Acer – although we see £20 has been shaved off the price on this Acer.
Like the dot s, it takes only a 802.11b/g Wi-Fi card, and Bluetooth connectivity has been stripped out of this version sold by PC World.
In our performance test, it earned 38 points in WorldBench; a remarkable result when you consider that it uses the older N270 Atom CPU rather than the marginally quicker N280.
Build quality is up to the task, feeling solid enough despite a relatively thin main chassis. It features VGA video out on the left rear corner and ethernet on the right, both angled gently away from the perpendicular. You can switch Wi-Fi wireless off and on from a tiny slide switch under the netbook’s front edge.
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