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Summary:

It’s hard to believe that anyone is selling more netbooks than Asus with their Eee PCs these days, but Acer is apparently doing just that. Bear in mind that they have far fewer netbook models than Asus (who doesn’t?) and that they got in the game […]

AceraspireoneIt’s hard to believe that anyone is selling more netbooks than Asus with their Eee PCs these days, but Acer is apparently doing just that. Bear in mind that they have far fewer netbook models than Asus (who doesn’t?) and that they got in the game later. Aside from marketing, branding and the like, my thought is that Acer Aspire One’s sell like hotcakes mainly due to the price. I could be wrong, but I think you can find all of the various XP configurations at $399 or less… with some of the bare-bones but very usable Linux models at $299. At these prices there’s plenty to likeor not, depending on your perspective.

Now Acer is planning to expand into the higher-end market. Well, "high-end" as far as netbooks go according to TG Daily. We knew that Acer was planning a model larger than the 8.9-inch display AAO they’ve offered this year. The new one appears to be even more competitive to the MSI Wind, Lenovo S10, Samsung NC10 and many of the Asus 1000-series devices thanks to an expected 10.2-inch display. TGD says that Acer is sticking with Intel and the Atom CPU, but the device will come with Microsoft Windows Vista and a generous hard-drive, perhaps up to 320GB. The drive size might be dictating the use of Vista over XP as Microsoft was generally limiting XP on ULCPC’s based on a number of factors, hard-drive capacity being one.

This kind of hardware won’t come cheap as pricing is looking north of $500. Given that pound-for-pound spec-for-spec, a $299 to $399 Acer Aspire One is a solid value, will folks think this new model is a bargain at $500 or more? I’m not so sure. I have no doubt that such a model will sell as well as any comparable netbook out there, but I’m wondering if a higher price tag takes away from a perceived value advantage with the Acer Aspire One. I’ll definitely be watching the sales numbers next year to see.

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  1. I think availability comes into play here too. I’ve seen the AAO in more stores than Eee Pcs. A lot of people still like to touch a product before purchasing it.

    Also, don’t discount that most people have never even heard of Asus. Acer’s a known quantity.

  2. Completely agree Nate. I mentioned “marketing and branding” above as a factor and you’re absolutely right. I’ve seen far more Acer Aspire’s on display than Asus Eee PCs. Of course, that could just be my experience and others have seen the opposite. But IMO, Acer is still more of a known commodity (here in the U.S., that is), than Asus.

  3. it doesnt bother me 1 bit if prices go up a some, if it helps with profit margins & keeps the genre alive i’m all for it. plus it will help bring differentiation between the various netbooks. ALL other PC markets (desktops/laptops) have a range of pricing/features & nobody complains. so there is no reason netbooks cant as well. they dont have to be cheap pieces of crap to sell, i believe the HP 2133 proved highend can sell as well.

    i’m sure there are many others just like me who are willing to pay more, if you had been stuck paying $2,000 – $3,000 like i have been for years on overkill (more CPU power than i needed) ultraportables like Sony/Fujitsu then even highend netbooks are a steal.

  4. I personally think the quickest way to kill a netbook is to sell it with Windows Vista, second only to selling it with Linux.

    People are having trouble (annoyed at the slow speed) running Vista on dual-core Pentiums with 2GB of RAM, what is Acer thinking?

  5. On a netbook I would rather have DOS 6 over Vista. At least it would be responsive.

  6. Actually I have Vista on my Mini-Note. Took it off and installed XP. Two days later put a clean Vista install back on it. Since SP1, from my experience, a *CLEAN* (ie: no crapware) install of Vista is no issue compared to XP. And XP with Windows Search (necessary if you have office 2007 installed) is actually slower than Vista. 2GB Ram also helps.

    Gordon

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