Impressions of the Aspire One with XP: Small Laptops


AceraspireonexpExcellent timing! D.C. over at Small Laptops just took delivery of his Acer Aspire One, but unlike me, he opted for the XP version with the hard drive and extra 512 MB of RAM. Similar to my first two posts about the device, what I liked and what I didn’t like, he offers up his first impressions. It’s interesting to see where they’re the same as mine in terms of buiild quality and general performance; the hardware itself is nicer than I would have thought for such a low price. Where might there be a difference between the two devices? He hasn’t mentioned any operating system concerns while I find them to be problematic for mainstream consumers. Well worth the read for a differing opinion! In fact, he might have convinced me to just throw XP on there right now and re-evaluate my thoughts on this netbook… Thanks D.C., like I needed more work to do! ;)


funny thing about going ubuntu and then installing those apps.

iirc, openoffice and vlc is part of the aspire one software package. gimp im not sure about but wine is probably the only odd one out. not that i see much use for it on such a device anyways.


>”The key to unlocking the Aspire One’s power was to replace the Linpus Lite Linux operating system that comes installed with the netbook with Ubuntu 8.04 ..”

What problems did he solve by moving to Ubuntu?
He installed Open Office, VLC, Gimp, Wine…
He could easily do it with Linpus using rpms from Fedora 8.

What problems did he get?
Bloated Linux distribution that ate a lot of space, problems with Wi-Fi, SD cards, Skype, power saving, some programs work only partially.

Kevin C. Tofel

Cody, I’m actually in the middle of an XP install on the device, so I’ll have to wait until I restore the original OS to try.

I can share this as I was playing with some SD cards this morning. Essentially what the Aspire One does when you “expand” the storage is: it creates a duplicate set of default folders, i.e.: Documents, Downloads, Files, Music, Pictures, Videos. I should have played with this feature a little more to find out how it handles data (does it duplicate? move it when you pull the card, etc…) so I’ll take another look when I can.

Cody B

Hey Kevin, could you do a test for me? Drop in an SD card, and then fill the entire drive with data. Remove the drive what happens? Or even worse; remove your page file, fill the drive almost to the top, and then add the page file. Then pull out the SD drive. I want to see how the OS handles the drive getting smaller dynamically. I’m interested in their drive merging software. I like the idea, but how stable is it?


I think I am one of the few that perfers the HDD version by far, I’d like an HDD in my netbook for storing a lot of music and movies. Also, the SSDs in the netbooks are almost always slower than the hard drives and sometimes even less reliable. I’ve heard of several people’s SSDs in their EEEs and Aspire One’s failing.

Plus in the One, if you get the HDD, you can always upgrade it to a SATA 2.5″ HDD or SSD but the SSD model is limited to 1.8″ HDDs and SSDs and I think PATA.


When in in the U.S, the config is only $20 more for 1gb of ram, XP Home and 120gb HDD, how can you not pass that up? : )

I wish I didn’t have a Vaio TZ right now so I could immediately stop by my Microcenter and buy one! : )

Cody B

I went to C-City right after work on Monday to take a look at the Acer. I don’t like the Linux version they went with at all. I think its gear for ‘my grandma might be able to figure it out’ type of experience. But I think anyone that has ever used a computer might be annoyed. It could be my mindset though. I’m thinking I’m going to install Ubuntu on a second HD I have for my Wind (too bad it’s a pain to swap drives). I love my Wind and I would expect the Aspire to perform about the same. It runs XP very well and so far has done everything I need it to do very fast. I put in a second gig of RAM and didn’t see a performance change at all. I think the reason that I didn’t see a change is because anything that takes up a lot of RAM isn’t an app that I would want to run on a netbook.

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