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 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 like… or 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.