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Windows Mobile (soon to be Android), and other toys aka gadgets

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Friday, August 29, 2008
  Really Like The New Acer Aspire One Netbook!!

The last thing I needed was another gadget to add to my already too large gadget collection, but I could not resist the recent US$349 BestBuy special for the new Acer Aspire One Netbook. I already own the original ASUS Eee PC, which is also a nice device, but the Eee PC has Linux, 4GB SSD, 512MB RAM, and a smaller keyboard. Being a geek, I enjoy working with Linux, but I also enjoy having my favorite Windows apps with me as well. Just so you will not think I am bashing ASUS, I also own a Windows XP Eee Box which I highly recommend, and realize ASUS now offers newer Eee PC models with specs similar to the Aspire One.

Back to the Aspire One - Built-in wireless, 1GB RAM, 120GB HD, 8.9" screen, 3 USB ports, built-in card reader, and Windows XP SP3 all for US$349, no wonder I could not resist this basically impulse buy. I have only used the device for two days now, but am thoroughly impressed with its performance. I have installed Filemaker Pro, UltraEdit, Dymo LabelWriter, Quicktime, UltraCompare, and CutePDF as well as using the included IE6, and Outlook Express applications extensively. All applications are speedy, and rock steady on this XP device. My FileMaker files are stored on a NAS; the Aspire One found the files easily.

I frequently watch the tech videos on CNET TV. The Aspire One handles the Flash videos from CNET TV fine, no stuttering even when viewing in full screen mode. Watching CNET TV in full screen mode on the Aspire One is a joy, this is definitely a nice machine for watching Internet video. My iMac G5 stutters on the same CNET TV flash videos that the Aspire One handle fine.

I also watch movie previews from the Apple Quicktime site several times a week. I always select the large size standard definition previews, and the Aspire One plays the large SD movie previews without any stuttering or dropped frames.

Because I have so many video capable devices, I store most videos on NAS drives, and stream them via WiFi. The Aspire One streamed 1.5Mbs H264 videos from the NAS flawlessly with no stuttering, and no dropped frames. Equally impressive is the fact the bottom of the Aspire One was barely lukewarm after an hour of streaming, and decoding.

The Aspire One does not have a built-in DVD/CD drive. At its price point, and size, I have no problem with the missing DVD/CD drive. I do have a slim USB bus powered DVD/CD Recorder/Player which the Aspire One recognized immediately. Even though the Aspire One does not have a built-in DVD drive, it does come with a nice DVD playback software application. I played "The Transformers" DVD on the Aspire One, and the playback was flawless, the colors brilliant, and overall picture quality excellent. Again, I was impressed by the fact that the bottom of the Aspire One was barely lukewarm after extensive DVD playback.

The Aspire's keyboard is smaller than the full size laptop keyboards, but I have found the keyboard comfortable, easy to type on, and responsive. The 8.9" screen is a nice screen size for browsing, and other applications. I definitely would not want to edit my next(and first)large novel on this device, but I easily typed, and posted this blog entry from the Aspire One.

No, I am not going to throw away my dual-core computers, and large LCD's, but I do highly recommend the Aspire One as a second computer for use when portability, and/or weight (app. 2.2 pounds with 3 cell battery) are the prime criteria. For US$349, the Aspire is a great value that offers many features, and nice performance for a very low price.
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I was a Palm OS champion for years, but switched to the Windows Mobile platform in 2005. My experiences using my Windows Mobile devices, and other electronic devices will be detailed in this blog. The posts reflect what I like, and do not like about a device, or application. Your needs, and opinion may be different.

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