The battle of the mini-notebooks heats up. We get our first peek at Acer's new pint-sized Eee PC challenger, the Aspire One.UPDATE: Acer have contacted us to say the Australian shipment of the Aspire One XP model will come with 120GB storage as opposed to 80GB in the original specs.
While the Eee PC has been turning heads for some time, it's got a battle on its hands with the Aspire One. We've seen a bucketload of tiny portables recently, and our first impressions of this sub-1kilo unit is that the Aspire One should be on your shopping list.
For a cheap machine, the Aspire One looks classy. The build quality has none of that plastic, lightweight feel we get from some competitors (hello DreamBook IL1). It's also under 1Kg (for the Linux version), claims a 7 hours battery life, and comes with Windows XP or Linux.
The killer though, is the price. The Aspire One costs $599 for the Linux model or $699 for Windows XP. At launch time, Acer will also be offering a $99 cashback deal, which brings the Linux machine down to $500. By contrast, the Eee 901 is priced at $649, though the first gen Eee 701s is $479.
|The white one: the sub 1Kg Aspire One runs a customised Linpus Linux Lite|
Like the new Eee 901, the Aspire One is packing Intel's new Atom CPU, which gives it a leg up on the DreamBook IL1, and even the classy HP Mini-Note, which are both Via machines (on paper a disadvantage, but the machine runs fine).
|Acer has given a slight metallic touch to the Aspire One design|
|Not only does it have Atom under the hood, but it can blind people with its reflection|
There's 1.5GB of RAM for the XP model (512MB for Linux), versus up to 2GB for the HP. Storage options aren't bad, at 8GB for Linux, or 80GB for the XP machine, though the Eee 901 offers up to 16GB solid state, or up to a whopping 180GB for the HP.
|We can report the Aspire One keyboard does not induce RSI (well not in the 5 minutes we played with it)|
Acer also told us they're looking at adding a built in 3G module later this year, plus a 6 cell battery option in October.
|The Aspire One Windows XP model in blue|