I got to play with an Acer Aspire One netbook recently. Netbooks are generally smaller than laptops and aimed more at the digital nomad who doesn’t need the full bells and whistles of a fully featured laptop. This particular Acer Aspire one had an 8GB solid state drive that can be expanded via an SD expansion port. A second SD card slot lets you use an additional flash card for storage. WiFi was easy to configure and the 8.9 inch screen presented a high resolution image for its size.
The OS supplied is Linpus, a version of the Red Hat derived Fedora Core linux and loads in seconds from hitting the on button. This version of Linpus uses a panels style interface rather than the usual desktop arrangement though it’s relatively easy to get to the terminal and apply some gentle hacking to allow access to the conventional XFCE based system that lies underneath.
For me netbooks are better value for money than a mobile phone with Internet access whilst being more portable. flexible and robust than many laptops. The Aspire one can be purchased for as little as £199 and competes well with the Asus Eeepc, especially the newer models that are being supplied with a 6 cell battery.
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