updated 07:45 am EDT, Tue June 3, 2008
Acer Aspire One
Acer this morning made its launch into micro notebooks official with the Aspire one. Following closely in the style of systems from ASUS and MSI, the 8.9-inch portable is based on an Intel Atom processor that Acer claims should last for about 6 hours on an optional battery, or slightly longer than the MSI Wind's 5.5 hours. This is helped by the switch to flash storage on the base model: simpler configurations include an 8GB module in place of the hard drive used in some other mini portables.
In keeping with competitors, the new Aspire uses a custom, easy-interface variant of Linux -- here Linpus Linux Lite -- with the option of Windows XP for more traditional users. Every version comes with a webcam as well as a five-in-one card reader. A unique twist is a second SD slot that can be used for expanding the computer's permanent storage: a file manager app can automatically merge any SD card put into the slot with the built-in memory, giving owners of at least the 8GB Aspire one an upgrade path.
Acer is currently quiet on detailed specifications but notes that systems start from $379 with 512MB of memory, Linux, and the 8GB flash storage; a premium version with 1GB of memory, Windows XP, and an 80GB hard disk will also be available for an unspecified price. Both variants ship in early summer with blue and white color trims available on launch. Brown and pink versions will appear later this year.