updated 02:55 pm EST, Thu December 31, 2009
Acer netbook drops to $300 with Pine Trail
Acer on the last day of 2009 acted quickly to hush rumors by confirming details of its first Aspire One netbook to use Intel's Pine Trail platform for the Atom chip. The 532h gets the slightly faster 1.66GHz N450 but is most notable for its increase in battery life: the more efficient Atom and a more efficient 10-inch LED-lit display should net it up to 10 hours of usefulness on a high-end 6-cell battery and 8 hours on a regular 6-cell pack. The keyboard and trackpad have also grown in size versus the 531h, with the former now equivalent to 93 percent of a full-size keyboard and the trackpad having a larger area to better suit its multi-touch input.
Almost as notable as the longevity is the price of the system, which Acer now says reaches $300 even while the system is new. At that cost, the 532h supplies the familiar 1GB of RAM, 160GB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi and webcam of many current netbooks but adds Windows 7 Starter to give it a modern OS without necessarily reducing its performance versus XP.
Acer plans to ship its new Aspire One later this month.