Ordered Acer Aspire One... curious now

Today I ordered an Acer Aspire One kind of as a Christmas present for myself. :slight_smile:

I took a look at all of the netbooks running Linux and decided that the AAO (abbreviation of course :stuck_out_tongue: ) would be the best fit for me, since I intend to use it as a more-than-capable (and a bit larger) PDA.

  • cheap! I found one at €199 (about 285 USD)… kind of a ‘wtf!’ price… lol
  • keyboard is better than most netbooks
  • Atom dual core processor is nice since I like to multitask a little/lot
  • has a pretty good screen
  • battery is not excellent but decent, 2-3 hours… I’m on the train 2 hours a day should be a good fit
  • last but not least it actually looks pretty nice
  • storage expandable (I got a 16GB hdsc card with it)
  • Want to use it for:
    - Calendar functions and synchronizing with Google Calendar
    (when&where wireless is available)
    - Taking notes and writing ideas, articles etc.
    - watching video on the train … ffmpeg and mencoder could also
    end up on it…

Do NOT want to use it for

  • music… x)
  • games (although with the Intel vidcard & wine I could still put on a couple of ‘classics’ hmmmm )
  • putting in lots of RAM and extra stuff…
  • webcam (which -apparently- is crap… but what to expect from 0,3mp)

I’m going to give the Linpus Linux (it’s basically Fedora with an interface made for people who never saw a computer in their lives…) a chance for a while, but I think OpenSUSE will end up on this baby… seems like a much better match :slight_smile:

It should arrive tommorow… very curious what it’ll be like!

I think you will soon know the answer. The HCL may help you decide regarding some of the hardware and it’s compatibility.
Wireless seems to be one of the biggest hurdles related in the Forum here.

Okay, first impressions…

It looks cool, it is a little bigger than the eee900 and looks a little less kiddish. On the other hand, it’s a magnet for fingerprints and smudges.

Boot time is great at about 20 seconds (less?). It uses a customized Fedora with a ‘locked down’ XFCE on it. Well, not so locked down, but you have to realize you can only get at the ‘good stuff’ by using Alt+F2 (run command) and then launch your best friend xterm. From this command line you see&feel that you’re in a regular Linux again.

The screen is very pretty with good viewing angles and nice contrast. However it’s hard to read under direct light. Wouldn’t fare well in the sun I think. The spreaker are crap did not try headphones yet but it should be better. The webcam is crap indeed but it’s still kind of cool to see it actually working… I managed to take a bad picture of myself. :wink:

Keyboard is really great, in fact I’ve got a small keyboard at my desktop PC to conserve space and the One’s keyboard is actually much easier to type on. The touchpad is very small which is kind of annoying, plus it’s sensitive so sometimes you’ll touch it by accident and your mouse cursor will go flying… definitely use a small mouse if you can. The laptop also gets a little bit hot after 2 hours of usage (I was using adapter) and moderately hot after 4 hours of continued usage. You still won’t burn your lap or fingers then though.

Getting online was really easy… networkmanager scanned for wireless networks, found mine and even found another one in the neighbourhood. Somehow LiveUpdate seemed a little slow… or maybe they were just big updates. After I figured out how to launch Pirut from Terminal, downloading and installation from there went pretty smooth. LiveUpdate gave me a lot of updates though and it’s nice to see Acer making an effort to support the system well. Oh, and they actually like Yahoo a lot since the integrated ‘web search’ launches Yahoo from Firefox even when Google is set as default in FF itself. Also, homepage for Firefox is something like acer.yahoo.co.uk … ‘custom Yahoo portal for Acer customers’. Whatever.

The interface is actually pretty nice, very intuitive and something I think most people would be able to use pretty quickly. Acer also makes liberal use of links to folders: almost every application is set to save in a particular folder: Firefox saves in Downloads, the webcam/photo application saves in Photos (or was it Pictures?), … A couple of acer’s own applications for video and photo/slideshow are included but they are really very basic and limited. There is also mplayer but unfortunately it lacks a number of useful codecs. I did not yet try how mp3 playback fares, but I expect that to work.

In general, everything is pretty snappy & fast even with 512mb RAM. Even OpenOffice (2.3) loads in 3-4 seconds. Ironically, Firefox at first laucnh can take longer… aside from OOO and Firefox, there’s also mail/contacts/calendar (I think it’s Mozilla Suite they use, actually), note-taking application (basic, why not Tomboy I wonder), file manager (basic but nice and does the job… I suppose that’s Thunar) and a number of games including e.g. Frozen Bubble and Supertux. Kind of awkward and funny is that acer include one game of their own which you have to pay for the full version… the logic behind that beats me.

Typing is easy, the screen is very nice and everything is fast&responsive, even with a number of programs open simultaneously. I also put in an extra 16GB HCSD card for extra storage. Still have to see how the laptop fares on battery power alone, but my very first experience was a pretty positive one.

I played with one of those for a while and have to say I pretty much agree with your impressions.
The touchpad though I find it comfortable enough. You need a while to get used to it but afterwards it’s useful. OTOH I use different touchpads a lot so that might be just my impression. :slight_smile:

I modded the original installation by adding repositories (which break the default online update, so be careful), added vlc, so mp3 is available, skype and several other things I can’t remember. Easy to do as you are using default and well tested Fedora apps.

On battery it lasts like 3 or 3.5 hours, depending on your usage, wifi and such.
Ah, I also loaded compiz just for the fun of it :smiley:

There are several good sites with information and forums about the AAone.
My experience was very positive too, even if some important updates (like one for the network manager that allows it to use HSPA, GPRS) weren’t available at that time. Had to fiddle a bit to get it to connect via the HSPA modem, but got it. :slight_smile:
A nice small beast at a very good price now.

Have you added to the HCL where you can. It could help others.

It’s already in there: HCL/Laptops/Acer - openSUSE

Besides I am still running the Linpus/Fedora on it so I can’t tell…

Aside from OpenSUSE, I think that Mandriva, and Xubuntu or Mint are also good candidates for a replacement. Though I would certainly use something light such as Xfce or WindowMaker or… instead of KDE or Gnome.

No problem. Sorry I had not checked. Though I was thinking more specifically / individual hardware, as opposed to the ‘Laptop’

If you do install suse. You can add to the 11.1 column for each item
And for the Laptop itself as 11.1 is not listed yet.

I’ve been using this for a few days now and it’s really sweet. Maybe I’ll even keep the Linpus thingy (Fedora 8 with a customized XFCE).

I easily managed to do a couple of cool things with it in the meantime:

  • installed the video codecs for Mplayer (yes!)

  • installed KMPlayer (often when I try to install Gnome stuff, it complains about missing dependencies… not so when I install KDE stuff… weird)

  • Installed Mozilla Thunderbird with:

    • Google Mail with IMAP (there’s a Thunderbird extension to easily set this up)
    • Lightning plugin combined with GCALDAEMON and Google Calendar (two-way sync between Thunderbird/Lightning and Google Calendar… Woohoo!)
  • Basket Note taking

  • Azureus/Vuze

  • Wine

It’s fun working to turn it into the ultimate travel companion :wink:

Does it include some sort of recovery media or means to restore the Linpus that it came with if you were to install openSUSE and decide it doesn’t work well enough?

Yes it has a recovery DVD with the Linpus on it.

Yes, I noticed that too. Nevermind though, I always tend to use KDE apps. :slight_smile:

It’s fun working to turn it into the ultimate travel companion :wink:

You’re so right!

I’m glad you are liking it.

Any chance you can tell me where you found it for that price? Please tell me it’s not Ebay :slight_smile:

as long as you have an external drive…

my friend just got one. I did play with it a bit.
the interface is very simple. baby simple. anyone can use it.

the one big minus for me is the mouse. I keep brushing against the left mouse button and accidentaly click something.

Bummer… I have an external CDRW, but not an external DVD drive! Then again, could possibly make it into a bootable USB instead?

I don’t see why it shouldn’t work.

btw, to get a bit more freedom from the ultra locked down netbook, on linpus, hit alt + F2. then enter xfce-setting-show
under Menus, select show desktop menu on right click.

very nice for installing extras…

ref. Acer Aspire One - Advance Linpus mode hack | AspireOneUser.com - Acer Aspire One User Resource Forum & Blog