Acer Releases Aspire 10.1-inch £299 Netbook; Takes On Dell, Samsung

Acer has officially launched a 10-inch Acer netbook, the Aspire One in a bid to take on similar models from the likes of Lenovo, Dell and Samsung; the netbook will be available at only £299 as from next month.

Acer's Netbook comes with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB memory, a 160GB hard disk drive, a SDHC slot, Bluetooth, optional 3G/WiMax and 3 USB ports. The 10.1-inch screen is only capable of displaying 1024x600 pixels, the same as smaller versions.

Windows XP Home is unsurprisingly the OS of choice whereas users will be able to chat using the inbuilt Crystal Eye Webcam. No details as to whether there will be a Linux version (unlikely) or whether SSD as an option is available. Furthermore, a 1.86GHz N280 Atom processor could possibly be used.

You can up the onboard memory to 2GB and the chipset used by the Aspire is a mobile 945GSE Express. At 1.18Kg, it is slightly heavier than the 8.9-inch Acer Aspire Mark 1 but the Taiwanese company claims that it will offer up to 7 hours of battery life, something that has yet to be confirmed.

In a statement, Gianfranco Lanci, president and CEO of Acer said that ‘Despite the recent problems of the financial markets and general economic uncertainty, the netbook and notebook markets will continue to grow in 2009’.

The Acer Aspire One was the most popular netbook of 2008 with sales outclassing Asus's EEE PC laptop range and was a popular model with mobile phone vendors which made a killing selling them with bundled broadband. It sold 2.15 million units in Q3 compared to Asus's 1.7m.

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Our Comments

Unlike Asus, Acer has only one netbook format - albeit in various colour flavours and with many options - which makes it easier to focus on pushing the Aspire One. 2009 will be interesting for the notebook market in general as AMD and VIA have confirmed that they will be launching platforms for the netbook segment. That coupled with the fact that Netbooks are becoming more powerful and bigger means more competition for ultra portables and bigger laptops.

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