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Acer Aspire one (Linux)

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Mini-notebooks are getting bigger and more elaborate by the day, but Acer enters the crowded market with a simple yet solid miniature laptop for only $379. The Aspire one sports a classic look and its Intel Atom processor gives it a decent amount of power for surfing the Web and light multimedia use. Taking a cue from ASUS’ well-received custom Linux interface, Acer packages the system with a lightweight, customized Linpus Lite Linux operating system. We just wish this netbook lasted longer on a charge.

The pearl white Aspire one (also available in navy blue, pink, and black) looks far from cheap. Similar to the ASUS Eee PC 901, the Aspire one’s white lid sports a glossy finish that is resistant to fingerprint smudges. Though it’s a small design addition, the neon orange plated hinge adds a little pizzazz to the overall look.

Compared with other 8.9-inch systems, such as the Eee PC 901 ($599) and HP 2133 Mini-Note PC ($729), the Aspire one is both slimmer and lighter. Measuring 9.8 x 6.7 x 1.1 inches and weighing just 2.2 pounds—4 ounces lighter than the Eee PC 901—the Aspire one’s portability alone makes it compelling. With its included pleather sleeve, the system was perfect for tossing into a shoulder bag or slim briefcase. It’s only 3 pounds with the AC adapter.

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