Aug 13, 2010

Acer Aspire One 532 Silver - Part II

It took me longer than I thought to start writing the second part. But I had to see how stuff plays first.


In addition to putting stickers on their devices, Acer also loves putting bloatware in them. Aspire One 532 comes with all kinds of useless - or soon-to-be - software, ranging from trial McAfee antivirus to Acer GameZone. Even an Acer Screensaver, which basicly advertises the netbook I just bought. Awesome, just what I needed.

It took me awhile to get rid of them, and there's probably still something in there. And some stuff might not be wise to remove lest something stops working. One thing Acer could have done (like Asus has) is to add an option to change the desktop wallpaper as it is not possible in Windows 7 Starter netbooks come with. There are 3rd party programs to accomplish this but I'd rather watch the blue background with the Windows logo than install any of those.

It's the irc channel in QuakeNet.

The new Windows OS seems to work well on the netbook. Although, I think adding another GB of RAM wouldn't hurt. The processor does its job, but it takes a bit longer to compile URLP than I'm used to. Also, opening (and closing) URLP's project file in Dev-C++ isn't as fast, even though Dev-C++ is a really light IDE. Nothing to get frustrated about but it's noticeable.

You won't be watching HD videos on Youtube with this thing without stuttering but 720p videos will likely play without problem locally. (One thing I have not tested yet.) Otherwise video playback is ok, and the sound output quality of the system is very nice. (Obviously, the speakers themselves not so.)

You won't be playing new games with this netbook either. The integrated GMA 3150 will get you in trouble with any game that demands more than little 3D performance. Games likes World of Warcraft will probably work but it's not likely to see higher than 5-10 fps. Thus not really playable. The old Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gates & Icewind Dales) seem to work (which is nice), although the movies in IWD are stuttering for some reason.

Where 532 shines is its battery life. I am really getting those promised 8+ hours when doing just typing (coding URLP). The machine will keep going the whole school day with one charge. Not that carrying the adapter is a burden - it's only slightly bigger than my phone's. Of course, watching videos, for instance, will drain the battery faster. But 8+ hours with light use is amazing.

Final words:

Acer Aspire One 532 netbook is a good machine for its purpose. It's sturdy yet light, packed with long battery life, and comes with an ok keyboard and good touchpad. And it's cheap.

It has its flaws but if you want a laptop, which is easy to carry around, and which battery lasts all day without charging, I can recommend it.

For gaming purposes and HD playback, go find something else.

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