Acer Aspire One Dual-Booting OS (XP/Android) Netbook review

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Acer Aspire One Dual-Booting OS (XP/Android) Netbook review

Postby milkymenben » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:53 am

Acer Aspire One Dual-Booting OS (XP/Android) Netbook

I've been an avid fan of Netbooks ever since I picked up my very own 1000HE by ASUS. I love these little machines, as they are perfect to bring around for travel, work and/or school. With the recent release of Acer's new Aspire One with dual-booting operating systems, I couldn't resist but to pick one up for myself.

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The item in review is right here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Acer-AOD250-1613- ... 703&sr=8-1
Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834115662

Acer's Aspire One AOD250-1613- Dual booting Windows XP and Android. Android, as an operating system for a Netbook is a pretty fresh and new idea, so I'll give it a run.

Asthetics/External Features:
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Unpacking the box, the Acer Aspire One came with your standard warranty, battery, AC adapter/charger, manual, and of course the Netbook itself.

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For initial impressions, this Netbook is light. Much lighter than my ASUS 1000HE. Sadly, it is still sporting a normal Netbook keyboard (no chiclet keys).

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At the bottom of the Netbook, there are removable panels for the chance to upgrade RAM and quite possibly the HDD. I remember earlier Netbook models being unable to upgrade RAM, which was a pretty big bummer. Fear not, if you wish to upgrade to 2GB of RAM on the Aspire One or even an SSD as your new HDD, it shouldn't be too difficult. This Netbook also features a mini-SATA slot, so if you want even more HDD space, you can slap in another SSD in as well.

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With a quick view of the sides, (left side) you have your standard Audio I/O ports, VGA port, LAN port, 1 USB port, (right side) Memory card reader, 2 USB ports, Power port and a safety lock port.

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Opening up the Netbook, it looks like any other Aspire One, the trackpad features multi-touch functionality supporting pinch-zoom and scrolling.

Internals:
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As far as the internals of the Acer Aspire One, I do believe this is the only Aspire One to have a Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz CPU (667 MHz FSB). Most other other Netbooks you see around are 1.60GHz rated at 533MHz FSB.

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It has a 6-cell Li-ion battery, 1GB RAM (Hynix), 160GB HDD (Western Digital), 1.3Megapixel Camera, 10.1 LED LCD, Bluetooth and your standard Wireless b/g. The new LED LCD display is a nice addition.

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The computer comes pre-loaded with Windows XP and Android.

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Digging into the real meat of this Netbook, on first boot up, you are greeted by the standard Windows XP set up process. Once Windows XP comes booted up, you are asked by the Acer Configuration Manager to set up Android.

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Setup is a snap, as it asks you which Operating System you would like to boot first.

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Then you are asked to enter your Google Account information. This is pretty crucial as you need to have a Google Account to be able to access most of the Android features.

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Once that is done, it will ask you for any other webmail accounts you might have (Yahoo, Hotmail and such).

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After a simple restart you will find your system booted into Android!

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Android starts up fast! I'd say an average of 13-16 second boot up time, from power button to functional Android screen. Shut down is pretty much immediate.

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Android comes pre-loaded with Firefox (Minefield 3.0.10) for web browsing (Adobe Flash is working, tested on YouTube), GoogleTalk, Webmail, Calendar, Alarm Clock, Calculator, Camera, Contacts, Gallery, Messaging, and Music.

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This version of Android is tweaked for the Acer Aspire One and not just a hard port over from Phone to Netbook. If you look into the Android Power Management settings you'll see options for System Auto-Suspend and Closing Lid actions. Also, in the upper left hand corner of Android, there is a little 'arrow' like button. If pressed, it will prompt the user to confirm a switch to the Windows Operating System. So if you ever want to go from Android --> Windows XP, it is just a click away. However, you cannot go backwards, if you wish to enter back into Android, you must restart your machine.

The Acer Android Manager does have an 'update', so there is great hope that Android will continue to receive software updates with new features included.

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Any files you save while you are working on your Android session can be seen in Windows XP. The hard drive is partitioned in such a way that 4GB of HDD space has been allocated out for the Android System. If you happen to take a picture of yourself with the webcam while you working in Android, you can find that picture in the Android HDD partition.

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Final notes:

- You do not have to boot to Android OS at all, if you choose. Just make sure the Acer Android Manager settings are set accordingly and you can bypass Android entirely.

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- The Acer Android Manager includes a 'Boot Timeout Setting'. Basically upon entering Android, if the computer detects no user input, after a user-defined amount of time (default: 10 seconds), the computer will auto-switch to Windows XP.

Overall, this dual-booting Netbook runs beautifully. Android is insanely fast, though lacking Android Market at launch, it probably will get added in the future.

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UPDATE:
Originally stated that the [Acer Aspire One Dual Boot XP and Android] would have an application market, seems to be in confirmation!

Browsing new sites i found this piece
http://www.androidguys.com/2009/09/23/i ... -netbooks/

Having no idea what it was, i went over to the site and found this in the FAQ!
http://www.insydemarket.com/

Q: What is the Insyde Market?
A: Insyde Market offers quick, easy access to a wide variety of applications developed specifically for the Google® Android™ platform on Netbook computers. Developers can utilize Insyde Market to distribute their Android applications to many different Android netbook platforms all over the world.

So apparently they have committed and even created a whole website for apps for android on the netbook.
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I personally haven't tested it out, but all the down-loadable files are all .apk. (Android Package files)
milkymenben
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