Acer Aspire One vs HP 2133 Mininote
I dont know quite who reads this blog but I had an abnormally high hit-rate yesterday when I posted some thoughts about the netbooks I own and have owned in the past, namely my previous HP 2133 and my current Acer Aspire One (Which I am currently using to write this post).
I dont typically write any sort of hardware or software reviews on my blog but there seems to be an interest out there from my readers, lets get on with it shall we?
HP 2133 – The model I had was the highest available, the 160GB hard disk bluetooth and 6-cell battery all with 2 GB RAM. VIA 1.6 CPU
Acer Aspire One – Staples demo model, 8GB SSD, 512MB RAM Intel Atom
I will talk about each machines short comings first, keep in mind that I am bias, and I will focus mainly on Linux, though I did run Windows XP on the mininote for some time.
The stupid battery (6-cell) made the machine awkard to use because the battery came in the way of opening the LCD to a reasonable angle, that was annoying, The hardware was not linux compatible. While they (HP) was able to cludge together a SLED install (Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop) which sucks because its old, unusable and difficult to maintain, the hardware at best was hacked together, I couldn’t not get compiz to work well, I did spend time downloading and compiling the drivers of the via website (which apparently have now been open sourced, hopefully someone can fix them). The CPU was ok but it didn’t scale properly (In Linux as well). HP is a bunch of cheapos, they didn’t give a case with their netbook and up until recently they were non-existent, thats just cheap when I could get an ASUS EEE PC for dirt cheap and get a proper envelope for it.
Did I mention it came with Vista? That was stupid, REALLY STUPID, Windows Vista requires at least 2GB RAM and a dual-core 2.5+ to run reasonably, instead they tried to cram it on an under-powered machine as the result was a phenominally slow boot time and slow response in general from the machine. Speed increased greatly with Windows XP, but if you want to run Vista hey, “Dogs to their vommit like fools to their folly”.
Acer Aspire One
It could just be the model I have but the keyboard on this thing sucks, it has the ‘7’ shaped enter key that is non-standard so whenever I get to hitting enter it looks like this\. Much mockery from my friends on IM. Another con to this netbook is the battery life, its not bad but it only gives me 2.5 hours.
* A note about the Acer Aspire One is that it was just under 4x the price of my HP 2133, I got it for 250CAD.
Best Keyboard on the market hands down, this thing is great! its like a whole new world compared the the Aspire One. The case was built quite solid, definatly a good peice of workmanship. The CPU was also quite snappy in Windows XP (my unit came with Vista). I have read reviews of people complaining about the speed of the VIA CPU but I dont know why. This machine is definatly a winner if you run Windows XP on it.
The display was also very very impressive, the resolution was nice and the glossy screen made a definite difference, also I noticed Apple copied HPs design display in their new line of notebooks.
Acer Aspire One
This unit is great for linux users, I immediately removed Linspire so I dont really have any comments towards it, I opted for a Ubuntu 8.10 install with netbook remix (see my previous post for links). The hardware is on a different level with regards to compatibility, the only thing that currently requires proprietary drivers is the atheros chipset but they work well with Linux anyway and, have been recently released into the wild. No thanks broadcom, I dont need your crap, not here 🙂
Physcially the machine is more durable, it scratches easy but because of its light weight its less likely to happen and I don’t have to worry about scratching an aluminum casing, and Acer gave me an envelope with the unit, that is revolutionary way way way way better than what HP did for me (nothing). The machine is solid but light weight.
I like both, but for a linux user the Aspire was best for me, though If I could choose between the two I would choose neither, I would go for the HP 1000 Mininote, its the like te HP 2133 except the hardware is actually Linux Compatible (Atom based).
I hope this post has helped some of you who are looking for infromation on Ubuntu and either of these netbooks, feel free to comment I will respond to your comments as soon as I am able.