12/27/08

A bloggers/writers dream PC

This was my early christmas present to myself a couple of weeks ago and I now feel happy to review the ACER ASPIRE ONE ZG5.

It's a netbook, one of those teeny-tiny PC's you can carry in your handbag (ladies) and it'll still weigh less than the rest of the contents all put together! This little beauty weighs 2.2lbs, measures 9.75" x 7" with battery, and yet packs a powerful punch.

1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor, 1GB DDR2 SDRAM, 160GB Hard Drive, 1.3 Megapixel Webcam, Microphone, 802.11b/g wireless catcher, XP Home and a 6 Cell battery,plus software.

The big thing with the Atom processor is it uses just 2.5 watts of power, 1/10th of the power used by the Intel Core 2 Duo, ensuring excellent battery management. I am easily getting 6.5 hours of battery use on a charge.

Due to it's size there is no CD/DVD drive, but 3 USB's and an Multi-in-One card reader, so transferring from a digital camera or external device is easy. It comes with a trial version of Microsoft Office Student, which I removed as it also comes with Works and therefore a Word Processor, Spreadsheet and anything else I might need. I am using Picnik for photo processing, thereby negating the need to download a space eating photo processor. I have ESET Nod32 virus protection and so removed the McAfee free trial to save disk space. Others recommend AVG but definitely not Norton which eats mountains of space.

It will boot up in about 15 seconds, it's fast, the wireless catcher is superb and even found me a connection in my Dr's waiting room, usually a dead-spot. The keyboard is about 80% the size of a standard one, but I have had absolutely no issues adjusting to it. Other reviewers have said the mousepad is hard to adjust to, again I have had no issues. The other big advantage is it runs Windows XP or Linux, both superior and glitch free compared to Vista.

I am totally enamoured with my Acer after 2 weeks, I just cannot fault it. I have used the webcam with family abroad and it's excellent, no delay or break-up, plus light enough to give them a tour of the house! It plays online video seamlessly, the sound is just okay, but this is not for watching movies. This is for checking email or the internet anywhere, anytime and total mobility. Blogging or writing whenever and wherever you feel like it, and just having the convenience of carrying your PC with you everywhere.

Since I got it I have only turned my 17" Dell laptop on about 3 times, this is what I gravitate to all the time now. And for those of you who have seen the Dell Mini 9 and thought about it, I did too and this is far superior at a lot less money, with far better reviews (see Amazon). The Dell has tiny storage capabilities, weighs more and you pay extra for the webcam etc. This little beauty cost me $379 and considering some Blackberry's are now over $200, I'd rather have a full working PC like this.

Just one thing though, this model with the 6-cell battery and Intel Atom doesn't seem to be out yet in the UK and the 3-cell battery has a short life, so wait for it, as going on the reviews there's a big difference.

I cannot recommend this Netbook highly enough, if you get one you will rarely use your other PC!

20 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Congrats, Sarah, on your new toy... We are 'mac' people (Macintosh)--so I don't know anything about windows machines!!! BUT--it looks like you will have all of the memory you need for awhile!!!! That's good.

Hope you like the laptop.. I'm still a 'big' computer person---but IF I had a wireless laptop, I'd probably love it. I could sit in the Great Room and watch the birds at the same time. (Wonder if I'd ever get any blogging done??? ha ha)
Hugs,
Betsy

George said...

Wow! We'll look forward to hearing from you 24/7 now! Enjoy.

Gaelyn said...

Merry Christmas to you, Sarah.
Sounds like a neat little machine. I've always believed in buying myself a present. At least that way you know you'll get something you wanted.

Yogi said...

Very impressive. I've known several people who are going for ultralight and portability and forgoing power and weight.

Sherri said...

Continued good luck with your new toy Sarah! Sounds like you found a new gadget to carry around-sounds like fun! Enjoy!

washaw said...

I have been thinking about getting one of these small pc. Great review and it sound like a terrific computer.

Daryl said...

If only I was a PC person... my MacBookPro's battery life leaves a lot to be desired ... and I adore Picnik .. I assume you hook up the back up hard drive via USB?

Continue to enjoy it .. it sounds perfect

:-Daryl

Stuart Peel said...

Oooh, technology !! I feel ever so slightly moistened. Although I can't write on laptops as my hands are so big that I end up shaking my fists in frustration at all the typos I make. But by gum they look cool.

*mary* said...

Ooooh, I've been wanting one of those!

Mmm said...

I would love to have a teeny laptop like that but with my graphic design, i need a heavy old 17" to see all the screens and so on. Good pick for blogging, certainly. nice.

karen said...

Hi Sarah, this looks almost identical to my handbag sized PC, only mine has a Proline label! it really is the best little computer i've ever owned. I've had it for about 2 months now, and it was the easiest thing to take on a flying trip with hand luggage restrictions etc. (sometimes I get caught out with the no CD thing, but it's really not a problem!) I also love the fact that it has XP on it, and it is so handy for wireless access.. So an enthusiastic addition to your rave review, from this side of the world! :-)

Kay said...

Oh Wow, Sarah! Thanks for the tip. This sounds excellent for traveling, too! I shall have to mention this to my husband. :-)

Kat said...

This is me coveting your notebook...

Jill of All Trades said...

Congratulations. That is so very cool and very interesting. I would just like a little one for writing that I can drop in my bag. Now this has me very intriqued.

pamokc said...

Oh yes, oh yes, I must have one of these someday....

East Anglian Troy said...

Great review! I've been looking to get portable but haven't been able to decide what to buy. I like the small size of these notebooks and the fact they run XP rather than Vista. I was expecting the US price to well below the price I would expect to pay in the UK so the $379 surprised me. I will keep an eye out for this model when it is launched over here - you can't beat a personal recommendation.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Looks like mine

Want to use asap?

You know where it is (lol)
xxx

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) said...

Oh now that looks and sounds like a great little machine. I love my laptop and would get one of these if I travelled more, but think it might be just perfect as a gift for Mum.

Thanks for the review and I wish you continued enjoyment of your new toy.

ipv6 said...

it uses just 2.5 watts of power, 1/10th of the power used by the Intel Core 2 Duo

That a huge saving hence extend laptop usage outside the building n it mean more blogging hours ;)

Debs said...

I 'need' one now, but as I'm in the UK, it looks like I'll have to wait a bit. I wonder how long for, and if I have that sort of patience.