The Netbook Diaries: Day 5 (The Verdict)

acer-aspire-one.jpg The Netbook Diaries chronicles our day-to-day experiences with the Acer Aspire One. Click here to read the previous installment.
Well, I've just spent four days on the road with the Aspire One, and to my surprise, it was a mostly positive experience. The small screen and slightly cramped keyboard didn't bother me nearly as much as I expected, though I'm glad I brought along a travel mouse -- the Aspire's tiny trackpad and poorly placed buttons are terrible.

In fact, I have another trip coming up, and I'm thinking of again packing the netbook in lieu of my trusty, but comparatively behemoth, six-pound Compaq. The Aspire's 120GB hard drive is ample for my needs, and I like how quickly Windows XP boots. Plus, there's definitely something to be said for the compact, lightweight form factor.

Just one problem: battery life. For reasons I don't understand, the netbook guzzles power. Based on my experiences, you'd be lucky to get two hours' worth of work (or movie-watching) time. Now, one could make the argument that for the Aspire's bargain price of $349, a few compromises are to be expected. Unfortunately, this is perhaps the hardest one to live with.

If Acer could somehow wring an extra hour or two from a battery that's the same size and price, the Aspire One would be one netbook worth owning. As it stands, it's still a netbook worth considering.

Check out some other netbook-related posts, including Guy Vs. Guy: The Net Value of Netbooks, Turn Your Netbook Into a Kindle, and Six Ways to Make Your Netbook More Like a Notebook.

Update! Read the all-new Netbook Diaries 2009!