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!