Acer Aspire One

But the Aspire One is different. It costs just ?225 yet offers an assortment of hardware and vital statistics that easily trump that of Asus' most frugal Eee PC. In terms of spec, it's even hot on the heels of the premium 900 and 901 models.
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The Asus Eee PC has prompted a rash of similar laptops, but many have simply been too expensive: When your price approaches £300, you're treading on the toes of fully-fledged laptops.

But the Aspire One is different. It costs just £255 yet offers an assortment of hardware and vital statistics that easily trump that of Asus' most frugal Eee PC (the 701). In terms of spec, it's even hot on the heels of the premium 900 and 901 models.

Acer gets one other vital thing right too: The Aspire One is simply gorgeous. Our review unit came in pearly white, the smooth lines and the little flash of colour on the lid's hinges all coalescing into a surprisingly attractive whole. What's more it feels sturdy and at 980g it's enviably light.

The basic specification consists of one of Intel's Atom N270 processors running at 1.6GHz, 512MB RAM, an 8GB solid-state drive and 802.11bg networking. Linpus Linux Lite is the OS of choice.

Connectivity is ample, too. VGA, Ethernet, USB and an SDHC slot adorn the Acer's lefthand side, while audio sockets, another couple of USB ports and a four in one memory card reader lie to the right. Hopefully, minor wrinkles such as codec support and battery life will be ironed out, but even now the Aspire does enough to win a recommended award.

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