I bought my wife an Acer Aspire One netbook at Best Buy shortly before Christmas. She had complained that she could never get on the computer long enough to surf around and pay the bills. Now, we have a desktop and laptop at my house and, in full discloure, I'm usually Bogarting the laptop. However, the desktop is usually sitting quietly in the corner with nothing to do. Nonetheless, she feels she can't do wifey things with ONLY two computers in the house.
So that led me to think buying the Acer Aspire One was a good idea. She only wants it to surf the internet, pay bills and be "something she can curl up with on the couch" so picking up a netbook seemed to be the product to go for. Best Buy had the notebook for $299 and after comparing it to the Asus EEE PC and Dell netbooks I was quite happy with the look, size of keyboard, and screen resolution (oh, ok, price to).
Now here's the thing about Acer Aspire One netbooks: there are basically two types (not couting OS systems. Different versions run either Linux or Windows XP). One comes with a 120GB solid state drive, a slightly shorter battery life and roughly $50 on top of the price tag, and the other comes with a 8GB solid state and a SD slot that allows you to expand the size via HCSD cards. It seems that the 120GB solid state has been getting rave reviews, but when I tried to look up the 8GB, expandable version I could find very little mention. So here's my take.
Overall, I'm extremely happy with the Acer book. It's a cleanly made, little frills book that does exactly what it's intended to do. The 8GB version uses about 3GB for its OS system and necessary programs (those being Firefox, AVG, VLC Player, a webcam program, and additional Firefox addons). The surfing speed and resolution are very quick. The wireless receiver is surprising good and it picked up more networks than my Toshiba laptop or my USB receiver for my desktop. I was surprised to find how easy it was to read on the 8.9" screen and how well websites fit the format. The resolution is still 1024 pixels wide, but only 400 pixels deep. However, a simply F11 will expand your browser to the typical 1024x600 format most are familiar with. It comes with 3 USB slots, an additional storage media slot (for XD, SD, etc.), Ethernet hookup and video out to your TV. It does come with an 8GB SD card already in the additional hard drive slot making the total hard drive space 16GB.
I admit, at first I shirked at the small storage size. 16 GB total? But after coming to terms with its use, I'm fine with the size. In fact, I find it kind of nifty you could load certain programs and files on differend SD chips and use them based on what you want to do with it. My wife loves it. It's just what she needs and it's so small (a bit bigger than a DVD case) and light (2.2 lbs.) that it fits in her tote purse with ease. Before I let her open it, I explained there was a larger storage version for a bit more that she could get instead, but she chose this one anyway.
So here's the skinny. For $299 you can get a great netbook that will allow you to surf the internet, do video conferencing (with the built in webcam) and even dabble with some music and picture storage that will have a three hour battery life. Or for $350 you can get a massive storage system with about 2.5 hours of battery. Depending on your use you may want to go with the 120GB, but I'm happy with my wife's choice to keep this one. Besides, if she ever needs storage she can use one of her 3 USB drives to plug in my 500GB Mybook external drive. Problem solved.