The move to update its popular 8.9-inch Acer Aspire One comes from the pinch the economy is putting on netbook and notebook spending and also to cater to the needs of mobile employees.
"Despite the recent problems of the financial markets and general economic uncertainty, the netbook and notebook markets will continue to grow in 2009," Gianfranco Lanci, president and CEO of Acer, said in a statement. "With companies focused on containing the crisis, consumers and products designed for them become more important as users simply cannot do without their personal communication instruments."
By adding a 10-inch netbook, Acer places itself in a good position to grab a share of an ever-growing netbook market that is asking for bigger form factors.
The new netbook increases the screen size over its predecessor, giving users space to work more efficiently. The specs on the new Aspire One are what have come to be expected in this market. An Intel Atom processor is par for the course. Users are also given the choice between a Mobile Intel 945GSE Express chipset or Mobile Intel 82801 GBM chipset that can be equipped with up to 2 GB of DDR memory, depending on the user's preference.
A 160-GB 2.5-inch hard drive also comes standard , which is plenty of room for the preloaded Windows XP operating system. The inclusion of a Windows-based operating system is a different direction for Acer, however. The 8.9-inch Aspire One came with the option of having Linpus Linux preloaded, but the latest edition seems to only provide options for XP.
Like other netbooks, the Aspire One is still designed for ultramobility, constant uptime and cloud computing applications. To that end, the netbook comes with 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies as part of the standard package. But in cases where Wi-Fi might not be available, 3G technology can be added to the purchase to ensure uptime.
The 10-inch Acer Aspire One will be available in mid-February in the U.K.; pricing is 300 pounds.
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