Acer Aspire 523h netbook will be available in the UAE before the end of February
A lot has been said about Intel's new chips for netbooks. Codenamed Pine Trail, the chips are designed to give netbooks a longer battery life and a better performance kick. While I can't claim to know how to really put a chip through its paces like a geek god(dess) I, like many other mainstream consumers, know it's an important factor in making your device perform fast and reliably.
That's why I was excited to try out the Acer Aspire 523h netbook, which is one of the few to incorporate the new Intel Pine stuff.
The 10.1-inch netbook comes with 1GB of RAM, 160GB hard drive and with the Windows 7 Starter OS. And the battery life is a plus. I had it running for a little over eight hours (with a minimal applications open) but you can expect to shorten that by a bit when playing videos and other heavy multimedia on it. Still, for a netbook, that's not too bad at all!
The keypad is generous though the Fn keys on top are much smaller than the main keys. I don't use them very often, so it doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Strangely enough, it's the trackpad that caught my attention. Its surface is raised with tiny beads so the grip is great and responds pretty well even when using two fingers for multi-gesture motions.
The experience made it difficult for me to go back to one with a smooth surface because my fingers are known to hyperactivity and tend to slip and slide, with the result that my cursor ends up hopping to all the wrong places and a simple right-click remains oh so elusive. It's the little details like these that make or break a product in my opinion.
Now on to the most obvious feature of this netbook- its shiny exterior (which isn't really that obvious from the pic above but take my word for it). The form factor is very Aspire like but the design almost makes me think of a Sony Vaio in terms of its style. It comes in three flashy colours - silver, blue and red. But I imagine it'd be a risk walking down the street with it since sun rays reflecting off it could be brutal. And if it ever is part of a crime scene, there'd be enough fingerprints collected on it to make a forensic expert do a happy dance. To be fair, Acer has helpfully added a nice little cloth to make sure the surface remains plush and fingerprint-free.
Now to the question, would I buy it? Yes, if I was looking for something that performs like it should, has a respectable battery life so I can comfortably get through the day with it, and looks stylish. And at AED 1,499 it's not as pricey as I thought it would've been considering that it comes with Intel's latest and Windows 7.
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