In a move to extend its global market-share leadership in the netbook category, Acer has rolled out the 10.1-inch Aspire One AOD150.
Netbooks are designed to be an affordable and simple solution for Web browsing, checking e-mail, instant messaging, VoIP calls, streaming video, viewing photos, and listening to music.
Acer is delivering the Aspire One AOD150 on the heels of its highly successful 8.9-inch predecessor. The Aspire One AOD150 retails for $349.99 for U.S. customers.
The success of the Aspire One illustrates the enormous demand consumers have for mobile devices that keep them connected, according to Sumit Agnihotry, vice president of product management for Acer America.
"The new 10.1-inch Aspire One has something for everyone, whether a business user continuously on the go, a young student needing an introductory PC, or a tech aficionado seeking a lightweight, secondary device with enduring battery power," Agnihotry said. "Netbooks are an ideal solution for those who want a balance of mobility and productivity for quick and easy access to the Internet and other computing needs."
A More Powerful Netbook
The new 10.1-inch Aspire One weighs less than three pounds and provides always-on access to the Internet in a design similar to the original 8.9-inch version. The model leverages the Intel Atom processor, which markets itself on performance and efficiency to stay connected while mobile.
The Aspire One comes with a six-cell battery to provide up to six hours of computing power, twice the amount of the previous model. The new model is packaged with Windows XP Home, 1GB of memory, integrated 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi network connectivity, and a 160GB internal hard drive to store digital files.
The Aspire One boasts a 10.1-inch CrystalBrite backlit display, offering a broader viewing area for Web-page navigation and data input. It's also equipped with a webcam that delivers video streaming and images for online chats and business video conferences. A built-in digital microphone is engineered to keep background noise levels low and minimize echoes.
Netbooks Moving Mainstream
The increase in screen size is a harbinger of a move by netbooks into the mainstream market, according to Roger Kay, principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates.
"Screen size is an issue if it's very small. The old wisdom was that nobody but Asians would use something that's 8.9 inches," Kay said. "But a lot of people are adopting netbooks. Netbooks are beginning to approach mainstream status in the sense that you might just purchase one for ordinary reasons rather than [as] some specialized adjunct device. The value proposition for a netbook is very easy to digest."
Kay confirmed that netbooks are the hottest category in PCs right now. The dynamics will change when Windows 7 comes to market, he said, but for the moment netbooks are a good bet and Acer is placing a large one.
"Acer has staked out a leadership position in this category, but Acer is not the only leader. HP is selling plenty of netbooks. Asus seems to be doing well, and so is Dell," Kay said. "Acer is not alone by any means, but the company has clearly stepped up and they want to lead in this category."