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Acer Aspire One 532h review

Tim Smalley
22 Jan 2010
Acer Aspire One 532h
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
291
inc VAT

The Acer Aspire One 532h is a decent netbook in isolation and has a pretty good screen, but it's too expensive and is outperformed by cheaper alternatives.

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Specifications

10.1 in 1,024x600 display, 1.3kg, 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450, 1.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows 7 Starter 32-bit

Another 10.1in netbook might not seem particularly exciting, but with its Aspire One 532 Acer has turned to Intel's latest processor, the 1.66GHz Atom N450. We first saw this processor in Asus' Eee PC 1005PE.

The main benefit of this chip is that it's designed to be incredibly power efficient. For starters, Intel has built more aggressive power saving technology into the processor, but it has also integrated the graphics processor and memory controller onto the same piece of silicon. The net result should be longer battery life, something that Acer's in need of, as this was a failing in its last 10.1in netbook, the Acer Aspire One D250. This time around we were very happy: the supplied six-cell battery latest for 8 hours and 24 minutes in our light usage test, which isn't far off the 10 hours that Acer promises.

Aside from that, it's business as usual and the Aspire One 532 has similar specifications to every other 10.1in netbook, including a 1,024x600 screen resolution, 1GB of memory and a 250GB hard disk. It weighs just 1.25kg.

The display is bright and has good contrast too. Colours are also vibrant thanks to the transreflective (glossy) coating, but that's also a downside because the finish is very reflective. Horizontal viewing angles aren't bad, but vertical viewing angles are quite poor. The range of movement on the hinges is good though, so the mediocre vertical viewing angles shouldn't pose a problem in even the most cramped conditions.

The trackpad f has a texture similar to the one on the Asus Eee PC1008HA Seashell and sits flush with the wrist rest, which makes it feel less cramped than the typically poky touchpads on most netbooks. It supports multi-touch gestures, so you can use a couple of fingers to scroll, rotate and zoom in a variety of applications. Moreover, there's a separate area on the right hand edge of the touchpad that allows you to scroll vertically with one finger. The buttons are responsive and feel neither spongy or stiff - they're 'just right'.

Unfortunately, the keyboard doesn't feel quite as spacious as we would have hoped. Feedback from the keys is excellent and its build quality is good, but we found it difficult to get up to a good typing speed while touch typing. With practice, this will become less of an issue.

When it comes to the Atom N450's performance, it's fairly typical compared to older Atom N280-based netbooks - Intel didn't do much to improve performance with this latest generation of Atom processors - returning an overall score of 16 in the Expert Reviews benchmark suite, which means it's actually slightly slower than the Asus Eee PC 1005PE equipped with the same processor.

The 1005PE is a slightly better netbook, although the Aspire One 532's keyboard is more to our tastes. If you don't want to wait and see what other netbook manufacturers do with Intel's Atom N450 processor and don't mind running Windows XP, we'd recommend looking at the Samsung N140. The N140 is thinner, lighter and has a nicer keyboard and touchpad than both of these new netbooks.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Atom N450
Processor clock speed1.66GHz
Memory1.00GB
Memory slots1
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory2GB
Size25x259x185mm
Weight1.3kg
SoundRealtek ALC272
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size10.1 in
Native resolution1,024x600
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 3150
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory64MB

Storage

Total storage capacity250GB
Optical drive modelN/A
Optical drive typenone

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports10/100
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, RS-MMC, MemoryStick, MemoryStick PRO, xD, miniSD, microSD, MemoryStick Duo, MemoryStick PRO Duo
Other portsmicrophone, headphone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Starter 32-bit
Operating system restore optionbackup and recovery software
Software includednone
Optional extrasCarrying bag, 3-cell Li-ion battery pack, 6-cell Li-ion battery pack, 3-pin 40W AC adaptor, External USB HDD, External USB optical drive

Buying Information

WarrantyOne Year International Travelers Warranty
Price£291
Detailshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop

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