Monday, March 16, 2009

Online in Pink

I said that as soon as I was able to get online with the little computer I'd post a review of sorts. I am now online and here it is. Bear in mind I've only had the computer about a week, so I haven't had a chance to try out every little thing it can do, but I've tried out a lot of things and it has impressed me in every case.

The computer is an Acer Aspire in the 8.9" size with the 6 cell battery. It is really small and lightweight even with the large battery. I'd say that more than 6 hours of battery life (yes, I tested that right away) is worth the small increase in weight. It will still fit comfortably into my purse or any of the totes or briefcases I might want to use.

For all its small size, however, the screen is really easy to read and look at. I've discovered that it makes an outstanding PDF reader, both for stories and articles and for tutorials. Imagine being able to open a jewelry tutorial, set it beside your lapdesk, and go to work without having to print it out. No piles of paper, no pages to get messed up, no losing your place, it's all right there, easily navigated and ready whenever you need it.

The keyboard is small, too, and I am having a bit of a learning curve getting to the point that I'm not tripping over my own fingers. However, I think that a few more days of typing on this machine will be enough to take care of that. I'm already noticing an improvement.

The big challenge for me is the trackpad. Again, it's a matter of lack of experience. Although I used a laptop extensively when I was working, I nearly always used a mouse, so I don't have much practice using the touchpad. From other reviews I have read, that may be a blessing since I understand that the Aspire touchpad is set up a bit differently from the standard. In any case, I'm also improving at that, and don't think it will be a problem for long.

Although it came preloaded with a trial of Microsoft Office and of course with Internet Explorer, I loaded Firefox and Openoffice cuz that's the kind of gal I am. Installation was quick and easy. I put all the stuff I won't be using into a folder on the desktop and will uninstall when I'm sure I've made the right decision. I had no difficulty setting FF and OO as the defaults, either. I was also able to import my bookmarks from our other computer. The only very minor inconvenience will be teaching Firefox my passwords, and that will just happen as I use the various sites.

Finally, did I mention that my very own personal netbook is pink? It could be Breast Cancer Awareness pink if I am feeling high-minded, or it could be Pink Cadillac pink if I'm feeling retro, or it could be Barbie pink if I'm feeling all lipstick feminist, or it could be rhodochrosite pink if I'm in jewelry design mode, or it could be Invisible Pink Unicorn pink except for the Invisible and Unicorn parts. Which shall it be today? You'll only know if I tell you.

In fairness, there are a couple features that bother some people. Mainly, it doesn't have a CD/DVD drive. Since I'm not particularly interested in looking at movies on this computer and since I probably won't be installing much more software, that is not a particular drawback for me.

Anyway, I really like this computer a lot. Every little thing about it has performed better than I expected. If you don't mind not being able to play CDs or DVDs without a separate drive, I would give this an unconditional recommendation. Besides, it's pink. Did I mention that?

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