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Acer Aspire One 533 review

Verdict

Huge battery life, but the all-round quality isn’t high enough to justify the price

Review Date: 27 Aug 2010

Reviewed By: David Bayon

Price when reviewed: £255 (£300 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
3 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
4 stars out of 6

Performance
2 stars out of 6

The new Atom N475 isn’t revolutionary, but it’s at least a step in the right direction for netbooks. It runs at 1.83GHz, supports Hyper-Threading and has the standard Intel GMA 310 graphics onboard, but its most notable strength is that – along with the recently launched 1.66GHz N455 – it finally supports DDR3 memory.

Acer is the first to take advantage with the Aspire One 533, pairing the N475 with 1GB of DDR3 in its single DIMM socket. If we expected that move to DDR3 to have an impact, though, we were left deflated. In our benchmarks it scored just 0.34, no higher or lower than the vast majority of netbooks we’ve tested.

The Atom has never been about speed, however, and with each new iteration we’re far keener to see how battery life fares. The 4,400mAh six-cell battery has enough juice to keep you working throughout the day. In our light-use test, with wireless disabled, the screen brightness dimmed and no applications running, the Acer kept plugging away for just ten minutes short of ten hours. Even when running our intensive multitasking test it still managed 4hrs 15mins before dying.

Acer Aspire One 533

The Aspire One’s design has been tweaked, with the thin battery making for a thin and portable netbook – just 1.2kg and 27mm at its thickest point. The base is robust and well-finished, and the hinge feels like it’s built to last; only the lid feels slightly weak and plasticky, with a bit too much give to be comfortable tossed into a bag.

The keyboard is well laid-out, with a large right-Shift key making up for the slightly cramped cursor keys, and the touchpad supports multitouch gestures. We’re generally not fans of the one-piece rocker-style buttons, but here they proved responsive.

The 10.1in screen has a glossy finish that adds vibrancy and brightness, but it has some notable flaws. The individual pixels of the 1,024 x 600 resolution are clearly visible, giving the desktop a mottled appearance. It’s clearly not a top-quality panel.

When you consider the Aspire One 533 costs £255 exc VAT, that’s a little disappointing. The battery life is a huge strength and it has the latest Intel parts inside, but it’s still essentially the same as the pack, with a 250GB hard disk, 802.11n wireless and three USB ports. With the A-Listed Asus Eee PC 1001P just as capable with few compromises for around £70 less, the Acer can’t justify the extra outlay.

Author: David Bayon

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User comments

Great wee machine.

I've got the older version of this machine that I take on holidays and it's a cracking little runner. Not had a single problem and it picks up wireless networks at amazing ranges.

By CraigieDD on 1 Sep 2010

£300? where so?

I cannot find this for less than £351 - anywhere reputable that I would trust that is....

By arm45217 on 28 Oct 2010

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