Acer Ferrari One-200 review

£399
Price when reviewed

If you’re searching for proof that the netbook has become a fashion accessory as well as a mere computer, you need look no further than the Acer Ferrari One. With a lid coated in crimson and bearing the familiar logo of the Italian sports car manufacturer, this is one product that seems to put image before all else.

Other visual cues are taken from the world of motorsports too. Most of the plastic wristrest is clad in a pattern designed to resemble carbon fibre – even if it’s nothing of the sort – while a peek at the One’s undercarriage reveals four rubber feet shaped just like tyres.

But it’s not all style over substance. In fact, if you strip away the boy racer baubles, you’ll find this is one of the most interesting netbooks of the past few months.

The processor is the focus of this innovation: it’s an AMD Athlon X2 L310, the first chip we’ve seen from AMD’s new Vision platform, and the very first dual-core netbook processor. So while its core clock speed of 1.2GHz doesn’t look much, it ends up powering the Acer to the fastest benchmark score we’ve yet seen from a netbook.

Acer Ferrari One

The Ferrari One scored 0.48 in our benchmarks – that’s 9% quicker than the Samsung NC10 (0.44), which was the fastest netbook we’d seen before the AMD-powered Acer arrived.

It’s marginally quicker than its A List competition too, with the Samsung N110 scoring 0.41 and the 12in Samsung NC20 achieving 0.40. And if the margin of difference doesn’t sound that impressive, the fact that it did so while running Windows 7 (slower in our benchmarks than XP) should make anyone sit up and take notice.

The inclusion of ATI’s integrated Radeon HD 3200-series graphics chip is another novel addition, and it lends the Ferrari a modicum of gaming performance. It can’t handle demanding titles such as Crysis – a frame rate of 14fps (with all the settings turned down and at 1,024 x 768) isn’t quite playable – but it will manage less intensive games such as Trackmania Nations Forever much better than the less-powerful Intel GMA 500 or 950 chips you get in most other netbooks.

More important, perhaps, is that it’s able to decode HD video without breaking much of a sweat: even 1080p video clips were handled smoothly when played in Media Player Classic’s Home Cinema Edition – a media player that supports hardware acceleration. And although the Acer wasn’t quite as proficient with streaming video – it couldn’t handle the BBC iPlayer’s high-definition programmes – it played back YouTube HD content without any fuss.

Warranty

Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions285 x 205 x 24mm (WDH)
Weight1.400kg
Travelling weight1.5kg
Weight with extended batteryN/A
Travelling weight with extended batteryN/A

Processor and memory

ProcessorAMD Athlon X2 L310
Motherboard chipsetAMD M780G
RAM capacity2.00GB
Memory typeDDR2
SODIMM sockets free1
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size11.6in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetATI Radeon HD 3200
Graphics card RAM256MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs0
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0

Drives

Capacity250GB
Hard disk usable capacity232GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA
Optical disc technologyN/A
Optical driveN/A
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0

Networking

Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportno
802.11b supportno
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportno
Integrated 3G adapterno

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
Modemno
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)3
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks2
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readeryes
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio
Speaker locationBase
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.3mp
TPMno
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use4hr 46min
Battery life, heavy use1hr 56min
Overall application benchmark score0.48
Office application benchmark score0.42
2D graphics application benchmark score0.59
Encoding application benchmark score0.49
Multitasking application benchmark score0.44
3D performance (crysis) low settings14fps
3D performance settingLow

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS familyWindows 7

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