Acer Aspire One 533 review

Price when reviewed

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.


Warranty1 yr return to base International

Physical specifications

Dimensions259 x 187 x 27mm (WDH)
Travelling weight1.4kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Atom N475
Motherboard chipsetIntel NM10 Express
RAM capacity1.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total1

Screen and video

Screen size10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal1,024
Resolution screen vertical600
Resolution1024 x 600
Graphics chipsetIntel GMA 3150
Graphics card RAM256MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs0
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity219GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskWestern Digital Scorpio Blue
Optical disc technologyNone
Optical driveN/A
Battery capacity4,400mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speed100Mbits/sec
802.11a supportno
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)3
FireWire ports0
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
Speaker locationFront edge, base
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.3mp
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseyes

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use9hr 50min
Overall application benchmark score0.34
Office application benchmark score0.37
2D graphics application benchmark score0.36
Encoding application benchmark score0.33
Multitasking application benchmark score0.31

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Starter 32-bit
OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodBurn own recovery discs

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