Acer Brings Atom N450 CPU To $300 Aspire One AO532h Netbook

When we recently wrote up our "Best Of 2009" awards, we knew that those netbook recommendations wouldn't last long. We didn't have any idea they'd only last a few days, though. We had a feeling that the netbook arena would get a lot more interesting in 2010 compared to 2009, and sure enough, Acer is proving that notion right with its first major netbook upgrade in a long, long time.

The Aspire One AO532h netbook is a huge step over prior versions thanks to the Intel Atom N450 processor within, which is the first from the company to ship with a Pineview CPU. We suspect that quite a few other netbook makers will introduce netbooks of their own based around the new Pine Trail platform at CES, but this is one of the first we've seen to be officially announced.

Other specifications include a 10-hour battery, Wi-Fi, a 10.1" LED-backlit panel, a multi-gesture touchpad and a chassis that measures just 1" thin and weighs around 2.5lbs. The goal here is to provide the performance of a lower-end, yet full-size, notebook, all while in the shape and form of a netbook. Early reviews of Pineview haven't been as impressive as some expected, but there's no doubt that it'll be more potent than the 1.6GHz N270 that has shipped in so many netbooks last year.

We're guessing that the multimedia performance will still be somewhat lacking, however, given the omission of NVIDIA's Ion, but at least Windows 7 should make things relatively snappy. Too bad it's the Starter Edition, but considering that it'll be available later this month in the US for just $299.99 (in blue, red or silver), we guess that's a fair amount of computer to get for the cost.

The Acer® Aspire One AO532h netbook will be available for U.S. customers at leading retailers this month. A sample configuration follows.

Acer Aspire One AO532h
Intel® Atom™ Processor N450 (1.66GHz, 512KB L2 cache, 667MHz FSB)
10.1? WSVGA Acer CrystalBrite™ LED-backlit Display
Mobile Intel® NM10 Express Chipset
Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 3150
1024MB DDR2 667MHz Memory
160GB(2) 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Multi-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader
Acer InviLink™ Nplify™ 802.11b/g/Draft-N Wi-Fi CERTIFIED®
10/100 Fast Ethernet LAN (RJ-45)
Built-in Webcam
Two Built-in Stereo Speakers
Multi-Gesture Touchpad
3 – USB 2.0 Ports
6-cell Li-ion Battery (4400 mAh)
2.76 lbs. | 1.25 kg
10.17” (W) x7.28” (D) x .99” (H)
Windows® 7 Starter
Three stylish colors: Onyx Blue, Garnet Red and Silver Matrix.
MSRP: $299.99