Acer Ferrari One: An AMD Ultraportableby Vivek Gowri on June 8, 2010 4:12 AM EST
In and Around the Acer Ferrari One
As mentioned, the Ferrari One is closely related to the Aspire 1410/1810T, sharing the same basic chassis and nearly identical dimensions. As such, it ends up being pretty familiar in feel, if not in look. The exterior is still glossy plastic and it still isn’t a paragon of industrial design, but in bright red with a Ferrari logo in the middle, you cannot deny that it’s eye-catching. I’d actually argue that compared to the carbon fibre-lidded Acer Ferrari models of years past, the Ferrari One is pretty ostentatious, almost to the point of being garish. However, it’s exactly a third the price of the last Ferrari ultraportable (the gorgeous but flawed and ultimately ill-fated Ferrari 1000 series), so I guess the cost savings had to come from somewhere.
The inside continues the glossy plastic, and shows its roots by following the AS1410’s “faux expensive material” theme. This time, its faux carbon fibre, which isn’t all that bad for a $600 computer, but obviously fake. I’ll take it over the piano black gloss from the Aspire One and the faux-brushed aluminum from the 1410, but I’d definitely prefer the real thing.
The keyboard is identical to the island-style keyboard on the 1410. The accent keys are now red (to keep up the Ferrari theme), and the F10 key has a “Ferrari” function. I thought it’d be something interesting, but it ended up being just a shortcut to the Ferrari website. Thanks guys! I can go to Ferrari.com on my own if I ever have the urge. The keyboard is mediocre; it has a lot of flex and feels kind of mushy in fast typing. My personal Aspire 1410 machine has a lot less flex, and a much better feeling keyboard overall. I’m going to put that down to unit-to-unit variation in a large product run, so YMMV as far as keyboard quality goes.
The touchpad is trapezoid shaped; it works as advertised, though the shape takes a bit of getting used to. It's also nowhere near as large as some other touchpads. It has a single touchpad "rocker" button, which is chrome and has the Ferrari One logo embossed in it.
The ports are nearly identical to the 1410, with one major change. We find the same three USB, VGA, headphone out, line in, Ethernet, Kensington lock, 1.3MP webcam, built-in mic, and memory card reader, but the much-loved HDMI port makes way for an XGP connector. A what? XGP is ATI’s external graphics solution, meant to be paired with Acer’s DynaVivid external graphics dock. Unfortunately, the DynaVivid has mostly been vaporware thus far, and that doesn’t look to be changing any time soon. The only other XGP accessory is the Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo GraphicBooster, which was never sold in the US and is basically off the European market as of now. This makes the XGP port, for the time being, useless. I’m not sure why Acer decided to dump the über-useful HDMI port for XGP, especially on a notebook with 1080p capabilities; even if the DynaVivid could be found, we're not sure anyone would really want an external HD 4670 GPU for this sort of system, as we'll see later that the CPU is already a pretty serious bottleneck for graphics.
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taltamir - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - linkGlossy red plastic with a giant logo in the middle...
this is probably the ugliest looking laptop I have ever seen.
VivekGowri - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - linkI agree that it's a bit ostentatious, but I actually like how it looks. Maybe it's the Ferrari fan in me, but still. Compared to the regular version of this chassis (1410 and 1810T), the Ferrari definitely has a lot more character, and personally I prefer it (I say this as the owner of a black AS1410.)
Anubis - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - linkits no more ugly then t white plastic laptops with a glowing fruit on them
Souka - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - link+1 for Anubis :)
LoneWolf15 - Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - linkBashing Apple is like trying to teach a pig to sing.
It's a waste of your time, and only annoys the pig.
Plus, other people who see you doing it will wonder why you tried in the first place.
KaarlisK - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - linkI had never thought that AMD has no asymmetric dual channel capability... Intel can run different sized memory sticks in dual channel, up to a limit obviously.
And removing the HDMI port was really unwise.
But I like the looks :D
Could you pleease add Starcraft 2 to your tests? It very much is a game I would casually play on a laptop.
I sure hope that AMD's new 45nm platform has better power consumption :)
DJMiggy - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - linkSure they can. They just need to go into the future and swipe the game so they can test it.
therealnickdanger - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - linkI'm always looking for a tiny gaming platform and this particular model (w/4GB RAM) always sticks out as a candidate due to its dual-core CPU and decent 3200 IGP... but your review has swayed me. The last thing I want is hot and loud. I'm just going to stick with my original thought and wait for 12.1-and-under Arrandales. If I can get one with a low-end Optimus part for cheap, I'll be a very happy consumer!
classy - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - linkI usually look at the weight of these new laptops. 3.3 lbs is still heavy.
maniac5999 - Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - linkHmmm, I guess you have to review what you're sent, but the Ferrari One really looks like it's the overpriced turd of the Congo platform.
To quote your conclusion:
"At $449, the Ferrari One would be decent and would at least merit consideration over the 1410 due to the dual-core processor and increased graphics performance. At $499, the proposition gets more questionable, and at anything above that, the math just doesn't add up."
How about the MSi Wind U230? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8... Same size chassis, slightly bigger screen (12.1") and most importantly, a L335 processor, which runs at 1.6ghz, all for $490. add a 2nd 2gb of memory and you're good to go, or you could go for the Toshiba T115D, with a 1.5ghz x2 for $459.
Both of those are more powerful than the Acer (the U230 by a full 33%) and cheaper, and would probably be decent buys for someone looking to do casual gaming on the go. (WoW, SC2, etc. I even have BattleForge running pretty decently on my U230)