The Acer Aspire One 533 is a good-looking and robust netbook with a decent keyboard and excellent battery life.
Long battery life; great keyboard; beautiful design; excellent mobile credentials
Slightly disappointing display; small arrow keys
Intel Atom N475 (1.83GHz), 1GB RAM, 10.1in 1,024 x 600 LED backlit display, 250GB hard drive, 128MB Intel 3150 integrated graphics, Windows 7 Starter 32-bit, Ethernet, 802.11n, Bluetooth 3.0
Netbooks have been having a hard time since Apple sparked a consumer stampede for tablet devices, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers releasing new models.
It also doesn’t mean you’ll be buying redundant kit for mobile business needs, since netbooks still refresh parts tablets can’t reach; they are stripped down for practical functionality, are ultra-mobile and much easier to work on for long periods of time.
Acer might already be working on an Android-based tablet rumoured to be coming out next year, but it hasn’t given up on netbooks just yet. The company already has an extensive portfolio of budget to high-end netbooks, and its new Acer Aspire One 533 sits at the top end of its range.
Designed as a premium netbook, the Aspire One 533 is one of the first models to sport Intel’s Atom N475, which now supports DDR3. In theory this 1.83GHz processor should give the Aspire One 533 a boost, but it certainly doesn’t iron out all performance issues, and we still experienced slight lag when performing relatively simple actions such as switching apps.
At only 25.7mm thick (27.2mm at the rear) and weighing 1.25kg, the Acer One 533 is very mobile indeed. It’s built around a 10.1in screen with a native resolution of 1,024 x 600, and with little flex in the keyboard or display it feels more durable than most netbooks.
Acer has emblazoned the back of the lid with its One logo and given the touchpad and lid a nice gun-metal finish. If you don’t want black, you can choose from red or white. LED lights are kept to a minimum, and the screen is raised on a well-designed hinge that reminds us of Sony’s first ultra-mobile VAIOs.
While the design looks good, it is slightly marred by the need to accommodate a big detachable lithium battery. This also means there is no room for connections at the rear.
On the plus side, the big six-cell battery did give us an impressive eight hours and 12 minutes of life using Batter Eater Pro’s Reader test, while in the more intensive Classic test it managed four hours and three minutes.
With normal use, you can expect around five or six hours, which makes the Aspire One 533 a great contender for long-haul flights.