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I wouldn’t say the Acer Aspire 1 is the best netbook and the best laptop, not by a country mile, but it does serve a niche purpose: budget and general use. What’s the basic functions a laptop can provide? Browsing, multimedia, maybe some light gaming, and perhaps some office work. In that regard, the Acer Aspire 1 has it all.
For those seeking a laptop that covers the most basic of functions, the Acer Aspire 1 has it in spades—just enough hardware underneath to handle browsing, streaming, and office software.
For $400, you aren’t getting much in the way of performance—just enough to handle day to day tasks, like emails, browsing, and low-resource software. The 2-core Intel Celeron N4000 inside simply isn’t capable of handling anymore than that, though it’ll handle 1920×1080 resolution well enough. And with its 14-inch display, its pixel count is spot on.
Battery life is a somewhat different story. It isn’t much compared to the HP Chromebook 14, but 6.5 hours still isn’t anything to scoff at. A few tweaks to your power settings will help preserve as much as possible.
Unfortunately, its 4GB of DDR4 is onboard, meaning you can’t upgrade it through natural means. On the bright side, you can expand the hard drive via its SD card slot, which you should because it only has 64GB.
You’ll likely find that you’re on the fence about build quality. Overall, it’s fine; the brushed metal finish looks good, but hides the real material used: plastic. There’s a bit of flex, but nothing immediately alarming. Who’d twist their laptop regularly, right? The HP Spectre X360 13 8th Gen, however, is all aluminum. Do you like laptops with frameless NanoEdge displays? Read our Asus vivobook 15 review.
On one hand, the Acer Aspire 1 could be a competent budget laptop, but only in the hands of a kid. It isn’t a powerhouse, but does well enough to provide entertainment, whether it’s streaming or playing titles like Roblox. If you’re looking for a more business related laptop, the Lenovo 300E has a better CPU and it has a 2-in-1 design.
I’m not trying to pick on the Acer Aspire 1 because in the right hands it can be a great device. The issue here is its aging hardware; it has enough for basic needs and nothing more, seen by its solid battery and Office 365 subscription. Good in the hands of a kid, not so much for an adult. If you are looking for a more powerful laptop, you can check out our Acer aspire 5 a515 review.