I look at lots of netbooks as any frequent reader knows and most of them are all the same. Today I am going to be looking at the Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 netbook that packs in the new Atom N450 Pine Trail processor. The new processor doesn't really speed things up in the performance department, but it gives some very impressive battery life.
The netbook market has needed a machine with decent performance and battery life that didn't come in at a huge price. Some companies place a significant premium on netbooks that offer the latest processor tech to improve battery life, but that is not the case here.
If you are one of the many shoppers that have been on the lookout for a netbook with decent performance and very good battery life at a price that is affordable, today may be the day you want to buy. Check out the full review of the Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 for all the details.
Specifications, Availability, and Pricing
The Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 I am checking out today is one of many different versions of the same basic 532h netbook that is available. The specifications of my test machine are below, but if you prefer Windows XP to Windows 7 or want a slightly different configuration, there are 15 different 532h models available to meet most needs.
The Acer Aspire One 532h-2326
The lid of the netbook is a typical Acer fare with a glossy blue lid and no real bling.
Nothing to see on the rear of the netbook and this is the thickest part of the machine.
The left side of the Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 has two USB ports, VGA out, and the power port.
The front has a few LED indicator lights on the left corner to show what's going on with the machine at a glance.
The right side of the Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 has the memory card reader, RJ45 port, USB port, headphone and mic jacks, and a Kensington lock port.
The bottom of the netbook has cooling grates and removable covers over the RAM and hard drive areas.
The keyboard on the netbook is the chicklet style Acer prefers and is sized well.
The screen is the same glossy and glare prone screen that we see on all netbooks today.
Benchmarks - Battery Life, Audio and Video Encoding
I will be testing the Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 with my standard netbook test regime consisting of Battery Eater Pro, iTunes and Windows Media Encoder. The first test up is the battery test with Battery Eater Pro.
Battery Eater Pro
As always for this benchmark, I run the machine with all power saving settings turned off and the screen set to 50% brightness for the power saving mode test and the screen set to 100% brightness for the high performance test. The Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 turned in the second longest run time of any machine I have tested. Check out the chart below for the results.
Version and / or Patch Used: 220.127.116.11
Developer Homepage: http://www.apple.com
Product Homepage: http://www.apple.com/itunes
For the iTunes encoding test I take the Stone Temple Pilots Core CD in MP3 format and encode it to AAC format using iTunes and time the results with a stopwatch. The 532h was right in there with the average performance for the category. Check out the chart below for the results.
Windows Media Encoder
Version and / or Patch Used: 9
Developer Homepage: http://www.microsoft.com
Product Homepage: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/encoder/default.mspx
The final benchmark is my movie encoding test where I take the 1080p Magic of Flight video from Microsoft and turn it into a DVD quality video with CD quality sound. The 532h performed well for the category.
Now we are to the hands on portion of the Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 review. Acer has equipped the netbook with the new Intel Atom Pine Trail platform and despite the processor being one of the newest in the Atom line, it really offers no performance improvements over the older Atom processors. That fact may disappoint some people out there, but I think Intel is still not wanting to cannibalize its faster processor sales by producing netbooks with more performance.
The place where the new Pine Trail platform excels is in battery life. The Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 is only a few minutes behind the ASUS Eee 1101HA in battery life. The Eee netbook is the longest lasting netbook I have tested to date. What is even more impressive is that the Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 delivers good performance for a netbook and stellar battery life at a fantastic price. This is one of the cheapest netbooks on the market with some versions selling for as little as $299.
Acer didn't skimp on other features to hit the low price point either. The Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 has a good keyboard with the chicklet style that is popular in the market right now. The keys are well spaced, large, and all where they should be. Typing feel is great and the keyboard is easy to type on. I really like the track pad on the Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 too. It is the same color as the wrist rest around it, but has little bumps all over its surface providing excellent tactile feedback. The track pad is as accurate as you'd expect a track pad to be.
The screen is highly glossy with lots of glare, but offers good color reproduction. The lack of high-end graphics means you won't be watching HD video on the Acer Aspire One 532h-2326, but it works well enough for streaming YouTube or SD video with good color reproduction. The sound system is average for the netbook class with no bass to speak of, but enough volume for listening to movies and video without straining.
At the end of the day the Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 is not a netbook you buy if you want the fastest performing machine out there. The Acer Aspire One 532h-2326 is a machine to buy based on price since it is one of the cheaper netbooks available.
You also buy this netbook if what you are looking for is long battery life. I am very impressed to see such battery life in a netbook selling at such a bargain price. It's really hard to go wrong here if average performance is something you can live with, but long run time is your priority.
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