Acer Aspire 1410: Usability vs. Netbooks

So, what does the jump from netbook to “budget ultraportable” entail? We’ll get to the performance numbers in a minute, but for the moment, let’s just talk usability. There are a number of reasons the AS1410 is a far more useful and usable device than a netbook, but by far the most important factor is the screen.

Let me be straight with you, the 1410 has a pretty woeful LCD panel as far as quality goes. Inexpensive laptops have inexpensive LCDs. Color accuracy isn’t great, backlight bleed is noticeable in dark scenes, and the viewing angles are truly pitiful. But for all that, the little extra screen area and significant increase in real estate goes a long way in making up for the quality issues. Having 1366x768 means this behaves like most full-sized laptops out there. Windows 7 was designed for at least 768 vertical pixels, so you don’t feel like you’re being suffocated as you do on a netbook. None of the extra scrolling in system windows, a lot less scrolling in webpages and lists, and just overall much freer and less annoying to use.

Speaking of Windows 7, here we get Windows 7 Home Premium. Real Windows, not the cut down Starter edition nonsense they put on all the netbooks these days. The ability to change wallpapers is much appreciated. The bump from Starter to Home Premium is roughly a $30 upgrade.

The Core 2 Solo processor works well. In most basic tasks you don’t miss the second core; it’s really only in processor intensive or multithreaded apps that the lack of a dual-core processor is noticeable. It’ll handle anything you’d throw at a normal netbook and then some with ease. Just don’t try to push for HD Flash on it, because you actually do need the second core for that.

HD video playback through VLC or Media Player Classic works well, though some of the higher bitrate 1080p files can give you some frame drops. Outputting to an HDTV through HDMI works brilliantly, so the 1410 can serve as a mini HTPC in a pinch. Not that it’s ideal for that type of thing, but it can if you really want it to.

Honestly, in practice, it works like any full-sized laptop. The limitations of a single-core processor go away as soon as you start to use it and don’t rear their head often if you’re not pushing the system. The greatest part about all this is that the 1410 is so similar to netbooks in both form factor and price; a 0.3lb increase in weight and $50 is a small amount to sacrifice for such a drastic improvement in all-around usability and capability.

In and Around the Acer Aspire 1410 Acer Aspire 1410: Performance
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  • barich - Thursday, May 06, 2010 - link

    I have the 1410 with the dual-core Celeron SU2300. At $450, it's only $50 more than the reviewed single-core unit, and it's clocked at the same speed as the SU7300 in the 1810T. The only differentiating factor in the CPU is that it has less cache. I suspect that it performs much closer to the 1810T than the 1410 in this review. I don't think it can be beat for performance for the money considering the size. Reply
  • Roland00 - Thursday, May 06, 2010 - link

    Unfortunately the 1410 with the su2300 seem to have disapeared from the market. A quick google search shows only 5 places carry them new, 2 of them have it on backorder and the other 3 are small online stores I have never seen before and don't have much google ratings and thus I wouldn't trust.

    Now the 1410 with the su2300 is an awesome laptop. I have the blue version with 160gb hard drive. Got it for $349+8.25% sales tax a couple of months ago.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 06, 2010 - link

    Don't forget that the Gateway EC14 is pretty much the same thing as the Acer 1410:
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtool...

    SU2300 is a 1.2GHz chip, so SU4100/SU7300 as 100MHz faster and have 2x to 3x the L2 cache, but overall the SU2300 is an interesting option. When you could find those laptops for under $400, it was even more interesting.
    Reply
  • xeopherith - Friday, May 07, 2010 - link

    I just bought a nice little Asus 1201T because of this article. I was waiting for a netbook with a decent resolution and affordable price before buying. Newegg has them for 369 today. Reply
  • AkumaX - Saturday, May 08, 2010 - link

    its too bad AT didn't have this article when the AS1410 came out in oct/nov 09 with the SU2300 (celeron) part for around $400 (forget about the celeron 743...). the differences between the SU2300 and SU3500:

    SU2300 vs SU3500
    1.2ghz ---- 1.4ghz
    1MB L2 --- 3MB L2
    10w -------- 5.5w
    2 CPUs --- 1 CPU

    they're still both based on the Penryn arch.

    which one do you think's better ;)
    Reply
  • Probedude - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    I have the SU2300 version of this laptop. Since day one it will discharge the battery 5% per day when turned completely off. Tried everything, even sent it in for repair only to be told 'it's normal.'

    I see Acer just came out with a bios in the last couple of weeks that may fix the problem. 2 users have already said it has worked for them. I'm waiting until tomorrow to check mine.

    Anyways, if you too have battery drain problems with this laptop when off, update the bios and see if it fixes the problem for you.
    Reply

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