Acer 532h and Gateway LT2120u

After Acer acquired Gateway in 2007, they started releasing their products in sets of two, with a Gateway version of the most popular Acer models. The mainstream Aspire line became the Gateway NV, the thin and light Timelines became the EC series, and the Aspire One netbooks became the LT series. Today we have the newest model in the Aspire One family, the 532h, and its Gateway counterpart, the LT2120u.

The 532h is a complete redesign of the Aspire One platform, not sharing much with the preceding D150 beyond the screen and general dimensions/capabilities. Acer redesigned the chassis, giving it higher quality materials along with a vastly improved keyboard and touchpad. Combine this with the bump to Pineview, and we have a far more compelling netbook package than before, especially at similar price points to the D150.

The LT2120u is identical to the 532h under the skin, with the same specs, same features, and (roughly) same price. Given the identical port locations, it likely has the same motherboard as well. Why Acer sees fit to release two identical systems under different names is somewhat questionable; perhaps they are trying to cash in on Gateway's brand value (if such a thing exists in this day and age), but even ASUS puts a bit of differentiation between their numerous Eee PC models. It would have made more sense to make the Gateway a lower-end SKU and leave the Acer as a higher-end model instead of having two different SKUs for both models, but that's Acer's problem. For the moment, we have both the 532h and the LT2120u in for review, and it will be interesting to see how the designs differ and which is better.

Speaking of "differentiation", there are technically three variants of the Gateway LT21, each available in three colors (red, black, or white), making for nine different models. The $300 MSRP models come with a 160GB HDD and a 4400mAh battery; $330 models bump the HDD up to 250GB but keep the 4400mAh battery, while the model we have for review is the $350 MSRP unit with a 5600mAh battery (in soothing "glacier white" trim).

Acer has a whopping 22 different variants of the 532h. There are four potential differences: silver, red, and blue chassis; 4400mAh or 5600mAh batteries; and 160GB or 250GB HDDs. That's the same as the Gateway LT21, but added to mix are some models with Windows XP Home versus Windows 7 Starter, Bluetooth is available on some units, and some models come with a 2-year Acer warranty. (Note that not every combination is available, which would make for 96 variants.) Our test unit is the AO532h-2406 in eye-catching garnet red trim.

Acer Aspire One 532h Specifications
Processor Intel Atom N450
(1.66GHz + SMT, 45nm, 512KB L2, 533FSB, 5.5W)
Chipset Intel NM10
Memory 1x1024MB DDR2-667 @ 4-4-4-12 Timings
Graphics Integrated Intel GMA 3150
Display 10.1" LED Glossy 16:9 WSVGA (1024x600)
Hard Drive 2.5" 250GB 5400RPM 8MB (Toshiba MK2555GSX)
Networking Atheros AR8132 Fast Ethernet
Atheros AR5B95 802.11g WiFi
Audio Realtek AL269 2-Channel HD Audio
(2.0 Speakers with headphone/microphone jacks)
Battery 6-Cell, 10.8V, 5600mAh, 63Wh
Front Side None
Left Side 2 x USB 2.0
VGA
AC Power Connection
Right Side SD/MMC reader
Microphone/Headphone Jacks
1 x USB 2.0
Kensington Lock
100Mb Fast Ethernet
Back Side None
Operating System Windows 7 Starter
Dimensions 10.17" x 7.28" x 0.99" (WxDxH)
Weight 2.76 lbs (with 6-cell battery)
Extras 1.3MP Webcam
Available in Silver, Blue, and Red
Warranty 1-year standard Acer warranty (USA)
Price Garnet Red AO532h-2406 starting at $335

 

Gateway LT21 Specifications
Processor Intel Atom N450
(1.66GHz + SMT, 45nm, 512KB L2, 533FSB, 5.5W)
Chipset Intel NM10
Memory 1x1024MB DDR2-667 @ 4-4-4-12 Timings
Graphics Integrated Intel GMA 3150
Display 10.1" LED Glossy 16:9 WSVGA (1024x600)
Hard Drive 2.5" 250GB 5400RPM 8MB (Hitachi HTS545025B9A300)
Networking Atheros AR8132 Fast Ethernet
Atheros AR5B95 802.11g WiFi
Audio Realtek AL269 2-Channel HD Audio
(2.0 Speakers with headphone/microphone jacks)
Battery 6-Cell, 10.8V, 5600mAh, 63Wh
Front Side None
Left Side 2 x USB 2.0
VGA
AC Power Connection
Right Side SD/MMC reader
Microphone/Headphone Jacks
1 x USB 2.0
Kensington Lock
100Mb Fast Ethernet
Back Side None
Operating System Windows 7 Starter
Dimensions 10.17" x 7.28" x 0.99" (WxDxH)
Weight 2.76 lbs (with 6-cell battery)
Extras 1.3MP Webcam
Available in Black, Red, and White
Warranty 1-year standard Gateway warranty (USA)
Price Glacier White LT2120u starting at $339

As mentioned, both the Acer and the Gateway share identical specs, so here's the rundown (it'll be familiar to anyone that's looked for a new netbook): Atom N450/GMA 3150, 1GB DDR2-667 memory, 250GB 5400RPM hard drive, 10.1" LED-backlit WSVGA screen, 5600mAh 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Starter. The Acer is more readily available so it has a slightly lower price of $335, while the Gateway unit is only available from a few retailers and goes for $340. (Or there's the $299 version of the 532h that drops the HDD size down to 160GB and comes with a 4400mAh battery.) The $5 extra gets you a textured matte interior, though, which we actually prefer. In short, the two netbooks are pretty much identical to the Eee 1001P and every other Pine Trail netbook in the market.

Speaking of our current netbook favorite, the ASUS 1001p, the Acer and Gateway are priced similarly. With an MSRP of $349, it's the same as the Acer and Gateway MSRP, but we've found prices on the street falling to $300, which is excellent for an upper-level netbook class system. Most other places list the 1001p at $330, which is more in line with what we're used to seeing.

Design and Build
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  • Lonyo - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Is there any news on what Pinetrail can be used for?
    Are there going to be 11.6" / 1366x768 Pinetrail netbooks? Or indeed any 1280x720 10" netbooks with Pinetrail.

    All these 1024x600 screens are not particularly enticing, and it's higher resolutions which really give some appeal (plus 11.6" chassis mean a bigger keyboard, which is nice if you actually want to be productive, same for a higher resolution screen).
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Anandtech did a preview of a lenovo S10-3 with a 10" 1280x720 screen a few weeks ago. Unfortunately it's not available yet, nor is the 10" 1366x768 EEE 1005PR. Reply
  • Vivek (AnandTech) - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    There are a few 10"ers out there with 1366x768 screens. The Dell Mini 10 and HP Mini 210 have it as an option (combined with the Broadcom HD chip). All of the forthcoming Ion 2 netbooks have wxga screens as well, as does the Asus Eee 1201 update. Reply
  • jabber - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Yes okay okay they are netbooks but at least give us a little more screen depth! Reply
  • CSMR - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Very good review.
    But I disagree that higher brightness is better.
    In specific situations (outdoors in bright light) it can be useful, but normally LCDs are too bright and you can measure benefits to users from reducing brightness. See the Eizo guide to eye fatigue:
    http://www.eizo.com/global/products/flexscan/vdt/G...
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Sure, but a bright screen can always be turned down, while a dim screen is dim no matter what. Given that these are netbooks and not DTRs there is a decent chance they will be used outside, and a 120 nit screen might well be unusable there. Plus color accuracy is already bad here, so any drop from dropping screen brightness isn't a big deal. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    The labels in the relative battery life chart are all messed up. The number labeled HP Mini 311 should be the ASUS 1005PE, the one labeled Gateway 5409u should be labeled HP Mini 311, the one labeled Dell 11z should be the Gateway 5409u, the one labeled ASUS 1201N should be the Dell 11z, and the one labeled ASUS 1005PE should be the ASUS 1201N. Reply
  • Qubix1 - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Relative Battery Life chart needs a look:

    HP Mini 311 = 5.47 m/Whr (9.48)
    Asus 1001P = 9.48 m/Whr (9.42)
    Acer AO532h = 7.75 m/Whr (7.75)
    Gateway LT2120u = 7.48m/Whr (7.48)
    Acer 1810T = 7.47 m/Whr (7.45)
    Asus 1201N = 3.92 m/Whr (7.15)
    Dell Inspirion 11z = 7.11 m/Whr (6.89)
    Gateway EC5409u = 6.90 m/Whr (5.47)
    Asus 1005PE = 9.37 m/Whr (3.95)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Sorry... I updated the spreadsheet to list the battery capacity, and then copied/pasted the labels. I thought all of my tables were in the same order, but the relative chart was jumbled and so I screwed up the labels on most of the laptops. The chart is now correct. Reply
  • jaydee - Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - link

    Could we PLEASE see a review of an AMD-based netbook? Like the ASUS Eee PC 1201T-MU10? Should be better cpu, better graphics, bigger lcd, less battery life at a tad higher price. Anandtech even had a giveaway of a Lenovo x100e with the AMD MV-40 processor, but no review. How do these cpu's compare?!?!?

    Thanks!
    Reply

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