Acer Ferrari One 200 netbook review

Are most netbooks too dull for you? Want to attract some attention? Like cars? Then the Acer Ferrari One could be for you.

The larger dimensions at least mean that there's plenty of space for the keyboard and Acer has made the most of it with large keys and a comfortable action and some travel. The arrow keys at the bottom right are still a little cramped, but the backspace, Enter and Shift keys are all sensibly sized.

Connectivity is handled by three USB ports, two on the right and one on the left. On the right you'll also find headphone and microphone sockets, a Kensington port socket and an SD card slot.

On the left, there's a rather unfamiliar looking port. This is in fact an XGP port and is actually designed to plug into an external graphics system, designed to give you more grunt than you could otherwise get from the integrated ATI Radeon 3200 chip. The idea is that you get the benefits of a small machine when you're out and about, but when you're back at base you can plug in for additional power for graphics or entertainment purposes.

Ferrari One open

It's an interesting idea, but we're not convinced that users will embrace it and it very much depends on the price and relative performance of the external XGP boxes.

With that in mind, being hamstrung by a VGA port is a shame. Users who have gone to the lengths of buying external graphics would surely want a high quality digital connection to an external monitor too?

As for processing power, the Acer does live up to its Ferrari branding as it features the first of AMD Vision-based chips in the guise of a dual-core Athlon X2 L310. This only clocks at 1.2GHz, but in our tests still manages to become the fastest netbook we've ever tested coming in at 0.48, besting the previous best - a Samsung NC10 (0.44) - by nine per cent.

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