Acer Ferrari One: An AMD Ultraportableby Vivek Gowri on June 8, 2010 4:12 AM EST
In and Around the Acer Ferrari One
As mentioned, the Ferrari One is closely related to the Aspire 1410/1810T, sharing the same basic chassis and nearly identical dimensions. As such, it ends up being pretty familiar in feel, if not in look. The exterior is still glossy plastic and it still isn’t a paragon of industrial design, but in bright red with a Ferrari logo in the middle, you cannot deny that it’s eye-catching. I’d actually argue that compared to the carbon fibre-lidded Acer Ferrari models of years past, the Ferrari One is pretty ostentatious, almost to the point of being garish. However, it’s exactly a third the price of the last Ferrari ultraportable (the gorgeous but flawed and ultimately ill-fated Ferrari 1000 series), so I guess the cost savings had to come from somewhere.
The inside continues the glossy plastic, and shows its roots by following the AS1410’s “faux expensive material” theme. This time, its faux carbon fibre, which isn’t all that bad for a $600 computer, but obviously fake. I’ll take it over the piano black gloss from the Aspire One and the faux-brushed aluminum from the 1410, but I’d definitely prefer the real thing.
The keyboard is identical to the island-style keyboard on the 1410. The accent keys are now red (to keep up the Ferrari theme), and the F10 key has a “Ferrari” function. I thought it’d be something interesting, but it ended up being just a shortcut to the Ferrari website. Thanks guys! I can go to Ferrari.com on my own if I ever have the urge. The keyboard is mediocre; it has a lot of flex and feels kind of mushy in fast typing. My personal Aspire 1410 machine has a lot less flex, and a much better feeling keyboard overall. I’m going to put that down to unit-to-unit variation in a large product run, so YMMV as far as keyboard quality goes.
The touchpad is trapezoid shaped; it works as advertised, though the shape takes a bit of getting used to. It's also nowhere near as large as some other touchpads. It has a single touchpad "rocker" button, which is chrome and has the Ferrari One logo embossed in it.
The ports are nearly identical to the 1410, with one major change. We find the same three USB, VGA, headphone out, line in, Ethernet, Kensington lock, 1.3MP webcam, built-in mic, and memory card reader, but the much-loved HDMI port makes way for an XGP connector. A what? XGP is ATI’s external graphics solution, meant to be paired with Acer’s DynaVivid external graphics dock. Unfortunately, the DynaVivid has mostly been vaporware thus far, and that doesn’t look to be changing any time soon. The only other XGP accessory is the Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo GraphicBooster, which was never sold in the US and is basically off the European market as of now. This makes the XGP port, for the time being, useless. I’m not sure why Acer decided to dump the über-useful HDMI port for XGP, especially on a notebook with 1080p capabilities; even if the DynaVivid could be found, we're not sure anyone would really want an external HD 4670 GPU for this sort of system, as we'll see later that the CPU is already a pretty serious bottleneck for graphics.