Ferrari Notebook Goes Ultra-mobile
If one day you wake up to find Jakarta’s Ciliwung River filled with crystal clear water, its sky crowded with chirping birds and Intel amicably merges with AMD, that will be the day you can call Acer Ferrari One F200 a “netbook”.
As things stand today, that is not allowable. The term “netbook”, as I have mentioned in my previous articles, is not agnostic. It can only be used to refer to an ultra-mobile, internet-centric computing device that runs on an Intel Atom processor. But that does not matter, actually. The Ferrari One has some other things that exceed a typical netbook.
Acer, by the way, has been launching several great products lately. Among others, I have seen a 14” Acer Aspire Timeline, the bigger brother of the Intel ULV Core 2 Solo — based, 13.3-inch Timeline that fell into my list of favorites.
And then there is the Ferrari One as well as the updated Aspire one netbook that now comes with Microsoft Windows 7 Starter version. And do not forget the Gateways. Acer acquired Gateway two years ago, and if you step into one of the Gateway stores you will see a couple of new models as well.
Driving fast: This smaller Ferrari is still a beauty that is solidly built. Courtesy of Acer Indonesia
Courtesy of Acer Indonesia, I had the opportunity to play around with both the Ferrari One and the new Aspire one. In fact, I was told that I was the first to review both products. I believe it, as both are still full with clear plastic covers.
Now, let us have a look at the Ferrari One first. The unmistakable Ferrari emblem is found both outside and inside the notebook, so anyone who sees it will know it is not just an ordinary notebook. The top cover of the demo unit I got had the glossy, red Ferrari color.
The keyboard, the screen bezel and everything else is black. The touchpad is multi-gesture, so we can use two fingers to rotate an image, for example. Like all the other Acer notebooks, it has the Crystal Eye Webcam. Conforming to its characteristics as an ultra mobile notebook, it comes with an 11.6-inch LCD screen. I wonder why Acer does not make the screen rims smaller and use the 12-inch that Dell Mini 12 used.
On closer examination, we will find that the Ferrari One has Dolby Home Theatre with Virtual Surround Sound to provide us with a nicer audio. When I tested it, the sound was deeper than most of the netbooks I have come across.
Right in the core of the notebook is an AMD Athlon X2 L310 processor running at 1.2 GHz. Together with AMD’s M780G chipset, which constitutes a platform called Congo.
“It is specially designed to cut the thickness of a notebook,” Astrid Warsito, Marketing Communications, Acer Indonesia, told me. For the graphics, Acer puts in ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200.
Incidentally, why does Acer use AMD for this notebook? Because AMD has been one of Ferrari’s sponsors in Formula One races.
Acer also throws in 2 GB of RAM, which is twice the standard for a netbook. The hard disk capacity is 320 GB. That is a huge one for an ultra-mobile computer.
And why sell a netbook-class Ferrari notebook, you may ask Acer. Well, the computer maker has had so much success with their Aspire one netbooks that it should not be a surprise they wanted to expand their selection of ultra-mobile computers.
What did I find out during my brief encounter with the Ferrari One F200? The keyboard gets mildly warm after a while, despite the grill on the left side to let heat out. The keyboard travel is a bit short especially if you are accustomed to a clicking desktop keyboard.
On the other hand, the buttons are large and easy to type on. Next, unlike Aspire Timeline and a growing number of late-model notebooks, there is no button to disable the touchpad to prevent unintentional cursor movement as our palm accidentally touches the pad.
Except for these minor shortcomings, I should say that this notebook has an impressively solid build.
The casing, the hinge and the screen cover all feel very sturdy.
It has three USB ports two video out ports. With a six-cell battery, you can stay away from the wall outlet for almost three hours.
And, the most important thing is that Ferrari One really makes Windows 7 Home Premium vroom. The price is around US$799. Undoubtedly it is on the high side, but keep in mind it is a Ferrari. It is not just an ordinary netbook.
And now let us look briefly into the other product that I was loaned at the same time. It was the new, Intel Atom N280-based Aspire one with Windows 7 Starter version.
The processor’s clock speed is 1.66 GHz, and the hard disk size is 220 GB. Like most netbooks, it comes only with 1 GB of RAM.
The Crystal Eye Webcam is optimized for video chatting in a low-light condition.
At least two things are the same between the two. Like the Ferrari One, the netbook is also very well built. You will feel it the moment you lift it. Secondly, Windows 7 glides relatively smoothly on both of them — even on the 1 MB RAM netbook. We can now bid farewell to Windows Vista.
If you need a netbook with Windows 7 right away, check out this model. If keeping up your image is important to you then go for the Ferrari One F200. With either one, you will get very decent computers for the road.
In a couple of weeks, we will have the opportunity to play with a Gateway desktop monster that incorporates the new Intel Core i7 processor. I am already looking forward to driving the monster, although I still cannot figure out what I need so much power for.