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Acer Ferrari 1100, One Large Disappointment 189

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the resounding-thud dept.
PC Magazine was finally able to get ahold of an Acer Ferrari 1100 to review, and the results are less than stellar. With complaints about the 12-inch screen that isn't even LED-back-lit, a large clunky design, and underwhelming performance, it seems that the only redeeming feature is the integrated, slot-loading DVD burner. "The Acer Ferrari 1100 would be more attractive if its price ($1,860) wasn't higher than that of the more aesthetically pleasing Apple MacBook Air ($1,799) or the ASUS U6S ($1,699). For those who passed on the first-edition Ferrari ultraportable because it lacked an optical drive, the 1100 now has one built in. But in a world consumed by miniaturization, it will have to shave off a bit of weight and improve its performance scores for it to compete with thoroughbreds like the Sony SZ791N, the Dell XPS M1330, and the Lenovo X61."
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Acer Ferrari 1100, One Large Disappointment

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  • 12" screen? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Loconut1389 (455297) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @05:00PM (#22611844)
    The last 12" screen I had was my Acer 486 notebook, and it was grayscale. Have they brought those back? And for $1,800+? No way! You can get half decent notebooks with 15.4" WXGA's for $800 these days, dvd burner to boot.
  • by OakLEE (91103) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @05:22PM (#22611976)
    Or a better question, why would Ferrari license their trademark out to be slapped on something that any reasonable person could tell is a piece of crap just by looking at it. Seriously who needs a VGA, and a PS/2 port [pcmag.com] on their laptop nowadays? What year is this, 1998? And for $1860? Unless you really need the dedicated video to play games on a 12" screen, I don't see much reason to buy this one.

    As for the case. Who needs carbon fiber on their laptop? Its use obviously didn't save any weight. The case weighs 4.4 lbs. You can also tell it uses cheap plastic that will discolor or crack easily. If I'm paying $1900 for a laptop, it better at least look and feel like a $1900 laptop (see a Lenovo Thinkpad or MacBook Pro). Ferrari has come a long way since the days when they were associated with flashy but brittle cars. I don't think it's in their best interest to rekindle that memory by putting their name on flashy yet brittle laptops.
  • by Loconut1389 (455297) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @05:26PM (#22612006)
    Lots of people like to dock at work and only use the (exceptionally small) screen on the road. Unless there's a dedicated all-in-one docking connector, VGA is important.
  • Jeez... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by yourexhalekiss (833943) <`moc.petspred' `ta' `preh'> on Saturday March 01, 2008 @05:31PM (#22612030) Homepage

    This laptop seems like a real loser. I had a different product with far better features way back this summer, for $600 less: the Dell XPS m1330. Slot-loading DVD burner, discrete graphics card, backlit LCD screen, etc. Dell even sells it w/ Linux. The only "bad" things about it in relation to this laptop is that it has a 13 inch screen instead of a 12", and it weighs about 3.8 pounds. (Still very light.)

    Battery life on it is great, too: 4 hours of normal "note-taking" use (I'm in school) with the 6 cell battery, and a full six hours of regular use with the nine cell.

    Frankly, I don't see why the slod-loading DVD burner is such a big deal: it's been done better and cheaper before.

  • Ferrari 4000 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KingJ (992358) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @05:51PM (#22612152) Homepage
    I own a Ferrari 4000 laptop, it's two years old and I still use it on a daily basis. I didn't buy it for it's branding, and I would rather not have the branding however at the time it was one of the few laptops with a real graphics card in it (no intel rubbish!). I want to be able to play games while not at home, anywhere. It's a very durable laptop that has survived many drops and the slot-load CD drive is an excellent idea - I don't know why more laptops don't have them. The only thing i've had to replace during it's intensive life is the hard drive, not exactly Acer's fault.

    Next time I buy a laptop, i'm looking at another Ferrari or a machine with a real graphics card at an affordable price. So far the only contender i've seen is Dell's Vostro, but I have a deep dislike of Dell due to previous experiences. I don't expect to be looking for another laptop for a while though while this one is still going strong.
  • by EdIII (1114411) * on Saturday March 01, 2008 @08:03PM (#22612810)
    They REALLY do miss your point at frightening frequencies. I NEED an ultraportable. Let me rephrase that. I fucking NEEEEED an ultraportable real fucking bad. Excuse my language :)

    I have had PDA phones for years, since it combined the 2 things I need most. 1) A Cell Phone, 2) An organizer and limited ability to run code and surf web pages.

    I recently canceled my data plan since I have been 4 different PDA models, and I have come to the inescapable conclusion that they all SUCK. The interface is not what I need, I cannot run everything I need from Windows Mobile 5, or 6. Windows Mobile is buggy as hell. Always has been. A PDA Phone just does not get the job done, and it has not gotten any better in 4 years.

    So your point is dead on. I need an ultraportable that has just enough specs to get my job done, while being able to fit into an pocket. I don't need to run Crysis on it, or even it have it replace all the abilities of my high end workstations. I just need to be able to have a full OS, like Windows XP Professional. That will allow me to run the exact same programs that I have developed on my workstations. I need this for work, not play. If I wanted to play remotely, I would use my PSP or DS.

    I don't need all the "raw power". I just need the ability to manage my networks, run some web pages, access some databases remotely. That's it.
  • Re:12" screen? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moosesocks (264553) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @11:44PM (#22613742) Homepage

    Who says you're getting less? You'd have to be extremely one-dimensional to make that claim. A 50% weight reduction might easily be worth more than a 15" screen. A loss of 3/4" in thickness could very well make sense for a slower CPU and fewer ports. If you don't need or want something, it doesn't have any value to you.


    Yes, and no. What if you don't have to make major compromises for the advantage of portability?

    Apple's last generation of PowerBooks were essentially identical across screen sizes. The 12" model had virtually all of the important features of the 15" model, and the 17" didn't add all that much of value (apart from the big screen). It was no surprise, that the 12" model was one of the most popular and highly-regarded machines that Apple ever produced. Fast processor (for the time it was produced), a full range of ports (2x Usb, Firewire, Display, Ethernet, Modem, Audio), DVD Burner, decent graphics processor, and literally everything else you'd expect to find in a high-end notebook.

    I own one such machine, and although the small screen does get annoying at times, the increased portability makes it 100% worthwhile. I've got a nice big screen at home, and at work that I can use if I need to, although a 12" screen is perfectly adequate for what you'd want to use a laptop for anyhow...... Serious photoshop work and marathon coding sessions do benefit from a big screen, although most tasks are perfectly fine on a smaller screen.

    Not that this is an advertisement for Apple in any way..... Their recent machines have been somewhat of a letdown. The MacBook made numerous sacrifices in the name of affordability, and actually *increased* the size of the machine (albeit in the name of re-scaling the screen to a more practical aspect ratio). The MacBook Air, on the other end of the spectrum, made far too many sacrifices in the name of portability, and also costs a bloody fortune given how crippled it is.

    Nobody needs a 15"+ 5+ pound laptop. The benefits of a small machine vastly outweigh those of a large one, and it's not all that difficult to build a full-featured machine into a small chassis without making too many compromises.
  • by OakLEE (91103) on Sunday March 02, 2008 @12:54AM (#22613950)
    I should have been clearer in saying DVI over VGA but you made my point, so thank you.

    My big gripe is that for $1900 bucks it should come with a DVI Input. Sure we're still in a VGA populated world now, but what about in 3-4 years when DVI projectors become the norm? You'll need an adapter then, and then your video output is going to look horribly inferior to native DVI outputs.

    Incidentally, for $2k I would expect a laptop to remain usable for 3-4 years, which is why I'm using that time frame. If its not going to last that long then why not buy a cheaper laptop now and upgrade in two years?
  • by Anpheus (908711) on Sunday March 02, 2008 @01:39AM (#22614106)
    Power consumption on modern hard drives has dropped over time, so if you switched the hard drive recently, you might be getting a benefit from improved efficiency or power management. On the other hand, if you had opted for the same hard disk when you bought your laptop, you might have noticed a more significant difference.
  • by Rob Simpson (533360) on Sunday March 02, 2008 @02:52AM (#22614290)
    I don't have any pockets big enough to carry the eee, anyway. The Samsung Q1 [umpcportal.com], while quite long, might be narrow enough to fit in a jacket pocket. There are some upcoming ones that might work, too... here [umpcportal.com] is a list.
  • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Sunday March 02, 2008 @05:59AM (#22614744)
    So a simple mechanical adaptor that goes between the cable and the notebook is unacceptable? For how long are notebooks supposed to support old standards? The VGA connector is becoming more and more rare with most people switching to flatscreen monitors and it takes up real estate that can be used to house additional ports (in fact, the MBP would have to either sacrifice the ExpressCard slot or change the entire hinge and become at least one centimeter taller in order to be able to house that port). I think having an adaptor that doesn't even consist of anything besides two conectors and wiring is quite reasonable, especially when you get it for free with every notebook.

    One could also lament that many notebooks don't directly support PS/2 mice. There is, however, a simple adaptor that is very robust and easy to use and doesn't require any special software. Everyone wins - the notebook manufacturers don't have to use real estate to support an old interface and the users can still use PS/2 mice if they want to. Unlike DVI-to-VGA adaptor, this one usually comes bundled with newer PS/2 mice because the mouse manufacturers have accepted that the PS/2 interface standard is mostly obsolete.

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