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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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  • Pffft.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by canUbeleiveIT (787307) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @05:47PM (#22611782)
    it seems that the only redeeming feature is the integrated, slot-loading DVD burner.

    My cheapie Gateway has that. I'm just sayin'...
    • But is your cheapie Gateway an ultraportable? The point is that slot-loading DVD burners are a rarity among the UMPC crowd.
      • Most new models have them, or have the option.

        I find it rarer for a notebook the size (weight) of the mbAir not having a built-in drive.
  • 12" screen? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Loconut1389 (455297)
    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.
    • Re:12" screen? (Score:5, Informative)

      by SlashdotOgre (739181) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @06:49PM (#22612140) Journal
      You're missing the point, the people looking for an ultraportable notebook wouldn't even consider a model with a 15.4" screen, heck 13" is pushing it. While of course you could find a 15.4" model from Dell (or just about any other vendor) for under a grand, you can be gauranteed those things will weigh at least over 5lbs. The ultraportable notebook market targets people who carry a notebook with them all day and don't want something that will weigh them down or be cumbersome to open. What they want/need is something that you won't even notice you're carrying, that can be opened on a plane even when the jerk in front of you is fully reclined, something with enough battery to get you through your last sales call.

      I agree that $1800 is way too much to spend, but the fact of the matter is all the modern models that are under 3lbs cost around that range. Personally, when I needed a ultraportable, I bought a 2.6lb Portege 2000 for about $200 from eBay last year, and while it's by no means a powerful machine by today's standards, it has more than enough power for most people's ultraportable needs. It's a P3 750 w/ 256MB RAM, and it runs Fedora Core 6 with Fluxbox amazingly fast. The places I use this laptop, I wouldn't even consider bringing my 14.1" D610, and anything larger would be out of the question. At the same time, if I was doing CAD or art, or many other types of work, there'd be no point for a laptop this small or slow, and those larger models become really attractive.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @06:04PM (#22611868)

    The Ferrari series is the only one of Acer's laptop lines that favors design over price and performance.
    If I'm dropping $1800 on a laptop, I'm expecting design AND performance at the expense of affordability. For that kind of money, why not get a Mac? Sheesh! A fool and his money are some party.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by 68K (234318)
      'Some party'? The phrase you're looking for is 'a fool and his money are SOON PARTED.'
      • 'Some party'? The phrase you're looking for is 'a fool and his money are SOON PARTED.'
        The trick is to find the right fool when he's buying rounds. :)
    • by mdwh2 (535323)
      If I'm dropping $1800 on a laptop, I'm expecting design AND performance at the expense of affordability. For that kind of money, why not get a Mac?

      Or the Asus or Sony. Acer aren't the only maker of PC laptops.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm not dropping $1,800 on a laptop even if it performs oral sex whilst singing "Bohemian Rhapsody", balancing my checkbook, finding me a better job, changing diapers, and ensuring the tax thugs don't know about my dolphin smuggling.
    • by jandrese (485)
      $1800 really isn't all that much for a laptop. While the low end ones are reasonably cheap, once you get fancy the price shoots up amazingly fast. Even boring old Dell laptops [dell.com] get well over that.
  • Why in hell would one want to have a laptop that is branded after a car? I don't see the point... I wouldn't want to buy a Porsche, BMW, Mercedes or Audi branded laptop either.

    • by jo42 (227475) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @06:17PM (#22611948) Homepage
      ...sheepishly puts away his Ferrari coffee cup, Ferrari mouse pad, Ferrari poker cards and Mercedes Benz umbrella... :-p
    • by OakLEE (91103) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @06:22PM (#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.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Loconut1389 (455297)
        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.
        • by Jesus_666 (702802)
          Or you just do like Apple does and ship a DVI-to-VGA adapter.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mdwh2 (535323)
            But, but ... I'd rather have something that I can just plug straight in - that Just Works.
            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Jesus_666 (702802)
              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
              • by mdwh2 (535323)
                I don't think not having them is that much of a problem, but I don't see how it actually makes things worse ("a piece of crap" the OP said). I don't have VGA on my laptop which isn't a problem - but the fact that it does have a PS/2 slot also isn't a problem.

                And I was just parodying the way that whenever Macs have something done slightly simpler or as standard, even if you can do the same thing on a PC, the Mac's claimed to be better by chanting "It Just Works(TM)!" Strangely this doesn't apply when the sit
                • by Jesus_666 (702802)
                  If you mean the MacBook Air that's so simple you can't even use Ethernet and watch a DVD at the same time without using a USB hub - yes, that doesn't really work. But then again the MBA is an exec toy and the target demographic has no qualms paying top money for a device that's not really useful.

                  As for VGA ports: Having them can make things worse - like I said, the 15" MBP was designed to be relatively small and thus doesn't have much room for connectors. Every bit of space that desn't already house some
            • These days they got plug and pray, the added step for a close religion ;)
          • Oh, you mean that adapter/dongle that almost everybody that has a Macintosh laptop and needs to hook it up to a projector forgets to bring, completely wrecking the presentation or lecture they were supposed to give.
            • by Jesus_666 (702802)
              There's a nice invention called a pocket. My backpack has one; I tend to store stuff like adapters and the remote in there so I don't even have to remember bringing them. Bad preparation is not a neccessary requirement for being an Apple user; a basic sense of style and a smug feeling of superiority are the only ones.
      • by langelgjm (860756) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @06:48PM (#22612126) Journal

        Seriously who needs a VGA, and a PS/2 port on their laptop nowadays?

        Lots of people need VGA out to hook up to projectors. Also, that's not a PS/2 port. Judging by the pin configuration, I'm guessing it's an S-Video out or something, for attaching to TVs, etc.

        • Hey, the screen on my laptop would go out (laptop still running, just couldn't see the display). I was able to see it by plugging in a monitor to the VGA port.
        • Modern projectors use DVI. Older ones can be used via a DVI to VGA adaptor. Having a VGA port on a laptop seems archaic - my last two haven't had one and I give presentations fairly often.
        • by Splab (574204)
          Jup thats a S-VHS port.

          And to GP; having VGA out seems to be smarter than DVI, most projectors and screens that support DVI has a VGA input also, so going with VGA should target a broader audience.
          • by Briareos (21163) *

            having VGA out seems to be smarter than DVI, most projectors and screens that support DVI has a VGA input also, so going with VGA should target a broader audience.
            There's this thing called a DVI-I connector [wikipedia.org] that gives you both, so why cripple anything with an analog-out-only port these days?

            np: The Orb - DDD (Dirty Disco Dub) (The Dream)
        • by Anubis350 (772791)
          A $2 adapter turns the dvi port on my macbook pro into a vga port, and still gives me the digital when I need it. Not including digital on an 1800 dollar laptop is a bit ridiculous these days, particularly since we're starting to get projectors using digital inputs. I can use both on my laptop, this new acer certainly can't.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vux984 (928602)
        Seriously who needs a VGA, [...] port on their laptop nowadays?

        Most people?

        Connecting to large screens or projectors is a pretty common use for laptops.

        Sure from a technical standpoint, I'd prefer DVI, with adapters to VGA, but VGA is probably more convenient. Most projectors I encounter are still VGA, as are a lot of budget screens, and the expensive ones at least support VGA too.

        So for an ultra portable do I want the technically better DVI and the hassle of adapters everywhere I go... or just put up with
        • by hjf (703092)
          I really don't know why people like the GP care to post. They seem to think that when there's a new technology, the whole world just ditches all their old stuff and replaces it with whatever is new. Seriously... how many DVI projectors are out there? In my university, they're all VGA, and they work fine. No need to replace it with DVI just because it's new.

          Also, if it has a DVI out, you need to make sure it's a DVI-I output (good luck finding that by other than testing it), and you need to carry your adapto
          • Its easy to identify DVI-I vs DVI-D, the difference is quite apparent if your observant (oh, and have bothered to read a little about the technology)
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by OakLEE (91103)
          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
      • by Scooter (8281)

        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.

        Because - it pays. Ferrari will stick their label on any piece of crud going if it will make them a buck. I had a look round the "Ferrari Store" in Rome last week and was amazed at the tat on offer with a Ferrari badge on it. A cheapo Olympus compact digital camera for example - normally retails at £100, but produced in red with Ferrari badge - 895

      • i thought that's a S-Video port, not a PS/2 ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by FudRucker (866063)
      waiting for an Acer Volkswagen bug...
  • by cyofee (975070) on Saturday March 01, 2008 @06:17PM (#22611946) Homepage
    The people buying it will get everything they wanted - a laptop you can edit text and sufr the internet on, with a Ferrari logo.
  • Jeez... (Score:2, Interesting)

    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 ba

    • by Shemmie (909181)
      I'll second that. My M1330 is a couple of months old, and it's a beauty. 2 gig RAM, 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo, the 9 cell option (it runs and runs, even Bluetoothing to my phone for net access), Geforce 8400, LED back-lit, and 320 gig HD. I look at the specs on the Ferrari and cringe, to be honest. The only thing I could complain about with my laptop is that the black top attracts fingerprints and smudges like a finger-print magnet.

      When that's the biggest complaint, you know it's a good system.
  • Ferrari 4000 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KingJ (992358)
    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
    • I don't expect to be looking for another laptop for a while though while this one is still going strong.

      Good job. You just jinxed yourself.
    • by ivan256 (17499)
      I have a Ferrari 3400 that I bought for the same reason.

      Unfortunately, the backlight doesn't come on unless I use the driver supplied by Acer, and they haven't updated it since the subsequent model came out. So I have a decent graphics chip and crappy old drivers. Thanks Acer!

      (The machine is great otherwise; at least once the "car starting" noise is turned off at bootup... Durable, cool to the touch, slot loading, thin, light...)
    • by CompMD (522020)
      I have always liked Acer laptops, I had a Travelmate C303xmi convertible, and I miss it. At work we have Dell machines, and the senior engineer laptops we have now are Precision M90s. I'm not a huge Dell fan, but they are cheap and they do their job. I was actually impressed with the first M90 we got. It has a Quadro FX graphics card with dedicated memory which is fantastic for doing CAD work. Siemens NX and CATIA work flawlessly. I was happy to see that the M90 had three buttons on the trackpad as we
    • In fact you can still buy, heavily discounted, the 1000. (Mind you the supplier I went to is down to their last 5). I did, because both the alternatives in the price band only came with Vista and there was no guarantee that XP drivers were available for everything.

      As for the toughness or otherwise of Acer laptops, just as with the Mac it depends on the range. We still have a 4+ year old 1501 which has been so heavily abused that numerous keys have lost part of their labelling, yet everything still works and

  • in a couple of years you will be able to pick up used acer ferreris and the asus eeepc and other similar mini lappys for about 50 bucks in about any pawn shop...
  • by fartrader (323244)
    I blame it on Schumacher's retirement.
  • ...I've had experience with two Acer laptops, and in both cases I've been very disappointed. Certainly, they're very cheap, but you don't get anything more than you pay for. The build quality is very low -- hold up the laptop by one corner, and the whole thing flexes and creaks. Not a lot of thought has gone into important issues such as thermal and noise management, and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.

    As others have already remarked, it's unclear why a company with a strong brand like Ferrari would c

  • 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)


    Boy, that PC magazine is such a Mac fanboy site.
  • Horrible design (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Sunday March 02, 2008 @12:34AM (#22613724)
    I remain on the save side saying 90% Ferraris are designed gorgeously.

    Apart from the fact the Acer does not seem to convince on performance and sense, why in the name of god would Ferrari put its name on this ugly piece of junk?
    • Take a look at their clothing line and you'll start to see the pattern.
    • by mgblst (80109)
      Money!
    • by cojsl (694820)
      "Apart from the fact the Acer does not seem to convince on performance and sense, why in the name of god would Ferrari put its name on this ugly piece of junk?" As always, follow the money. Acer is a major sponsor of the Ferrari F1 effort, which no doubt aided in negotiating the right to use the Ferrari brand on laptops. No idea why this particular machine got the nod, I doubt that Ferrari has any say in what machine gets the label.
  • It's red! And goes... fast... it's sexy... and stuff. Isn't it?

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