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Aspire 533 Notebook Review

Updated on December 13, 2010

Netbook for Traveling

I do a lot of traveling and I needed a better laptop that I could take with me. I had an old Pentium IV based laptop that was very heavy and bulky. I wanted something much lighter and smaller. I also wanted the latest in WiFi technology for getting online. I had no need for a CD or DVD player as I prefer to keep all my music and movies on a hard drive. I love to play games, and would certainly have preferred an Alienware M11X, but alas I had a low budget.

Sick and tired of carrying around my bulky old laptop, I finally sold it. Next, I went to a major computer store to get a new netbook. They had about 15 different ones available and I settled on an Aspire One 533. It was within my $300 dollar budget. I liked the way this one looked and it had some great specifications. Atom processor N475 running at 1.83 gigahertz, 250 gigabyte hard drive, a full gigabyte of DDR3 memory and a bright LED screen measuring at 10.1 inches.

I took this home and quickly fell in love with it. I hooked up an optical mouse and turned it on. Windows 7 took about 15 minutes to get running on the first boot up, but I expected that. I loved the bright screen and everything went smoothly connecting with my home wireless router after I entered the encryption codes. There was no problem joining my home network either. This netbook seemed to have good reception and it picked up a lot more WiFi signals than my last laptop. I had no problem getting on the internet. As for games, I copied a folder with Mcgee's Alice in Wonderland onto it, not expecting it to run on Windows 7 (it never ran on Vista for me), but it ran just fine. The computer had excellent frame rate with this game, which surprised me as it was just using an Intel graphics chip. I also tested Diablo 2 on it without any problems running in windowed mode.

Next, I transferred a lot of movies and TV episodes onto the laptop. The HD and Blue Ray quality downloads all ran smoothly with my Videolan player software. Later that week, while waiting outside in a line in sub-freezing weather, I used the netbook while waiting to watch movies without any trouble from the cold. The speakers weren't loud enough to go over the noise, and I had to use ear buds to hear the movie, the sound quality was excellent. I watched movies for a total of about five hours and I had about an hour left on the battery when I was done.

There were two performance glitches with this netbook. The first being that it can't play many Youtube videos in full screen mode without frame jerking. The second main problem seemed to be a sudden slowdown when I had more than 5 or 6 tabs open on my web browser. These were huge pages at a particular website with a lot of graphics. I suspect that the video chip had limited ram, limiting how many tabs I could have open before it slowed down.On the other hand to be fair, I often had a dozen tabs open at other sites with no problems.

Overall, I have been very happy with this netbook. The light weight has made my backpack traveling a lot easier. I had planned to stick a copy of Windows XP on it after playing with Windows 7 for a while, but so far I am satisfied with the way Windows 7 runs on this. My only complaint with Win 7 was that I couldn't change the screen background until I downloaded a program called StarterBackGroundChanger, which seemed to work fine without any problems or malware.


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