Small Computing

Acer Aspire One’s SSD really, REALLY slow?

It’s no secret that I’m pretty happy with my Acer Aspire One netbook, but I did note in the review that it has received some pretty low marks where the SSD is concerned. Because they opted for a cheap, slow SSD, it can cause some performance problems for those who are managing a lot of content. For me, using it as a writing platform, it’s a non-issue. That isn’t the case for everyone, though.

One user picked up the linux model and decided that linux wasn’t for him and went through the trouble of installing Windows. After what sounded like a rather inconvenient and worrying experience, he found Windows to be pretty unusable on the One. The culprit? That slow SSD everyone has reported.

After running some tests, it’s pretty clear just how slow the SSD is in this netbook. The interesting thing is that its read times are still pretty good, but its write times are abysmal. Seriously, look at the benchmarks they have and tell me you aren’t embarrassed for Acer. It’s one thing to cut corners, but did they find the absolute slowest, cheapest SSD available and then ask them to make it slower and cheaper and then said “We’ll take it”?

He goes on to say that if it wasn’t for the SSD, he’d actually like the netbook. In fact, he wishes he would have purchased the Windows version (which doesn’t cost much more) because it comes with a hard drive that isn’t neutered when it comes to writing speed, and would have obviously been the better platform since he wanted Windows anyway.

This is where his path and my path definitely diverge as I have no interest in having Windows on such a small device. The Windows netbook may have more storage and RAM, but it also has Windows and the read times associated with a HDD. While it may have taken seconds for him just to see anything happen in Windows, everything is very snappy in linux.

I know I don’t fall into the “standard user” category in any way possible, but I don’t think the One’s slow SSD is a deal breaker. I said it in the review, but if you’re not managing a lot of content and you don’t need a bunch of storage (or if you have a fast SDHC card), the One is perfectly fine. It can boot linux in 15 seconds and everything I need is available either on the front screen or with very minor tweaking to enable the installer. This isn’t high end hardcore linux hacking, it’s checking a box and right clicking.

Still, I understand the desire to have more storage and more memory (the One could really benefit from having more RAM in the linux model) so I completely understand his dissatisfaction.

← The review: Acer Aspire One (AOA110-1722) Netbook
How-to: Apple Aluminum Keyboard in Windows →