Acer Aspire One ZG5 (AOA110)

One of my new toys for 2012…

An Acer Aspire One ZG5… It’s actually not new since I bought it as a used Netbook from ebay.

Specs are as follows:

Intel Atom N270 (clocked at 1.6GHz, single core)
8.9inch screen (1024×600)
1GB RAM
8GB SSD

This unit was pre-installed with Linpus which looked like this.

Linpus on the Aspire One was good, it was snappy with a start-up of around 20-30 seconds, Apps such as OpenOffice and Firefox were also very usable.

The Acer Aspire One has 2 card readers, the one on the right is a multi card reader and the one on the left is for SD (SDHC) only.

When using Linpus, the right Memory Card reader works like a normal card reader BUT if you insert an SD Card on the left SD Card reader, the OS will ask you if you intend to use the inserted SD Card to expand your internal memory. After Selecting YES, you will notice that the internal memory of your Aspire One has increased.

However, after using it for a couple of days, you will feel that the Linpus OS installed is dated… This device was manufactured mid-2008 and I feel like updates for the Aspire One’s version of Linpus was NOT updated…

I can’t even install Skype and Chrome.

I have read a couple of information about the Aspire One and I have decided to change the OS, I always thought that the easiest thing to do was to install Windows XP (Professional).

Although my SSD will meet the minimum hardware requirements of XP I have decided to use nLite in order for me to save up precious SSD space.

XP sadly made my Aspire One run really really bad, it was really really slow. Maybe because of the slow SSD installed on the device. It was unusable and the biggest hassle is that you will need to install all drivers.

Since I do not want to install Windows 98 (or 95) I have decided to explore Linux. For a guy like me who uses XP for Work and Lion and Windows 7 at home, exploring Linux seems complicated since there are lots of choices available.

At first, I tried Puppy Linux as it’s suppose to run on my RAM and therefore the use of my very slow SSD will be minimized. Puppy Linux was ok, but my wifi was a hit and miss, there were times when I can figure out how to make it work and there are times when I can’t. I didn’t want to have a small notebook with a howto on connecting to a wifi network.

Second, I wanted to be a bit nationalistic so I tried Bayanihan Linux. Bayanihan was fun (at first) but again I cannot seem to make the wifi work. Presently, I am communicating with Bayanihan’s Support Team on how to make wifi work and hoefully I can post an update here soon.

Lastly, after additional reading, I installed Linux Mint. I was surprised that everything worked without the need for drivers.

I downloaded the CD version and after testing the live CD for a day, I have decided to click the install icon.

The Aspire One will need around 1 minute and 30 seconds to start and around 30 seconds to shut down. Firefox is the default browser but you can also install Opera, Chrome is also possible but you’ll have to do some research on how to install it using Terminal.

Software installer is also very easy to use, I have removed the apps that I do not need (like Thunderbird) and installed LibreOffice and Skype.

Only issue I have is that there seems to be some issue with my card readers. It can detect my SD Card if I boot it with the SD Card inserted.

Other than the SD Card issue, everything seems to work great! (I haven’t tested inserting a LAN Cable and the VGA out).

My experience with Linux Mint is so far so good, it covers all my needs for my Netbook. I cannot recommend running your Primary PC with this OS, my Netbook has a specific function at home which is too heavy for my iPad and too light for my iMac.

Here’s a short video I have created on how the Linux Mint runs with an Acer Aspire One ZG5.

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2 responses to “Acer Aspire One ZG5 (AOA110)”

  1. Gavino Balata says :

    Hello, I tried the same (recently) with my aspire one zg5. I installed Linux Mint Nadia. My only problem is the webcam. Does it work “out of the box”on your machine or you had to install /update drivers? And if you did, how did you do it? Thanks

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