This is the fifth part of my netbook related tale telling the story of my travels through France with a netbook, and we are on the way back to England. If you missed reading “Travelling With My Netbook — Part 1”, “Part 2”, “Part 3” or “Part 4”, be sure to read those first!
So, I’ve spent a lovely two weeks in France sampling not only the French lifestyle but also seeing what living with a netbook (or more specifically the Acer Aspire One) is like on the road; but alas it is time to return home, say goodbye to France, and look at what we’ve learned.
But just before we left I had one treat left: a trip to Futuroscope. Many of you may not have heard of it, but it is essentially a theme park (situated near Poitiers) that instead of having hair raising rides and other kinetic based attractions, focuses on the art of ‘visual technology’.
Although fairly vague that is actually a fairly good description — the park offers a combination of IMAX, 3D, Augmented Reality and dynamic cinema (basically seats that move) based attractions which are not only fun, but interesting from a techies point of view; especially the neat use of water and lasers to create a childish but breathtaking evening show. The concept of a technology based theme park continues with the inclusion of ‘cyber avenue’ which houses various retro coin-op gaming machines, internet access (although irritatingly not WiFi) and a room packed full of Xbox 360’s.
Overall a great day out (and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone) but unfortunately we must return home, but it gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve discovered. Firstly we’ve found that in many way’s France is more encouraging to the netbook user; something reflected not only in the number of people using them but also in the amount of free WiFi available for general use.
But of course we’ve also had the chance to put the Acer Aspire One through its paces and been able to come to a conclusion as to what it’s like to use. And that is? In my humble opinion: awesome!
Yes, it is no angel and it definitely has its flaws but even they are easily forgotten or fixed: the delete key is occasionally painful (although I have started to do it less the more I use it) and it could really do with an efficient scroll section to the trackpad — and if you are struggling for battery life you could always purchase a six cell version like I’m going to.
But there are so many positives that put it right at the top of the netbook hierarchy: the cost (half that of many others), the beautiful looks, the well designed and proportioned keyboard, the ample memory and hard drive space and pretty much faultless screen all add together to make something that leaves you unsurprised that it’s the top selling netbook in Europe. And long may it remain there, for it is one of the few gadgets that I have actually come to love!