The Acer Ferrari 1000 is the fifth incarnation of the Acer Ferrari line. The Ferrari line was brought as a joint effort between Acer and AMD. The Ferrari part comes into play as both Acer and AMD are sponsors of the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 racing team. First impressions of the Acer Ferrari 1000 notebook brought about an impulsive need to purchase. This notebook sets itself apart from the crowd with performance and styling which will get it noticed on your trip to the local coffee house or anywhere for that matter. The Acer Ferrari 1000 is typically categorized as an ultra-compact notebook being that it is only a 12.1 inch notebook. This was one of the primary reasons that this reviewer had for purchasing the Acer Ferrari 1000. At the time this reviewer was looking for a notebook the primary concerns were small, lightweight and the ability to support 4GB or memory. The Acer Ferrari 1000 met all these needs and even delivered more. However, the Ferrari 1000 did not come cheap at an MSRP $1999.
The Ferrari 1000 was the first Ferrari to feature a 12.1 inch chassis, where previous generations were either a 15 or 15.4 inch chassis. Acer meticulously was able to engineer all the style, performance, and quality of the Ferrari line into a small 12.1 inch chassis. Furthermore, they just about got it right on the first try.
- Brand Acer
- Model Ferrari 1000
- Processor AMD Turion X2 TL-60 – Dual Core 2Gz, 1MB L2 cache (512KB per core)
- Video Card Integrated ATI Express 1150 with Shared Memory up to 256MB
- Display 12.1 inch 1280x800 resolution (WXGA) (16:10 aspect)
- Chipset ATI Express 1150 (ATI RS485M + ATI SB460)
- Memory 4GB DDR2 PC2-6400 800 MHz Memory
- Disk Storage 500GB 5400RPM SATA hard drive
- Audio 2 speakers
- Media Bay 5-in-1 card reader (SD, MS, MS Pro, MMC, xD)
- Battery 2 Batteries included – 3-Cell 2000mAh & 6-Cell 5200mAh
- Weight 3.7 lbs
What’s in the Box
The accessories included with the Ferrari are numerous and Acer did not leave out much. The fit and finish of the unit, as well as the accessories is top notch. Everything appears to be made with quality materials and Acer took the time to make sure all accessories share the common Ferrari theme.
- 1x Acer Ferrari 1000
- 1x 6 cell battery
- 1x 3 cell battery
- 1x 3 pin power cord
- 1x 65W AC adapter (19V 3.42A)
- 1x Bluetooth matching Ferrari Mouse
- 1x PCMCIA Bluetooth VOIP card
- 1x External 1394a (6 pin firewire) Slim Slot-Loading SuperMulti Drive
- 1x 6 pin firewire cable with ferrite core
- 1x RJ11 modem cable
- 1x Faux Leather notebook case
- 1x Faux Leather optical drive case
- 1x Faux Leather mouse case
- 1x Faux Leather BT VOIP PCMCIA case.
- 1x Microfiber cleaning cloth with Acer logo
- 1x Gloss Black plastic carrying case for the cleaning cloth.
- Assorted Acer User Guides, Manuals, and Warranty information
Design wise this notebook is downright sexy and a real head turner. The Acer Ferrari 1000 differs from previous Ferrari models. Gone is the flashy red and silver chassis of the previous Ferraris. Instead Acer opted to go high tech yet still remain quite fashionable in the design. The chassis of the unit is flat black with bright red accents along the edge of the LCD. The back of the LCD is covered in a gloss Carbon Fiber weave. No vinyl stickers or covers here, this Carbon Fiber is the real deal. The Carbon Fiber sets this laptop apart from the rest of the normal crowd at Starbucks. In the center of the Carbon Fiber panel is a raised Scuderia Ferrari logo complete with the classic Ferrari Prancing Stallion which further draws attention from onlookers.
The 12.1 inch CCFL backlit LCD is of the glossy nature which Acer refers to as CrystalBrite. The CrystalBrite display enhances colors and contrast and allows this screen to be seen even in daylight situations. The resolution is limited to 1280x800; however this appears to be the almost perfect resolution for a smaller display. The panel for this particular model boasts a high-brightness 200-nit display making this a nice bright panel perfect for any lighting condition and the viewing angles are equally impressive for such a small display.
The keyboard is typical of most laptops, smaller keys, tighter spacing, and fewer keys. The keyboard includes 85 keys which cover most tasks; however you won’t find a 10-key pad on this unit. Acer opted to provide some very useful function keys in addition to the launch manger keys located to the top right of the keyboard. The chart below lists all the combinations, however the ability to disable your touchpad, change monitor outputs, and alter volume and screen brightness are by far the most used options.
The touchpad on this unit is far from just functional. Acer designed the touchpad buttons after Ferrari pedals. The touchpad buttons are constructed of powder coated brushed anodized aluminum which not only are functional, but add to the overall Ferrari theme of the notebook. Acer even went so far as to imprint a relief into the touchpad that says “Ferrari 1000” to let you and others know this isn’t just a plain-Jane notebook.
The Synaptic touchpad features all the usual bells and whistles. Regular touchpad operation as well as horizontal and vertical scrolling, virtual scrolling, tap zones, tap and drag and all the other standard options are available for use. The touchpad is molded into the case of the unit and this I find is very nice as there is never any place for dust and debris to collect around the touchpad.
The Acer Ferrari 1000 features the AMD Turion line of S1 or Socket 638 processors. Paired with the ATI (now owned by AMD) Express 1150 chipset the Ferrari 1000 delivers a complete Intel free laptop. You will also find Broadcom Bluetooth and wireless chips, and Texas Instruments card reader and cardbus controllers. The Ferrari line is considered a premium notebook that Acer offers. The Ferrari 1000 offers a plethora of ports, connections, options and even a docking connector which are typically only found on business class machines. The Acer Easydock adds additional USB, Firewire, VGA, DVI, Express card and Cardbus slots, Ethernet, modem, and audio connections. The Acer Easydock is fully hot swappable and will even power and charge the Ferrari 1000 when connected.
While not exactly multimedia keys, the Acer Ferrari 1000 does sport what Acer calls the Launch manager keys. There are programmable quick launch buttons that Acer provided on many laptops. In the case of the Ferrari there light up and are colored red and white and resemble the instrument cluster of the notebooks namesake. There are the email button, WWW or browser button, Acer Empowering Technology button, and the P button which stands for programmable. The button can be assigned to launch whatever application you desire, however this reviewer has not found them useful and instead favors mouse gestures.
The Acer Ferrari 1000 has the usual assortment of indicator lights. Along the front of the unit you will find a dual color power light (green=on, orange=sleep). Also included is a Bluetooth indicator that is actually blue. The wireless indicator is next which blinks orange during activity. Lastly there is the dual color battery indicator which is orange for charging/discharging and green for fully charged. Near the Launch Manager keys you will find your caps lock, num lock and HDD indicator LED’s.
The Acer Ferrari 1000 is a connectivity giant despite its diminutive size. Acer included not only Gigabit Ethernet, but draft-N wireless as well. Both the wired and wireless duties are handled by Broadcom chips and you won’t find any Intel chips in the unit either. Remember, AMD and ATI are the main players here. The wireless performance of the Acer Ferrari 1000 is superb and compatibility issues where almost non-existent. The wireless N card is based on the Broadcom 4321 chip. It provides Draft-N at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and delivers excellent performance. When connecting to a Buffalo WZR2-G300N router the wireless connected at 270Mbps which is not the full 300Mbps that wireless N promises, but close enough. One thing to also note is that this wireless card can perform at these speeds with only 2 antennas, where most draft N cards will need 3 antennas to achieve these speeds. Connecting to local hotspots was just as easy and even wireless G speeds are excellent. The wireless has since been upgraded, but only based on personal preference.
Speakers are small, however their output is decent. I have had multiple laptops and this reviewer has rarely been impressed by laptop speakers. However, Acer includes 2 speakers for stereo audio all via a Realtek HD Audio codec. The most impressive aspect of the audio options of this notebook is that Acer saw fit to include a headphone jack that is capable of SPDIF out as well as normal analog out. The inclusion of SPDIF is a bonus if you ever want to hook this up to a home receiver. Also included along the front of the notebook in addition to the headphone jack is a microphone input and line in jack.
Input and Output Ports
The Ferrari 1000 does not fail when it comes to any type of connectivity. The Ferrari features 3 high speed USB ports, 1 6-pin 400Mbps Firewire port, 1 Gigabit Ethernet port, 1 56K modem port, VGA port, Microphone input, Line in jack, and headphone out. It also features Infrared, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR courtesy of the Broadcom 2045 Bluetooth module. Bluetooth connectivity is good, and A2DP streaming is available even at distances of 20+ feet.
The front to the Ferrari 1000 keeps the design cues of the rest of the chassis. Along the front of the unit you will see the front audio jacks, along with the IR window. In addition, there are convenient switches that will quickly disable/enable the Bluetooth as well as the wireless. The speaker grills are also located on the front, and provide adequate volume during use. The only bothersome issue is there is a small lip along the top, and that may interfere with some headphones if the plastic around the plug is too thick. However, this has only occurred once for this reviewer. The LED indicators are also visible front the front and provide the user with relevant information at a glance.
Acer includes a webcam with the Acer Ferrari 1000, or in this case an Orbicam. Really this is just a webcam that can rotate 180 degrees so instead of the camera facing you; the camera can be turned around to see people behind your laptop. The Orbicam is quite nice as it is a 1.3 Megapixel device and it turns out is a rebranded Logitech camera completes with rebranded Logitech software. The software included is probably the best software this reviewer has seen for an integrated webcam. The software has facial tracking, and even allows you to overlay a cartoon character avatar over the image. You may have seen this before on Youtube or Myspace of the pencil drawn cartoon character or a dinosaur, well this is how it was done. Other than that, it is pretty standard for an integrated webcam. Video capture is choppy; pictures are ok but nothing to write home about. Advanced options are available such as color boost, zoom, and contrast to those that would like to change them.
The right side of the Ferrari 1000 features 2 USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 56K modem, and a VGA connection for external monitors. The spacing between USB ports are very ample and even allow large USB devices to plug in without taking up both ports.
The left side of the Ferrari 1000 features a Kensington lock, as well as the very stylish slanted exhaust vents. The vent is large and takes up just about half of the left side, but is well placed towards the rear. Also on the left side is a fully fledged bus powered 6-pin firewire port. This is used for the external drive and does not require any additional power cables for the optical drive. The port also provided enough power to run a 2.5 inch HDD enclosure without additional power which is quite a bonus. A lone USB port which is next to the Card bus slot rounds out the left side. Although this reviewer wishes it could have been an Express Card slot, the slot still finds use even in this day. The slot currently houses a flush fit SATA controller which provided 1 E-SATA and 1 SATA port.
The rear of the unit is dominated by the battery which is either flush fit when running the 3-cell battery or the battery will protrude if sporting the 6-cell battery. However, the rear does contain an Acer Easy Dock connector as well as the DC jack.
The bottom of the Ferrari features a Hard Drive access panel, and also the Memory and Mini Card access panel. This particular Ferrari has been custom modified to take advantage of both Mini Card connectors, where the normal Ferrari will only include 1 Mini Card slot. The memory slots will hold up to 4GB of memory (2x2GB) with a maximum frequency of 800 MHz. The Ferrari 1000 will typically only come with 2GB of memory however this particular Ferrari now sports upgraded memory which was very easily upgraded. The bottom also features plenty of rubber feet to elevate the Ferrari and provide adequate airflow. The battery latch and lock can be seen, and the lock does a good job of securing either battery. As with all officially branded Ferrari products, Acer made sure to include the Ferrari sticker which certifies that Ferrari has allowed their name to be placed on such a fine product.
CPU Benchmark Results
* Aggregate Arithmetic Performance : 12.25GOPS
* Dhrystone ALU : 12.53GIPS
* Whetstone iSSE3 : 12GFLOPS
Windows Experience Index
Current Processor(s) : 4.8
Performance vs. Speed
* Aggregate Arithmetic Performance : 6.12MOPS/MHz
* Dhrystone ALU : 6.27MIPS/MHz
* Whetstone iSSE3 : 5.98MFLOPS/MHz
Memory Benchmark Results
* Aggregate Memory Performance : 5.36GB/s
* Int Buff'd iSSE2 Memory Bandwidth : 5.35GB/s
* Float Buff'd iSSE2 Memory Bandwidth : 5.37GB/s
Windows Experience Index
Current Chipset/Memory : 5.9
Performance vs. Speed
* Aggregate Memory Performance : 6.86MB/s/MHz
* Int Buff'd iSSE2 Memory Bandwidth : 6.85MB/s/MHz
* Float Buff'd iSSE2 Memory Bandwidth : 6.88MB/s/MHz
Default Settings: 5819
Size and Weight
The size and weight of the Ferrari 1000 is one of the main advantages of this unit. While this Ultra-Compact is no netbook, it is still portable and light enough to carry around all day without you noticing. At only 4 pounds, and a small but usuable 12.1 inch screen the Ferrari 1000 delivers real notebook performance without the added bulk of a full sized notebook. There is one thing to note and you may consider this a pro, or a con. The Ferrari 1000 does not feature an integrated optical drive; instead you must carry around the external drive. For this reviewer it comes as a bonus as the added weight and bulk of an optical drive can be left at home if needed. In these modern times of Bluetooth, Draft N wireless, and almost every single person carrying around a USB thumb drive or portable hard drive the optical drive is starting to become obsolete. Only once has this reviewer found herself needing an optical drive which was quickly resolved with a down and dirty Ad-Hoc wireless network.
Heat and Noise
If there is one thing the Ferrari 1000 has in common with an actual Ferrari car is the heat. The AMD Turion TL-60 does feature AMD’s Powernow Technology which will run the processor at a low 800 MHz to save on power and heat. However, once the processor hits full speed at 2 Gigahertz the heat starts to poor out the exhaust vents on the left side. The noise is bearable and the fan does not have a high pitch, but the heat will definitely be felt. Average idle temperatures hover around 50C, while under full load the temps can exceed 70C very quickly. While typically not a problem for everyday use, if you plan on doing a little light gaming you may want to consider a cooling pad.
Battery life of the Ferrari 1000 is dependant one which battery you opt to use. While the 3 cell battery does keep the lines of the Ferrari clean it fails as a battery that you can actually use. Expect to find yourself turning down the brightness, turning off the Bluetooth and any other devices you can to save power. The 3 cell battery will typically last around an hour which is hardly useful. However Acer did include the extended 6 cell battery coming in at 5200mAh which delivers just over 2 hours of use, more if you are conscientious of what you have turned on. For portability the 6 cell battery is a must.
Once again, Acer is no slouch when it comes to bundled software. Bloatware is minimal on the Ferrari 1000, unless you consider any manufacturer software to be bloat. Acer includes its typical assortment of Empowering Technology software, based on the Empowering Technology Framework. Acer has made it a point to make computers easy to use and the software provided helps. First, the most useful software included is the Acer ePower management, which is Acer’s version of power management software. The ePower Management software is similar to what Vista has built in, but also allows you to turn off devices such as the Cardbus slot, the Firewire port, the wireless and wired lan, and the Bluetooth module. All the devices use power and you can really stretch your battery life by using this software. The power management software also lets the user set up multiple power profile schemes for different situations such as presentations, or word processing. CPU speed and LCD brightness controls are also available. Acer also includes eNet management to handle all you connectivity needs, eData security for privacy, Acer VCM to help pair the included BT VOIP card, and many more. The second most useful software included is the Acer eRecovery software which will allow users to not only burn as many copies of the recovery DVD’s that they want, but also perform user backups. While not exactly interactive, Acer includes Gravisense which monitors the hard drive for shock and if vibration is detected the software will secure the hard drive to prevent failure. Gravisense can also be used as theft deterrent software as you can have it lock the entire system.
The Ferrari 1000 comes with just about every accessory you will need. The wireless Bluetooth mouse is very usable and this reviewer does not take the notebook anywhere without this matching mouse. The external DVD burner, the 2 batteries and the VOIP card are also included with this unit and round out the more useful accessories. Acer even took the forethought and included a microfiber cleaning cloth as the exterior of the Ferrari 1000 does tend to attract fingerprints.
* Attractive Styling
* Impressive Performance
* Small size
* Great connectivity
* Lots of included accessories
* Battery life could be better
* Heat can be an issue
* Styling and Performance come at a cost $$$
All in all, the Ferrari 1000 is a superb offering from Acer. The small, but powerful Ferrari 1000 lives up to its Ferrari heritage which delivers an excellent notebook for a power user looking for a smaller notebook.