Swapping Windows 8 for Linux Mint, openSuSE plus Fedora about my fresh netbook
I picked up a fabulous modern sub-notebook over the weekend, however this 1 has certain history behind it that is value explaining initially.
When I purchased my Acer Aspire One 522 a small over a year ago (November 2011, see original website post here) I came truly close to returning it considering the screen resolution was just 1024×600. However even inside the initially some hours of utilizing it, plus loading Linux about it, I was thus impressed with it which I decided to keep it, plus I’ve been happy with it since that time.
Last week I saw an Aspire One 725 about sale here, for 399 CHF (regarding £280), as well as the requirements mentioned it had the fresh AMD C-70 CPU (my AO522 has a C-60), more memory along with a bigger drive. Now, there are certain advantageous factors to receive a brand-new program!
I went to consider it, plus found which among the main electronic stores here equally arises to be providing a discount about all Acer laptops, thus I ended up ordering 1 for about 325 francs (really beneath £230). That’s a heck of the wise deal for what has turned out to be a heck of the advantageous sub-notebook. (Note to Swiss readers: the Acer discount is about provide till Sunday, 24 March) The requirements of the device I purchased are:
- AMD C-70 1GHz Dual core cpu
- 4GB DDR3 memory
- 500GB SATA disk
- Radeon HD 7290 visual controller
- 11.6″ 1366×768 display
- Realtek 10/100 wired network adapter
- Broadcom 4313 WiFi b/g/n adapter
- HDMI plus VGA ports
- 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0 ports
- SD/MMC/xD/MemoryStick slot
Wow, which is rather impressive, incredibly at which price! I could just see a some negatives:
- No Bluetooth (I will reside without it)
- No gigabit wired network (just 10/100) (I rarely employ wired anyway)
- Preloaded with Windows 8 (Sigh)
Be cautious regarding these requirements, as well as the price: there is another model of the Aspire One 725 additionally about sale here, at a somewhat lower cost, with just 2GB of memory along with a 320GB drive.
That may be enough for those that don’t require very thus much memory plus drive area, plus with all the 15 percent discount which model will be beneath 300 francs. The different models are possibly diagnosed by the alphabet soup which follows the 725 model amount, however deciphering which is beyond me; check the specs found on the box carefully to make sure that you are getting.
When I unpacked it, I was instantly struck by the scale plus fat (tiny plus light). I consider this to be inside the same category because the HP Pavilion dm1-4310 (see my blog post regarding which model), as well as the difference is clear:
Aspire One 725: 28.5 x 20.2 x 2.3cm, 1.2kg
HP dm1-4310: 29.2 x 21.5 x 3.2cm, 1.6kg
That’s a big difference, plus whenever you may be carrying them both inside the hands you are able to certainly see it, plus feel it. Don’t receive me incorrect, I nevertheless like the HP dm1 a lot plus it has a lot opting for it. However when a criteria is size plus fat, the AO725 is the obvious winner. Oh, the AO725 moreover appears to run much cooler, as well as the cooling enthusiast is about far less usually than the HP dm1. Now clearly, the C70 cpu is a lot less effective than the E2-1800, and therefore produces less heat, thus this isn’t a surprise, however it is very value mentioning.
Lid Closed – lower than 1″ thick
More advantages and disadvantages found on the bodily shape plus appearance: It is a bit nicer than the Aspire One 522, they have put a bit more effort into addings certain shaping plus curves about the edges, plus about the keyboard. It has a real touchpad with real buttons, not the dreaded “ClickPad” (that might have ruled it out for me anyway). The keyboard is possibly truly the only thing I might complain regarding, the keys are completely flat, as well as the feel is a bit mushy. The touchpad “buttons” are a single bar placed found on the front edge of the palm rest, that I don’t much care for, however they appear to function reliably.
The range of ports plus interfaces about this device is very impressive too. First, it has an HDMI port, that I employ whenever connecting to a tv to show images, AND a VGA connect. It has 1 USB 3.0 port plus 2 USB 2.0 ports, that is becoming more significant because more 3.0 equipment are becoming accessible. It has a memory card slot that will take not merely SD/xD/MMC cards and Memory Stick plus Memory Stick Pro, that’s a good touch plus nonetheless not all thus popular for notebooks inside this class.
Back view – proper side ports are sound in/out, USB plus force connect
That’s enough regarding the hardware, let’s move forward to the running program. It came preloaded with Windows 8, that required to be booted plus configured – which took very a lengthy time slogging about, however, eventually it completed.
Then I required to create a rescue copy, considering I am very probably to wipe Windows off this machine, either intentionally, accidentally or from disgust…
The Acer Rescue Manager makes this backup to a USB stick, quite then DVD disks, that is good. The sales clerk inside the store mentioned which I required at minimum a 16GB stick for this, as well as the Rescue Manager system mentioned the same. Unfortunately which doesn’t appear to be big enough, considering whenever I tried it with a 16GB stick, it ran till the progress bar got a fraction from then end, plus then merely stopped. No content, no mistake, no crash, no stop, no nothing.
Then I tried with a 32GB stick, plus which worked really fine. Sigh. When Windows was loaded plus configured I went into the disk/partition administration system plus told it to shrink its partition because much because potential. That gave me back regarding 230GB of the drive, that is over enough for when. The drive has a GPT partition table, thus it really is not mandatory to fiddle with “Extended Partitions” plus “Logical Paritions”, plus I didn’t need to worry which Windows plus Acer had absolutely “chosen up” truly the only 4 accessible “Primary” partitions. Nice.
Front view – left side ports are USB, HDMI, RJ45 plus VGA
The Aspire One 725 has a UEFI BIOS, with Secure Boot enabled by standard.There are a couple of Acer-specific elements which are significant to learn here. First, the boot-select choice is disabled by standard, you need to to into the BIOS setup (hit F2 throughout boot) plus then change which to enabled before you are able to boot a Live USB stick.
Second, you are able to just disable Secure Boot should you have set a BIOS password. Yes, I certainly meant which – return plus read it again if you would like, I’ll wait. Grrr. Who does which create sense to? What is the logic there?
There is nothing else inside the BIOS, or the BIOS aid screens, or the documentation which came with it that states which this really is the case. I was only fortunate enough to recognize it considering somebody revealed it inside the comments to 1 of my past posts regarding UEFI booting. So, if you would like to disable Secure Boot, we initially need to define a BIOS password. Sigh.
Well, this may not be all which important anyway considering both openSuSE 12.3 plus Fedora 18 have UEFI Secure Boot suitable Live pictures, to boot them without to disable it.
That was what I did, booting plus installing both of those, plus it all worked without a hitch.
This was where elements got certainly fun plus interesting, both openSuSE plus Fedora installed perfectdly, including setting up UEFI Secure Boot found on the fresh installations, as well as both recognized, configured plus supported everything appropriate from the box.
Starting at the best, with CPU frequency stepping, shown to be using the lscpu control. I am happy with all the FOSS Radeon motorists, thus I didn’t bother striving to load the proprietary AMD (fglrx) motorists. The wired plus wireless network adapters function only fine, plus it connected to my house WiFi without trouble. The Fn-keys for amount up/down/mute, brightness up/down/off, touchpad disable/enable plus even Sleep/Resume all function! Oh, plus talking of the touchpad, two-finger scrolling functions.
Lid open – amazingly thin
Of course it really is equally potential to install Linux distributions that never yet have Secure Boot help, or never have EFI boot help.
One of the more common inside this category is Linux Mint 14, that I have additionally absolutely installed. To do this you must change the BIOS from UEFI boot to Legacy boot, plus then boot the Mint Live image. From which point about installation is routine, plus again everything functions.
I did discover another practical trick whilst installing plus testing these 3 distributions.
The openSuSE Grub2-efi installation is capable to boot not merely openSuSE itself, however any different Linux installed, both EFI plus legacy boot, plus even Windows also.
In my past experimentation with UEFI plus Secure Boot, I found which Fedora can’t do which, thus I had installed rEFInd to manage the boot selection.Now, though, I could configure the openSuSE grub.cfg to boot EFI pictures plus “normal” linux kernel plus initrd pictures, thus it’s potential to employ it to manage the boot selection, plus not need to bother installing rEFInd.
On top of which, rEFInd doesn’t function with Secure Boot (effectively, it must based on the notes plus description, nevertheless I haven’t been capable to figure it out), thus by utilizing grub2-efi this technique I may leave UEFI plus Secure Boot enabled.
What else is there to state regarding the Aspire One 725? I think it’s apparent how happy I am with it. Compared to my netbook systems, the difference between a 10″ display with 1024×600 resolution plus an 11.6″ display with 1366×768 resolution is big.
Compared to my different sub-notebook the difference inside size plus fat are furthermore truly extensive.
The AO725 truly appears to have hit the “sweet spot”, plus ideal of all it’s running each adaptation of Linux which I load about it flawlessly! If it simply had a keyboard with a bit of countour to the keys plus greater tactile suggestions it will be ideal.