Testing a Netbook in CAD / GIS


A few days ago I had considered testing that such a Netbook works in the geomatic environment, in this case I have been testing the Acer One that some rural technicians commissioned me to buy in a visit to the city. The test helped me to decide if in my next acquisition I invest in another HP of high performance or if these new solutions can be viable.

The team

These machines are not designed for processes that consume enough resources, however does not mean that they do not have enough capacity:

  • 1GB RAM memory
  • 160 GB hard drive
  • 10 screen ''
  • It has three USB ports, port for Datashow, wireless connection, multiple cards and for audio / microphone.

The keyboard is slightly smaller, there is no problem for those who write with two fingers (like a chicken eating corn) but if when we were kids we took a typing course, it wants a while to get used to it. Somewhat annoying the keys of displacement and the handling of the mouse with the finger that is half destrompado; the drag to the right has zoom capabilities but the buttons are too hard to press; I think it would be better to work with an external mouse.

The biggest reason to decide that this is not a team for hard work, is because of the size of the screen that tires the eyes, it is good to travel, but to spend eight hours snapping the coconut with vectors and a black background ... I believe. Although it has a port to connect a monitor in case you use it in the office.

As for software, it comes with Windows XP, which is good for the little resource consumption, although it is the Home Edition pro version that does not bring IIS ... Evil for Manifold. It also comes with a version of 60 days of Office 2007, and in case the flies brings Microsoft Works that is always from Microsoft but at a very low price.

Working with CAD

I have run on this Microstation Geographics V8, connected to an Access database via ODBC. Gentlemen, it works without much inconvenience, Bentley Map feels heavier but not to the extreme.

Loading six orthophotos .ecw of 11 MB each, is not bad. 22 cadastral maps dgn 1: 1,000 ... no problem.

Convert them an ecw to hmr ... ogh! here starts the good, the machine in this does not have high performance but finally achieved it in 2: 21 minutes, converted an ecw from 8MB to 189 MB hmr, an absurd conversion, I know but this format runs very fast in Microstation. I do not think it's ideal to work with Tiff for the weight, but it could be an ITIF option that has extra capabilities.

Definitely, with Microstation this small machine is fine, although there are others that have an NVidia card that surely makes them have better results.


For light programs, like Microstation I see it well. I do not think gvSIG with its recent changes works unless the guys optimize the consumption of resources when working with many layers or connect to OGC services.

Acer aspire one

I am satisfied for what my use would entail: I have charged you Microstation V8, BitCAD, Manifold GIS, Avira, Microsoft WorksLive Writter, Foxit y Chrome. After a week I am satisfied as a frequent traveler, blogger and CAD / GIS fan ... pity it was borrowed.

For the $ 400 that this toy is worth, I do not see a bad investment but we must consider the profit that others can expect. It is a good alternative thinking that you can walk in the inner bag of the jacket or jacket, as the size is that of an agenda, while it becomes safer to take it in the middle of a portfolio, less risk than carrying a Targus briefcase. environments where all the criminals suppose that there is inside.

We must also consider the cons, because although its weight is very manageable, by not bringing CDrom you have to include this accessory as an extra; with the USB of 8GB the installation of programs does not look so complex but if it were necessary to format it or detoxify it from a criminal virus ... I have my doubts. If we add the wireless mouse AA batteries and graphics tablet ... it is likely to become almost as heavy as one of 14 "

If I had to buy a high performance equipment, those Compaq $ 500 are above the 2GB of RAM, with Intel Duo and individual video card. The truth is that for the short time that netbooks take from ASSUS, surely in a year and a half we will have very robust machines in these miniature formats.

Website: Acer Aspire One

5 Replies to "Testing a Netbook in CAD / GIS"

  1. It depends, if it is just to do exercises, you will not feel much slowness.

    But if it is to do a lot of work, that equipment is not suitable, it feels slow and the size of the screen tires the view.

  2. Hi, how are you? Very good, the report took me many doubts before my purchase. I ask you a question, I'm studying visual sudio 2010 and autocad, do you think that with that machine you could work well?

    Thank you

  3. Sure should be able to run because those versions were very light, I estimate that even 2002 versions can run well on this machine.

  4. Sorry, you know if AutoCad 2000i can run normally (nothing of 3d) in this type of notebook.
    Greetings and very good Blog

  5. Hehehe I have an aspire one, the model just below the one you tried, but with 512 RAM and an SSD disk of 8GB.

    I would not use it as a workstation, especially for the keyboard that although it is not at all uncomfortable if it tires when you take a long time.

    On the other hand in a team like mine, XP would go just and anyway I do not like. I've put a Debian with the minimum and it works light and agile for what I want it: surf the internet, mail, chat, write some document and if necessary set some smokes.

    As it was a gift I do not complain, now surely I would look for one with more battery, maybe something more RAM and given any case an inch more screen. A bug of these with 6 or 7 hours of autonomy are a real joy.

    Anyway at home I have already put on an 19 monitor, ”what I call the little boy's“ glasses ”🙂


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