Dual boot Acer Aspire 5516, Vista and Ubuntu 9.04

This week I purchased an Acer laptop from Micro Center for $299. The model was: Aspire 5516-5474. It came with an ATI video chip set (ATI Radeon Xpress 1200), a 160 gig hard drive, an 8x DVD, an SD reader, 2 gigs of RAM, a 15.6 inch LDC Monitor (16:9 1366×768), and an AMD Athion 64 processor (the TF-20). The installed software was Microsoft Vista, home basic. I installed Ubuntu 9.04* to dual boot. It worked without any problems.

The computer case is made out of plastic, and feels light for its size. At (the time,) $299 seems like a pretty good value. This is a slow processor, however. Amazon sells the Aspire 5516-5063, which looks like the same thing except with a slightly larger hard drive, for $448, so it pays to shop around.

One issue that I did not care much about concerns the Windows Media player. I had trouble getting the sound to work. But I had no problem using the sound for Netflix and other streamed video in Vista. In Linux, the sound worked fine, but Netflix does not work for Linux, yet.

Ubuntu 9.04 recognized everything, including the screen, the wireless, the DVD player, the SD card reader, etc.

* I have only tried the 32 bit version.

July 2011 Update. To be honest, when running Vista, this laptop was really slow, and not much fun to use. Even with a regular version of Ubuntu it isn’t that quick. But I recently installed Lubuntu 11.04, and it made a world of difference. The computer actually felt pretty responsive. If you have one of these laptops, definitely try it with Lubuntu.

Here is the CPU benchmark test for TF-20 processor: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+Athlon+TF-20

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