Acer Aspire AS1410
The Acer Aspire AS1410 is an inexpensive but full-featured small laptop. It's distinguished from Acer's netbooks by having a larger screen (11.6", 1366 x 768 pixels) and Windows Vista Home Premium, and from Acer/Gateway's other 11.6" laptops by having somewhat beefier compute specs (Intel Core Solo SU3500 CPU, Intel 4500MHD GPU).
There is a similar but more expensive model with a Core Duo processor. Aside from the price, the Duo has a TDP of about 10W instead of 5W, and some other small spec differences -- as well as two cores.
Debian GNU/Linux / Ubuntu on the Acer Aspire AS1410
I installed Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04 Desktop 64-bit in a dual-boot configuration. It works great, after the Hitachi SATA / kernel workaround described below.
- suspend to RAM
- hibernate to disk
- Fn-key volume and brightness controls
- battery indicator
UPDATE (2012-03-01): I've also installed Ubuntu 11.10, which works great too. The Hitachi SATA / kernel workaround is still required.
Hitachi SATA / Kernel Workaround
Using the live version on a USB stick worked flawlessly. There was a SATA problem booting with the hard disk after I installed to the hard disk; it turned out to be a compatibility issue between the kernel and the Hitachi HTS543225L9A300 hard drive. The workaround is to add "libata.force=noncq" to the kernel options.
For Grub 1, in /boot/grub/menu.lst, change the defoptions line to:
# defoptions=quiet libata.force=noncq
and make sure "libata.force=noncq" is added to the ends of the existing kernel lines.
For Grub 2, you want to add these to either GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX or GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT in /etc/default/grub. The easiest way to do this may be to follow the prompts after executing "sudo dpkg-reconfigure grub-pc", adding "libata.force=noncq" to the appropriate variable.
References for the SATA error fix: