As promised, here's an 'addendum' to my review.
The first bit is about Linux (with apologies to Windows fans!), the second is about a memory upgrade.
First I got rid of Microsoft Windows and installed Ubuntu Linux. This immediately speeded up the boot time (about a minute for Windows, about 20 seconds for Linux). The general speed of performance also increased quite a bit. I'm now convinced that it's a mistake to ship these machines with Windows installed, though I fully understand the commercial reasons for doing so (people 'know' windows).
For anyone wishing to try it, the upgrade to Linux was easy enough, but not 100% painless.
***Only try it if you know what you're doing, or have a techie friend to help***
I found that the display (while perfectly usable) looked a bit odd because of the Acer's 1366x768 monitor. A quick websearch provided an easy solution, so that was OK.
I still haven't succeeded in getting some of the Linux 'eye-candy' features to work (specifically the 'wobbly windows' and spinning desktop cube). This is a issue with the Acer's Intel graphics card. I can live without those eye-candy features, though, until I find time to explore ways to get them running.
I chose Ubuntu Linux just because I have it on my other non-Windows machines and I'm comfortable with how it works. I could perhaps have chosen a lighter-weight Linux (Puppy Linux, perhaps) and got an even better performance increase. In any case, now I don't need any anti-virus software to slow down my system, and all the software I could possibly need is free. Nice.
I now like my Acer MUCH more, but I still can't get away from the feeling that it should be faster than its specs suggest. For purposes of comparison, my other netbook was a cheapie EEEPC, with a 9Mh processor, yet everything seems to run at least as fast as on the Acer's 1.3Gh chip.
However, at least now it's a machine I can actually USE, and I'll probably 'retire' my little EEEPC.
I've also upgraded the memory to 2 Gigs. The memory cost about 15 quid from Crucial, and was incredibly easy to install. Again there was a noticeable improvement in performance. Even (or especially?) if you want to stick with the pre-installed XP, you should consider this a near-essential upgrade.
If the machine had been like this when I first got it, I would have had no problem giving 4-5 stars.
If anyone has any other questions about this computer, feel free to post here, and I'll try to reply.