Acronis – True Image 2011 Netbook Edition review

System and file backup on a USB drive
Photo of Acronis – True Image 2011 Netbook Edition

True Image 2011 from Acronis is the latest incarnation of the company’s comprehensive backup application, which can handle both file and system backup. The Netbook Edition is tailored to use on smaller screen sizes and is supplied on a USB stick, so it doesn’t have to be run rom a machine with an optical drive.

The program runs under Windows 7, Vista and XP and can be installed or run from the USB stick. Once installed, a system backup is virtually a one-click task, as the program selects the most likely drives for source and destination, though others can be easily substituted. The backup this produces is an image which, when restored, is identical to the bootable system you backed up from and is a snapshot from that time. Unlike Windows System Restore, it doesn’t preserve data added since the backup. That’s what a file backup’s for!

Only the occupied areas of a drive are copied, and the 8.1GB system on our test netbook backed up in just over 18 minutes. When you want to restore – which may come after a system failure or to take a machine back to an earlier incarnation, you simply boot from the USB stick, and a couple of clicks will copy the stored system back again.

As well as a system backup, the software provides for file backup and, again, Acronis has automated the procedure so that it carries out quick incremental backups between full backups – both of which can be scheduled at a frequency of your choice. Compression level and processor priority can also be set, so backups won’t interrupt normal foreground work.

If installed on a Windows 7 PC, True Image Home 2011 Netbook Edition integrates itself with Windows Backup, so you don’t have to learn a new application. The package also includes a 30-day trial of a secure online backup which can save important data, such as document files or emails, to Acronis’ servers. Local and online backups can be encrypted, providing extra protection.

There are three things the Netbook Edition doesn’t provide, which are included in the standard True Image 2011: Nonstop Backup, which enables recovery to any point in time; Try&Decide, which acts as a sandbox for testing out new software before committing it to your system; and SecureZone, which enables recovery on the fly.

As an aside, Acronis doesn’t seem certain what it wants to call this product – so if you see Acronis Netbook Backup & Recovery on offer, that’s the same thing as TrueImage, just under a second name. Both titles appear on the box.

Company: Acronis

Contact: 0203 176 0340

If you want to fully secure a netbook, with system and file backup that doesn't take hours to setup, this application is ideal. Using default settings, it really does take only a couple of clicks to install and run, but still offers the flexibility to be tailored to fit individual requirements.