Welcome to LQ.
First of all, a Linux machine with a functioning wireless interface with proper configuration should be able to connect to any wireless router. The wireless protocol doesn't require any particular operating system.
I think the next step is to figure out what wireless interface card is in the Acer Aspire. I have no idea, but it should be included in the specs for the machine.
To see if the wireless card drivers are being loaded, you can enter the command iwconfig as the root user in a terminal window.
If it says no wireless interfaces found, then you know why you can't connect.
It will also help if you tell us what Linux distribution is on the laptop (e.g. Ubuntu, etc).