While the most common form factor for a netbook is still 10.1-inches with a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, many people find this size a little too cramped and limiting.
When Acer first introduced their 11.6-inch Aspire One AO722 netbook, it was an immediate hit, and it has constantly grown in popularity to become the proud owner of the number one spot.
Very recently Acer improved the very popular AO722 with the “Acer Aspire One AO722-0473″ this latest model (which we are reviewing here)has been upgraded with the newer, more powerful dual core AMD C-60 APU processor.
It’s almost as if Acer have listened to what everyone commonly dislikes about netbooks, and have taken action and have delivered the sleek, powerful Acer AO722.
The Acer AO722 now currently on special offer at Amazon for just $329, down from $415!
Acer AO722 Specifications
- 11.6″ HD CineCrystal LED-backlit Display: (1366 x 768) resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio
- AMD Dual-Core C-60 1.0GHz APU with TurboCORE Technology 1.33GHz (1MB L2 Cache)
- 320GB Hard Drive
- 2GB DDR3 Memory
- ATI Radeon™ HD 6290 Graphics with 256MB
- 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
- 0.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Multi-in-1 Card Reader
- Stereo Speakers
- Full-Size Acer FineTip Keyboard
- Multi-Gesture Touchpad
- 3- USB 2.0 Ports
- 1- HDMI™ port with HDCP support
- Up to 7-hours battery-life6-cell Li-ion Battery
- Windows Home Premium
- 3.21 lbs
Design / Build Quality
From first glance the Acer AO722 looks to be a compact and slim 11.6-inch netbook with a stylish finish. When the netbook is closed you can see that the Acer AO722 has a unique finish with a slight 3D ripple design which almost looks like a stone has been dropped into a smooth surface of a pond. “Aspire One” is also lightly written on the cover. The only small downside, like most other netbooks, is that the smooth glossy finish picks up fingerprints very easily.
When opening the netbook you can appreciate just how slim the netbook is with its tapered edges. The LCD also makes the most of its space resulting in a very slim bezel and very little wastes space.
Layouts / Ports
There is nothing on the front of the Acer Aspire One AO722 as it has a tapered edge.
One the left hand side you will find the power port, Ethernet, VGA output, small exhaust vent, 1x USB and a HDMI output. It is great to see that Acer have included both VGA, and HDMI ports for both analog and digital video output for connection to an external monitor or HDTV.
On the right hand side there is a digital card reader, headphone and mic jacks, 2x more USB ports, and a kensington lock port. There is nothing on the back.
On the bottom there is one large port which can be opened to access the RAM, Hard drive and other components. Unfortunately there is no small port to access just the RAM, but on the plus side, easy access to the other components is a huge benefit.
The Acer Aspire One AO722 has a very nice keyboard, which spans the full width of the netbook, making the most of its 11.6-inch frame which makes for easier typing. The keys are also as large as they can be, with very small spaces between each key. I noticed if you hit the key at the slide they would angle slightly, and there is also a small amount of keyboard flex around the center. But after a short while I found the keyboard to be very accurate and easy to use, with no “cramped” feeling which you can get from some smaller netbook keyboards.
Unlike some other netbooks, the AO722 keyboard layout has been well thought out. With a large spacebar, two large shift keys, and page up and page down keys nicely integrated into the right hand corner.
The Acer AO722 has a nice spacious trackpad which measures 3.2 x 2.0-inches and supports multi-touch and has a scroll area on the right hand side. It makes full use of the height of the palm rest and has a low friction surface. It is slightly depressed into the palm rest so you can easily feel when your finger(s) reaches the edge.
Multi-touch worked very well, and allowed me to easily pinch zoom, scroll up and down / left and right with two fingers, and also to rotate. It has a single rocker type button for the left and right buttons. The click was quiet and firm, and unlike some models it felt very solid.
One of the key features of the Acer Aspire One AO722 is its 11.6-inch display. Not just the fact that it is larger than the standard 10.1-inch displays, but also its higher resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels.
This gives the 11.6-inch the same resolution as a typical 15.4-inch laptop. This results in a lot of “room” on the display and everything feels much less cramped than on a standard 1024 x 600 pixel netbook display.
As mentioned earlier the bezel surrounding the LCD backlit LCD is very slim, which not only looks great, but also enables the netbook to be as small as possible.
The brightness of the LCD is more than sufficient, but not the brightest I have ever seen. The viewing angles and color reproduction are very good.
Overall the AO722 has a truly excellent display. After using it for sometime, it is very hard to go back to my standard 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 pixel display, which quite simply feels far too cramped now.
Webcam / Audio
The 0.3 megapixel webcam is integrated nicely into the top bezel of the LCD and is hardly noticeable. The camera produces very sharp and clear images and seems to cope well with changing light condition and movement. It was a little on the contrasty side in the dark areas, but with good lighting the quality was very good and ideal for skype and other uses.
Audio performance on the Acer AO722 was satisfactory. The stereo speakers are located under the front edge of the netbook and produce clear sound, but as expected lack any sort of base and are a little underpowered. The speakers are perfectly suited to watching media and listening to music while working.
Unlike the vast majority of netbooks which are underpowered and have basic onboard graphics, the Acer Aspire AO722 has the latest AMD Dual-Core C-60 1.0GHz APU which features TurboCORE Technology boosting the core speed to 1.33GHz, and powerful ATI Radeon HD 6290 Graphics with 256MB dedicated memory.
This latest version of the AO722 scored 1,236 in Geekbench, and 40,027 in Crystalmark. Click here for more detailed benchmarking on the C-60 powered Acer AO722.
With its dedicated graphics card it also means you will be able to play a number of games, and also playback (and output to HDTV via HDMI) 1080p HD videos both from the hard drive and from YouTube.
If you’re looking for a modern, high quality 11.6-inch netbook, or any netbook, I really can’t recommend the Acer Aspire One AO722 highly enough, and it is easy to see why it’s currently the best selling netbook on Amazon.
Not only does it have a larger higher quality display than most netbooks, it is also more powerful and features HD graphics at an amazing price of just $415, now down to just $329 from Amazon!.