For aloof a little added than the amount of an Atom-powered netbook, the Acer Aspire One 721-3574 ($429) sports a beyond 11.6-inch display, a added adequate keyboard, and a faster AMD Athlon II Neo processor commutual with ATI cartoon for HD video playback. This arrangement is additionally a abounding $170 beneath than a about identical adaptation powered by an Intel processor. So what's not to like? The array activity is able-bodied beneath average, authoritative this ultraportable not actual mobile. Does the 721 accept abundant abroad activity for it to discount this one audacious weakness?
Easily one of the best-looking notebooks we've apparent for beneath than $450, the Aspire One 721 measures aloof 1 to 1.1 inches blubbery and weighs a bald 2.8 pounds. We abnormally like the cobweb atramentous textured lid (no fingerprint smudges), which has a attenuate cross-hatch pattern. The central of the apparatus has a glassy gunmetal gray band beneath the atramentous keyboard, and the ability button is fabricated to attending like spun metal. A lighter gray band wraps about the basal of the 721, abacus to the adult aesthetic.
The larboard ancillary of this ultraportable houses a VGA port, ability jack, HDMI, and USB. A Ethernet port, lock slot, two added USB ports, mic and headphone jacks, and a 5-in-1 anamnesis agenda clairvoyant can be begin on the added side.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Like added Acer notebooks, this one sports a full-size FineTip keyboard that isolates the keys slightly. Admitting some may acquisition that the keys are positioned too abutting together, we didn't mind. During our accounting sessions the keyboard offered able concrete feedback, and we accepted the ample appropriate Shift key and Enter key. The ashen arrow keys were accessible to locate after looking.
We'd like to see Acer chase the advance of added manufacturers and about-face the activity key shortcuts into absolute activity keys in the top row. For example, to accession the volume, you accept to columnist Fn + Up Arrow, back it should aloof be a committed button.
Two vertical curve abstracted the almost baby touchpad from the blow of the deck. The apparent had alone accessory friction, but we begin that we had to accomplish added movements to absolute the cursor due to the bound apparent area. The committed touchpad buttons were brittle and accessible to activate.
After alive Hulu for 15 mintues, the 721 remained adequately cool, extensive 91 degrees Fahrenheit on the touchpad, and 92 and 95 degrees, respectively, amid the G and H keys, and 95 degrees underneath. The alone allotment of the apparatus that got afflictive was abreast the vent, which registered 106 degrees
Display, Audio, and Webcam
The Aspire One 721's affectation is one of the more good screens we've apparent in this size, an 11.6-inch console with 1366 x 768 resolution. The account was ablaze and brittle back surfing the web, and an HD bivouac of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows apparent an absorbing akin of detail, appropriate bottomward to the aphotic circles beneath Harry's eyes and his stubble.
Audio affection assorted based on how we acclimated the system. The accompanying speakers beneath the advanced lip of the anatomy delivered affluence of aggregate back we listened to Green Day's “When I Come Around” on Slacker, but the complete became deadened back we acclimated the 721 in our lap.
We weren't afflicted with the 1.3-megapixel webcam on this laptop. During a Skype alarm our acquaintance said we looked blocky and a bit blurry, admitting audio came through clearly.