If you're in the market for a good all-around netbook, the Acer Aspire One 722 provides a great mix of power, portability and low price.
Reviewers say the AMD C-60 processor and 2GB to 4GB of RAM deliver more bang for your buck than netbooks powered by Intel Atom processors, and upgrade options push the power. This netbook can handle basic online and document-editing tasks, and stream video, though it stutters in full-screen mode, users report. Critics also complain of excessive bloatware. Users say you can achieve better performance by installing an alternative operating system, such as like Linux, or by using a flash drive and Windows 7's ReadyBoost feature to turn that device into more RAM for the netbook. Battery life is impressive, reviewers report.
Professional reviewers frequently complain about flex in the keyboard and unresponsive mouse buttons on the trackpad, although few owners echo the comments. The port selection and connectivity options are average for a netbook, although the inclusion of an HDMI port is a highlight.
While the Aspire One 722 comes in several colors, its case -- which is rippled on top -- leaves users divided. Like most netbooks, the Aspire One 722's display has a relatively low resolution, but reviewers say that it is bright and sharp enough that you won't often notice.
Although the netbook carries a one-year warranty, reports of returns are rare. That's a good thing, especially since Acer's customer service gets poor marks.
If a netbook is on your radar, critics say that the Acer Aspire One 722 hits the sweet spot. More powerful netbooks are available, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad X130e (*Est. $500 and up). However, unless the small form is a must, full-size notebooks are cheaper and more powerful. At the other end of the value spectrum, lower-priced Intel Atom-based netbooks simply aren't as capable as the Aspire One, though they can be suitable if your needs -- and your expectations -- are modest.
The Aspire One 722 has been covered by several sources, including Laptop Magazine, CNET, PCMag.com and others. Visit Amazon.com for some user opinions.
1. Laptop Magazine
The Acer Aspire One 722 offers something unusual among netbooks, K. T. Bradford writes: a 7-hour battery life estimate that turns out to be very close to real-world results. Laptop Magazine's reviewer compliments the "eye-catching" design, especially of the blue model; the large, high-resolution screen; and the ability to play HD video, especially at the price. The keyboard could be better, Bradford notes, and netbooks with more powerful AMD Fusion processors are better performers.
Review: Acer Aspire One 722 Review, K. T. Bradford, July 1, 2011
CNET compliments the generous RAM and hard drive space on the Acer Aspire One 722, noting that it handles video better than any of the machines with an Atom processor. However, Scott Stein calls the keyboard uncomfortable and the AMD processor underpowered compared to other 11-inch laptops. "More powerful than a netbook, but not as fast as some higher-priced 11-inch alternatives," he notes, awarding it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Review: Acer Aspire One 722-BZ608, Scott Stein, July 18, 2011
Natalie Shoemaker gives the Acer Aspire One 722 a score of 3.5 out of 5 stars, complimenting the display, battery life and HDMI port. Downsides include the so-so performance, keyboard flex, stiff mouse buttons and bloatware.
Review: Acer Aspire One 722-BZ480, Natalie Shoemaker, Aug. 5, 2011
4. Computer Shopper
Sean Ludwig gives a high-end configuration of the Acer Aspire One 722 a 4 out of 5 rating, saying it is "speedy for the price" and features an above-average webcam and display. He says the water-drop-themed lid may not sit well with serious-minded people or business users, however.
Review: Acer Aspire One AO722 Review and Ratings, Sean Ludwig, Aug. 5, 2011
TechReviewSource.com gives the Acer Aspire One 722 a rating of 3 out of 5 stars, praising its attractive and portable design and long battery life, but noting that the display is average, the keyboard uncomfortable and the performance mediocre.
Review: Acer Aspire One 722, Editors of Tech Review Source, July 19, 2011
About.com Guide Mark Kyrnin gives the Acer Aspire One 722 a 4- out of 5-star rating and places it on his list of top netbooks; it gets the netbook with the Best screen/graphics. He appreciates the performance of the AMD C-50 processor, the high-resolution display and the inclusion of Windows 7 Home Premium Edition, but he says the large amount of preinstalled software slows boot-up times and overall performance. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Acer Aspire One AO722-BZ454 11.6-inch Netbook, Mark Kyrnin, Aug. 25, 2011
All of the various Aspire One 722 configurations maintain ratings of around 4 (out of 5) stars, with the majority of customers happy with the netbook's lightweight portability and ability to handle basic computing needs. The occasional reviewer is disappointed by the keyboard or mouse buttons, however, and some people seem to have expected notebook-like performance out of the netbook.
Review: Acer Aspire One AO722-0825 11.6-Inch Netbook (Black), Contributors to Amazon.com