One of the most surprising laptop manufacturers on the market today is Acer. Acer blends technology and affordability for the computing market. Acer ranked number nine in the best and worse laptops for 2010 according to Laptop magazine on April 2010. This company has experienced a tremendous break since its inception in Taiwan in 1976, from consultation of microprocessor technology to pc manufacturing.
The Aspire One is manufacturing innovation from Acer; the first Aspire One was produced in 2008 with Intel’s Atom processor. Later generations of the Aspire One used AMD processors and refined to the system architecture. The older generations featured an X86 system and the slower DRAM modules but the newer models are starting to feature DDR-3 and 64-bit architecture.
OS and Processor:
The new Aspire One 721 features the new Windows 7 home premium edition over the previous XP operating system. The new high- definition video card brings out the beauty and style of Windows 7. The standard for netbooks has been raised by the introduction of the AMD Athlon™ II Neo Processor.
The Athlon II Neo processor (1MB L2 cache 1.70GHz) is pretty fast for a CPU in a netbook but the more dominating processors reach over 3.5 Gigahertz in the advanced laptop models. The major advantages for this processor is the virtualization aspect, dual-mode operations (32 and 64) and increase in computing speed.
Memory and Storage:
The One 721 comes with the SDRAM 2 memory model and comes standard with two gigabytes of memory. The user can upgrade this memory system to a full four gigabytes but cannot expand further unless using Windows ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost will allow additional memory to be pulled from a “flash stick” or similar device.
The storage capacity for the Aspire One 721 allows up to 250-gigabyte internal hard drive. This is slightly lower than the standard 350-gigabyte internal drive for generalized laptops but the netbooks have always been playing catch up. This model also features built-in card readers for the popular formats on the market today.
Video / Audio / Communications:
The little netbook comes with an 11.6” inch screen but the ATI Radeon HD 4225 graphics card. This card is decent for a netbook but it will not suffice for a regular sized laptop. It only has 384 dedicated memory chips for the video but the clarity aspect is smooth. The crystal webcam works for video and audio podcasts and conferences with a resolution of 640 X 480.
The audio aspects are not all that great but with a standard integrated microphone and ports for high-definition audio and video. The only feature that is worth much is the HD audio support and MS direct sound compatibility. Therefore, no fancy built-in subwoofer or super duper Dolby 7.1 sound but it works.
Internet connection or networking capabilities are done with the 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN card, the Signal up technology boosts the signal efficiency for the wireless. If the user is going for a “wired” effect, the standard gigabyte wake-on LAN ready port is used. These two devices have been streamlined to save on energy and response time.
Aspire One 721. A victory or fiery defeat:
The Aspire One 721 is a victory for Acer. This little netbook can handle a lot of work for being contained in a small package. The attempts to boost memory, storage and graphics are notable but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done for the netbooks. The tiny disadvantages for the 721 are the lame graphics card, the older DDR-2 memory system and lack of a good audio package. Overall, this netbook is worth the buy as a portable research assistant.