The Acer Aspire One 722 is the successor of the AOD 721, a 11.6 inch netbook Acer released last summer. The update comes with one major change and that is hardware.
While the A0 721 had a AMD Neo processor on board, the recently launched AOD 722 packs AMD’s Fusion C-50 Ontario APU. This means you get a dual core, 1 GHZ processor and integrated HD 6250 graphics on the same platform. All in a package built on the Brazzos architecture, which offers good battery life, but less performance than a more tonic platform, like the E-350.
Looks wise, the AO 722 is as Acer as a netbook gets. The lid is decorated with the iconic ripple pattern, which looks like water disturbed by the drop of one stone. The downside is that the lid is pretty glossy and will attract fingerprints over time, but, for some reason, netbooks and glossy still go hand in hand. Overall, the A) 722 looks good and is easy to hold, partially thanks to the tampered edges, that make the mini laptop feel slimmer than it actually is.
Surprisingly for a netbook, you get 2 GB of RAM out of the box, which should prove very useful when playing videos and games, all in HD. High definition videos at 720p should run without a problem, while more demanding clips, at 1080p, should run fairly smoothly, especially if played directly from the hard drive and if the sequence is not very dynamic.
As for gaming, you should be able to play older or less demanding titles, like Half Life, World of Warcraft without a problem, while newer games will probably not work, as we have to keep in mind that this is the entry level APU from AMD, meant more to be a casual entertainment machine rather than a gaming power house. Casual entertainment that can be experienced on a 11.6 inch HD backlit display with a 1366 x 768 resolution, which comes with a glossy treatment.
The machine comes with a 250 GB HDD, but there’s the option to go for an SSD instead. Although more expensive, this type of drive is faster, safer and lighter than your classical HDD, overall improving performance, boot times and battery life. The system comes with Windows 7 Premium, which is nice for a change, considering that so many netbooks come with Windows 7 Starter. As always, you get Microsoft Office Starter bundled with the OS, and you’ll be able to activate the full product by buying a key. Also included are a Bing Bar for your browser and Windows Live essentials, which you can easily uninstall if you have better alternatives.
As for connectivity, the AO 722 comes with the basic package, meaning you get WiFi, Ethernet and Bluetooth, while the selection of ports is also pretty tame: 1 HDMI port, 3 USB 2.0 port, multi card reader and audio jack. For a 11.6 inch netbook, the AO 722 comes with a good battery, which can last up to 8 hours on a single charge. This is better than more expensive entries, like the Lenovo X120e (around 6.5 hours), but trails behind the HP Mini 5103.
But the AO 722 shines where it counts the most, and that is price. The 11.6 inch mini laptop goes for $299 on Amazon right now, which is less than the HP dm1z, that costs 574 bucks, or the Lenovo IdeaPad S205, that sells for a minimum of $499.
Sure, both of these laptops have better hardware, but for a casual user, the AO 722 offers enough crunch to be a very decent alternative to more expensive netbooks. After all, you get HD playback, a good battery, the tried and tested Acer Aspire One design- an entry level package worth considering.