Finding ways to differentiate your product in the notebook market can be difficult. Most companies are currently going with the Intel Atom N270/N280 CPU combined with the 945GSE chipset. The result is that performance is nearly identical between similarly equipped netbooks, although as we saw with the ASUS 1005HA and the GIGABYTE M1022, there are still differences when it comes to battery life and features. Acer looks to separate their latest Aspire One 751h from the crowd by bumping the screen size up to 11.6", which also has the very noticeable benefit of providing you with a 1366x768 native resolution. Here's a rundown of the features and specifications.

Acer Aspire One 751h-1192 (LU.S850B.239) Specifications
Processor Intel Atom Z520 (1.33GHz, 512KB L2, 45nm, 533FSB)
Chipset Intel US15W + SCH LPC
Memory 1x1024MB DDR2-667 CL5 @533 CL4 (Max 2GB)
Graphics Integrated Intel GMA 500
Display 11.6" Glossy LED-Backlit 16:9 WXGA (1366x768)
AU Optronics model B116XW02 V0
Hard Drive 2.5" 160GB 5400RPM 8MB
(Seagate Momentus 5400.5 ST9160310AS)
Networking Realtek RTL8102 Fast Ethernet
Atheros AR5007EG 802.11abg WiFi
Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
Audio Realtek AL272 2-Channel HD Audio
(2.0 Speakers with headphone/microphone jacks)
Battery 6-Cell 11.1V, 5200 mAhr, 57.72 Whr
Front Side WiFi On/Off switch
Left Side Microphone/Headphone jacks
2 x USB 2.0
AC Power connection
100Mb Fast Ethernet
Right Side SD/MMC/MS Pro/xD reader
1 x USB 2.0
Kensington Lock
Back Side None
Operating System Windows XP Home SP3
Dimensions 11.2" x 7.8" x 1.0"" (WxDxH)
Weight 3.0 lbs (with 6-cell battery)
Extras 1.3MP Webcam
Multi-Gesture Touchpad
Warranty 1-year standard Acer warranty
Price AO751h-1192 $399 MSRP; available online starting at $329.
Many preconfigured models available.

The upgrade in LCD and chassis size would normally result in lower battery life, but Acer counteracts that by switching to a lower power Atom Z520 CPU and the US15W (Poulsbo) chipset (with SCH LPC Southbridge). The Atom Z520 processor isn't actually that much slower than the N280, as it runs at 1333 MHz in comparison to 1667 MHz; it's a difference of 25%, but netbooks aren't designed to be fast systems in the first place. Giving up a bit of CPU power in order to get a larger LCD is a compromise many people would be happy to make, provided there aren't other drawbacks. The change in chipset is more of a mixed bag, offering clearly inferior 3D performance as well as noticeably slower 2D performance. Video playback without proper hardware acceleration (i.e. YouTube) suffers a lot on the US15W/GMA 500, with significant stuttering any time you try to interact with the system -- i.e. opening a menu. However, with proper hardware support you can get very good x264 playback, including up to 1080p support. Try that on a GMA 950 with an Atom CPU and it will fail miserably.

It's worth noting that we received the Aspire One 751h-1192 with a 6-cell battery, and as you might expect that means roughly twice the battery life of models that use a 3-cell battery. There are numerous other 751h models available, including options that ship with 2GB RAM and a 250GB hard drive (i.e. the AO751h-1196). Given the much higher starting price of around $470, you'd be better off buying the base model and upgrading the components on your own, but other SKUs have better pricing.

Acer Aspire One 751h Overview
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  • kopilka - Saturday, January 16, 2010 - link

    Which model has a version of XP Professional Edition?
    Where can I find information on the XP Professional Edition [url=">]online[/url]?
  • gipper - Friday, September 4, 2009 - link

    I could care less about screen SIZE, but having an x600 screen, I would kill for x768. I'll probably buy another at the first of the year when these 10 and 11" x768 screens are offered with the new chipsets.

    The 10" keyboards work fine, and if they wanted, they could fit these 11" displays in the same chasis. The bezels on the 10" books are ridiculously oversized.
  • cremefilled - Friday, September 4, 2009 - link

    I've had my Acer 751h for two weeks. As suggested, look for the Bing combo specials. My 6-cell red 751h with XP Home netted $295 at Tigerdirect after Bing rebate and an additional $20 Paypal rebate.

    If you get the right codecs, these play high-def videos *wonderfully*. I've played all sorts of mkv and avi files, including very high bitrate mkv's (16GB 1080p file, averaging something like 12Mbps video bitrate). This is in Windows XP Home; make sure the files are local, not over wireless. You can find several tutorials on the Internet for setting up 264 hardware decoding-- and yes, it does currently involve using PowerDVD h/x264 codecs. So far, after having tried 12 to 15 Usenet/torrent mkv files, I have 100% compatibility. It's really remarkable to play a 1080p video on this tiny, lightweight device. It's like the world's greatest portable DVD.

    I've owned several netbooks, including top-rated Asus and Samsung 10" iterations. This Acer DESTROYS them for high-def video, provided that you take the time to track down the right drivers. Also, the battery life for DVD playback improves if you use the PowerDVD general video codec -- like the PowerDVD 264 codec, this uses the GMA500 for hardware MPEG2 decoding. DVD playback when using GMA500 hardware decoding is less pixellated than the Asus and Samsung netbooks -- not sure why...

    For everyday web browsing, MS Office, music playback, etc., this 1.33 MHz Atom is "just as good as" the higher speed Atoms. They're all fine. (The only caveats would be Youtube fullscreen, and some jerkiness when quickly scrolling through a webpage. By the way, you can overclock the Acer from Windows... just look around the Net.) The 11.6" screen and the fullsized keyboard are HUGE improvements over the 9" and 10" form factors. (The Acer's keyboard is better than the keyboard on my 15.6" Toshiba notebook.) The only thing I need more processing power for in a portable is high-def video, and the Acer 751h -- if you will tinker a bit -- absolutely rules in that category.

    I'll add that the 751h is exactly the same weight as my 9" Asus netbook -- the latter still looks "cool" and svelte (the 900HA, I think). Hold them side by side, and you realize how much thinner and more elegant the Acer is. It is also very cool in your lap -- much better than other netbooks I have tried.

    I think there's an Acer coming out with the same 11.6" screen size, a single-core Core2 CPU, and a battery that doesn't jut out -- for $500 retail. That would be a heck of a bargain, but it couldn't decode mkv's any better than the 751h does.
  • lr300a - Thursday, September 3, 2009 - link

    Those benchmarks are totally irrelevant. How can anyone use a netbook to do encoding of x264 video? I think that different benchmarks must be posted on applications which are important in a netbook (like java youtube player performance, divx decoding, 720p decoding cpu occupancy).
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 3, 2009 - link

    DivX 720p decoding works and provides the listed battery life. Are you going to try to watch a movie while doing something else on one of these netbooks? If so, you're not going to enjoy the experience much... every time I start interacting with other apps while a movie is playing, the system stutters. As it stands, YouTube works, but YouTube HD doesn't -- as I mentioned in the last two netbook articles, which had faster CPUs/GPUs.

    The tests I ran are supposed to give you an idea of relative performance, which in this case means that you see how slow these Atom CPUs are in CPU intensive tasks. PCMark05 gives you an idea of general application performance. I'm not sure what good it is to try and capture %CPU use for video playback, when it either works or fails. I can see about adding such a test, but adding more tests just means fewer articles written. My goal right now is to review MORE laptops, even if it means we don't get as much detail on each one.
  • Jjoshua2 - Thursday, September 3, 2009 - link

    Could we always have a test on these netbooks to see if they can run youtube HD fullscreen? I think most everyone wants to do this, and it is the most intensive thing that most people will do. I don't see why someone would watch 1080p on such a small screen, and its not for home theaters.

    It would also be nice to have a flash game test to see if it stutters on that. I know one flash game that seems slow on my netbook sometimes is farmville a facebook flash game.
  • AnnonymousCoward - Friday, September 4, 2009 - link

    My C2D@3GHz/GT260/WinXP has visible stuttering with youtube HD. I don't think it's optimized to run well in general.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 3, 2009 - link

    I mentioned it in the ASUS 1005HA and Gigabyte M1022 reviews, but those two netbooks couldn't handle YouTube HD - regular YouTube was fine. Needless to say, with a slower CPU/chipset, the Acer 751h definitely can't play YouTube/Hulu HD. :(
  • Griswold - Thursday, September 3, 2009 - link

    Once again its not just the display that is glossy, the display frame comes with a piano finish. Bloody murder! I guess its a plus that the keyboard area doesnt come with the same finish as well...

    It seems that the upcoming nokia booklet 3G is one of the few (if not the only) netbook that doesnt look like a bling-bling toy from a junk goods store.

    Seriously, cheap doesnt mean it has to look cheap.
  • FATCamaro - Thursday, September 3, 2009 - link

    God this looks like a cheap ass piece of shit even in photos. I can't imagine how shitty it is IRL.

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