Acer Aspire One 751h Overview

As usual, we'll start with a pictorial overview of the system.

The short summary is that the Aspire One 751h includes everything you'd expect in a modern netbook. You get WiFi (only 802.11g), Fast Ethernet, three USB ports, a VGA port, and a flash memory reader. There's nothing particularly unique about the package, with the exception of the larger than average 11.6" LCD panel. However, that's a pretty major difference, especially when we take into account the native 1366x768 resolution. We have had numerous complaints about the 1024x600 resolution used on many smaller netbooks, and overall we definitely preferred the slightly larger LCD on the 751h. Other manufacturers are also coming out with 11.6" netbooks, but this is the first one we've received and there's a noticeable difference.

Like many other manufacturers, Acer uses a glossy plastic finish on the 751h. We received a sapphire blue model, and fingerprints are easily visible. If that's a concern, we would recommend looking for one of the models that comes in white. The Acer Aspire One AO751h-1273 is a great choice and it includes the 250GB hard drive and 2GB RAM upgrades, but it also ships with a Vista Home Basic "downgrade" which is unfortunate in our opinion. Vista just doesn't perform that well on netbooks, though it looks like Windows 7 will do a lot better. Of course, you can save a bit of money and get the same specifications as the 1192 we're reviewing with the white AO751h-1885.

That's the one rather confusing aspect of Acer's model numbering scheme: tons of similar but not quite identical products that all have the same family name. Our advice would be to look for a model that comes with Windows XP and make sure you get a 6-cell battery. If you can find such a system in a color you like with 2GB RAM, so much the better. We like the overall design and our only real complaint is that the Poulsbo chipset used in the 751h isn't as fast as the 945GSE used in many other netbooks. We'll have to wait for Pine Trail/Pineview to get the package we really want, complete with an integrated memory controller and IGP. The Pine Trail platform netbooks should ship in early 2010 (if not sooner).

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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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