on February 16, 2013
First, there are already numerous reviews of all the different versions of the Ace Aspire One 756, so I'll try not to repeat everything that has already been said and instead concentrate on where this machine fits in and what it offers, and doesn't offer.
There's been much debate on the demise of netbooks which once sold in the tens of millions. Supposedly they were replaced by tablets, but that's only half the truth. They failed because while people loved the low price that made them almost an impulse purchase, no one loved the pokey performance and dinky screens of early netbooks. 1024 x 600 pixels and a marginal Atom chip just didn't make it. So buyers asked for more, and got it, but at a higher price, but that wasn't netbooks anymore.
Now that almost all notebooks have 14-inch screens and larger, the Acer Aspire AO756 with its 11.6-inch screen, low price and low weight really still is a netbook, whatever that means. But one that's eminently more usable with its larger 1366 x 768 pixel screen and Celeron processor.
So what about Celeron instead of Atom? Huge difference. On most benchmarks, my new Aspire One 756 scores between 2.5 and 3 times faster overall than my old Atom N270-based Acer Aspire One from 2008 (PassMark overall 619 vs 208, CrystalMark overall 71,650 vs 30,145). Do note that the Celeron 877 in this netbook is NOT your father's Celeron; this is what could be called an Intel Core-i1, a slightly wing-clipped Core i3-2365M. We're talking very competent 2nd gen Core processor here.
But doesn't that Celeron make the machine run hotter and use more battery? You'd expect that given the 877's thermal design power (a measure of how much heat must be removed at the CPU's peak performance) is 17 watts versus the old Atom N270's 2.5 watts. Well, Sandy Bridge processors have excellent power management. Using BatteryMon, my old N270-based Aspire One drew a minimum of 7.3 watts. This new Celeron-based Aspire One with much more power and a larger screen drew just 6 watts. It has a fan, but I never even hear it, and the device hardly warms up, much less than my old Acer. Some have reported inadequate battery life from this netbook, but mine lasts around five hours and more. Battery life is really more affected by a relatively low-capacity 37 watt-hour battery in this model. There are drop-in replacements, but they are not easy to find.
Some have reported increased performance scores, especially on the Windows Experience Index, when adding memory. Well, this model of the AO756 comes with a single 4GB RAM stick, in my unit a Hynix PC3-10600. More out of curiosity than anything else, I got a second identical chip for $26. Result? CPU stayed at 4.7, RAM went from 5.9 to 7.4, Graphics went from 4.3 to 4.9, Gaming from 4.5 to 5.6, and HD stayed at 5.9. So yes, this Acer LOVES a lot of matched memory. Much more improvement could be had by replacing the not-very-fast hard disk with a SSD, but given the usually endless hassle when migrating Windows to another disk, I am not going to go there.
What about the display? Well, 1366 x 768 pixel is infinitely more useful than the 1024 x 600 on smaller netbooks. The horizontal viewing angle is very good, but the vertical one is poor, and the screen is very glossy. Overall, the screen is good enough, but not outstanding.
The touchpad, fashionably, is just one pad without separate left and right mouse buttons. I never liked that very much, especially since gestures and such just don't work very well on a little notebook, but it's workable. The keyboard gets high marks for being full-scale, which is invaluable for touch typists. The layout is pretty much copied from the MacBooks. Good enough.
They left out Bluetooth, which is no real big deal unless you'd like to use the Acer with a big screen and full keyboard/mouse in the office as I do. No Bluetooth means hooking up a wired keyboard and mouse.
Other observations: Unlike my 2008 Aspire One, the AO756 has excellent access to the interior. Remove one screw and the entire bottom of the device comes off. Great! Sound quality from the speakers? Very marginal, agreed. But still good enough to listen to a movie. And while I haven't looked into it much, the audio guts in this machine are reportedly (according to a ham radio specialist) very competent. Finger prints? My Aspire One came in silver and no fingerprints show at all.
So overall, is this Acer Aspire One AO756 with the Celeron chip a good buy? The answer is not as clear-cut as it used to be when netbooks cost US$250 and "real" notebooks $600. This little Acer costs a bit more and "real" notebooks now cost amazingly little. But if you need a slender little 3-pound notebook that nevertheless packs an amazing punch, this Acer is terrific. I replaced my old Aspire One because it was utterly unable to run HD video from my GoPros and such. This one can, and I really love it.
on December 6, 2012
My Asus 10.5" 1000He netbook died after 3yrs 7 months 6 days 4 hours 37 minutes and 12 and 1/2 seconds (but whose counting). I had a Samsung/Google /Chrome on backorder and decided to research more conventional machines when I found this baby. My apprehension for the Google app OS machine was it might not run some of the apps/programs I currently use. I had 4 reservations about the 2617. It was bigger/heavier than my previous box, had a considerably shorter battery life, 4hrs vs 9 (the Atom processor on the Asus was slower, but more efficient than the Celeron 877), was available from only one vendor, a NYC foto shop (one other shop had it 'discontinued'), and Acer customer service seems weak. Maybe the -2617 has an exploding gas tank like the old 'Pintos.' It had everything I wanted, Celeron 877, 4GB ram, 320GB HD, Win 7 64 bit Home Premium ($15 upgrade to Win8), and it was under 3 bills. Save $10 by ordering it directly from Adorama (or buy it through Amazon and get whatever extra protection that implies). Free std shipping and it came in 2 days. Musta made the late bus.... The only other Acer product I own is a 22" monitor for my desktop that has been doing a great job for several years. Customer service is immaterial if you never need it!
OK, I put in the battery pack and fired it up. Great hi rez, bright screen. Did a decrapify to remove bloatware (a scheme to speed up slower machines). Connected to the web on the second try through my WiFi. After 8 hrs, I'm pleased. It feels solid, is as fast as an SR-71 blackbird- look it up or ask yer dad, and will jam into my old neoprene sleeve. It also connected to my wireless printer whilst my Asus never would. I will use it to search the web, e-mail, maybe watch videos, stream music, etc. All this and the gas tank has yet to explode. I will try to update this review if nothing untoward ends my sojurn in this dimension. I'm happy so far. YEMV. Cheers, Fzz.
Update! (next day)
Being the only review suggests the lack of availbility of this netbook. It is listed on the Acer website ($400). Anyhow, last night I opened the manual and discovered I had an HDMI port on this rig. I found an HDMI cable lying around (thank you Comcast) and connected the netbook to my HD tv directly. I connected my MS joystick. With a setting change there was my desktop in HD, wow! I d/l'd my favorite WW2 fighter combat sim (which stated a minimum cpu requirement of 1.8 gHZ). This is a 1.4GHz machine, but dual core. It ran like a charm on the big screen. Wow! No separate video card, but plenty of RAM. I hadn't intended to do any games (I don't anymore), but this was a test, and it passed. Picture this olde man sitting next to you on a Delta flight with this little netbook attached to a giant MS sidewinder JS shooting down Me 109's from the cockpit of a British Spitfire, or P51 Mustang or being a waist gunner on a B-17. Can your get virtual 50 cal and 20mm ammo past security?
Update: Dec 19 (2 weeks later).
Still running fine. The one bothersome anomaly is sometimes the keypad loses my work. In a doc I can find it saved as a draft. In a forum whem I'm composing, a slight brush on the pad has caused me to lose my work and have to start over. This can happen several times on the same post. I've been told by others to disable the keypad Fn-F7 when composing. Stil trying to figure out what's going on. I suspect having only one finger on the pad at a time might work. Other issues I have might be with Win 7. I'm constantly searching for a google search box. I don't see it on every page as I did in XP. I've used add ons, google tool bar etc. Not consistent. Still love this lil monster.
BTW, I paid $289 free shipping 2 weeks ago. It's now going for $399 on Amazon. The place i bought it from 'Adorama" has it now for $319 free shipping. I was suspicious. Now I am pleased.
Update: April 25, 2013
The only issue I have with this gem is the ongoing issue with the touchpad. Sometimes it becomes sketchy and is impossible to move. As though the rig is thinking about something and won't release the cursor. I keep a mouse available when this happens. Mouse works fine.
on December 12, 2012
I bought this netbook off of ebay as manufacturer refurbished, but Acer had amazing ratings on there, so I trusted them. :)
My netbook came with only 2gb of ram, but everything's the same.
I gave this a 5/5 because anyone who buys a machine like this should know what to expect. It's not going to be a powerhouse replacement, it's intended to be light, yet speedy and capable to to do everything you'd do on a main computer. (This is replacing my actual computer, though, mind you)
The HDD is what one would expect from 5400rpm. It's quiet, meaning not annoying--you'll still hear it when the room is silent, and it doesn't give off much heat, unless you're doing something drastic like running many programs while sitting in a hot room. With Satan.
The processor is speedy, don't underestimate it. Of course it's only 1.4ghz and it's dual-core, but it's very capable. I've done my research on netbooks, specifically their cpu's, and this is one of the best. Don't buy any other model unless it can compete with this one. I believe this one tripled, maybe even quadrupled, the performance of the amd processors that the other models have.
The screen is great on here, although things do appear small--but hey, it's an 11" screen. And not only that, I'm used to using a 42" 1080p tv as my monitor. The issue is remedied with a bit of tweaking of settings and sites. Not a problem here, but be aware! If you're worried text might be a bit too hard to read, than browse the 13" laptops. You'll probably find a screen more to your liking. :) Just make sure it's a solid package.
Keyboard is awesome, I'm very happy with it, though I do miss my mechanical keyboard. =/ It's no fault to the netbook, so I kept the 5 stars as it is, though if I were to demote a star, the keyboard would be the reason. After comparing the key sizes to my old one and my little brother's 15.6" laptop, the keys are definitely smaller, though the spacing in between them is roughly the same.
Other than that, it is pleasant to type on! :D One of the most important parts of a good keyboard, to me, is the size of the enter and shift keys. :) I am a writer and this is one of the most important things I need and I need it to function well and comfortably. (Take note, this isn't a very comfortable keyboard to play games with)
Let's move on to how well this machine can play games!
League of legends, it is capable of running at 60 fps, though it will dip to 30-55 more often than anything. Before this netbook, I would play the game with a 5770, six core processor, at 1080p at 60 fps and I can still comfortably play my matches on this netbook, though the latter is preferred. ;D
Torchlight 2 runs EXCELLENT on here and I assume Diablo3 would run the same, but I was surprised Team Fortress 2 did not run well on here, so take not of that if you plan on playing games akin to that on here.
Overall, for games, this thing exceeded my expectations. If I can play LoL and Torchlight 2 (And any other games akin to those), I'm a happy camper, albeit I should be working rather than playing games...
One last thing before I move on to my upgrades, the netbook handles temperature well. It is only a machine, though, so it won't be ice cold. Don't expect that. =/
First thing I did was installed 8gb of ram by Crucial, which is the same brand of my Solid state drive. The expanded ram helped A TON with multi-tasking, which is what I always do. As of now, I have 7 chrome tabs open, music playing, steam downloading games, and I'm writing this review. I can easily alt-tab during League matches just as well as I've done on my desktop. So I payed about 30 bucks for the ram and it was well worth it. :)
Right after that, I installed my trusty Crucial SSD 128gb! This is where I ran into trouble though. First off, the ssd itself was a tad too thick, so I had to void my warranty and slim it down a bit by taking the spacer off the middle and using electrical tape to keep it a tight package. I checked the area where the tape presses against and it's fine, though I do check up on it occasionally for a worry-free mind.
After the installation, windows didn't detect the drivers the netbook needed to do anything internet related--even being connected via ethernet cable didn't work, so I just downloaded the drivers using another computer and transferred it over. I should've been smarter than the computer and downloaded all them prior to the upgrades, but I have an excuse.
I didn't think of it.
After all that, everything is smooth sailing. ;D
I now own a netbook I am proud of and I didn't have to pay over a grand for an ultrabook!
I hope my review helped!
Update: January 2nd, 2012
I've removed one of the 4gb ram slots out of the netbook because 8gb seemed to be overkill. :) I would've left it in there, except the extra ram was generating more heat than I'd like. It was nothing serious or out of the ordinary, but I'm trying to see how long I can keep this laptop running optimally. Who knows, maybe this'll become my daughter's first computer when she grows up. And, you know, exists in the world.
4gb of ram seems to be plenty as I've never even utilized 8gb during my normal usages, which always involve multiple tabs of chrome, music, videos, downloading, games, some video editing. :) So hopefully this little update will help anyone interested in this netbook.
Pertaining to everything else, it's all running amazingly still.
I also downloaded a little program called TwoFingerScroll that makes the touchpad awesome to use. :3
on March 9, 2013
5 stars, this was a great purchase. I'm absolutely loving the style, functionality and portability of this Netbook.
Why I chose the A0756-2617:
Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)- Glad I could find a product with decent hardware that is still shipping with Windows 7.
4gig of ram, upgradeable to 8, Intel 1.4ghz, plenty of hard drive space for my purposes (320gigs) Shipped with 250gigs available. This could be a big minus for some people, I'm using this primarily for Microsoft Office, Internet browsing/research, and homework, with an occasional Netflix video streaming, dont need a terabyte of storage.
Shipped with lots of bloatware, took me about an hour to get rid of most of it, install Office via a USB flash drive. Good to go.
Some people don't like that netbooks don't have disk drives. For my purposes this was a huge plus. Why lug unnecessary hardware around EVERYWHERE you go with your computer? External DVD drives are cheap, $20-30 range, and they pop up even cheaper than that with sales. Not having a disk drive keeps this device slim at an inch, and light 3lbs!
The display is decent, no pixel issues, love the resolution, haven't watched any HD videos on it, but I'm sure they would run fine.
Love the fact that it has a built in SD reader!
Keyboard seems very natural, very light key presses, quiet, and the track pad functions fine. I'm using a wireless mouse so any trackpad of mine gets neglected either way.
Other thoughs, no USB 3.0...wasn't a selling point for me to begin with, I've always thought 2.0 was fast enough.
Wireless internet started right up, no issues, runs fast and just as stable as my home desktop computer.
Here is my only gripe with this device, and if I could give it 4.5 stars, I would, the battery life isn't what I wanted. I'm getting about 4 hours on a charge with the display dimmed half way, wireless running, internet browsing/office processing. Nothing crazy. I think they advertise 5 hours on Acers website....not in my experience. Maybe if I turned the wireless off I could increase my battery life, but I'm usually using the internet. So the 4 cell battery was my only gripe with this machine. Which is replaceable, I'll look into those options later into the batteries life. Increasing cells will also increase the weight of the machine, so you have to find a happy medium. In my searching, I found similar hardware running machines with longer battery life claims, but none came close to this price range/weight/with Windows 7 installed....
Couldn't find a more qualified Netbook for my purposes, and it is definitely living up to my expectations.
on April 11, 2013
This is my second Acer Netbook in the Aspire line. I had one of the first ones that had the Win7 Starter OS and although it was a bit slow, I was only using it mostly to get my e-mail and chat while traveling from my hotel room. This model is a huge improvement. I decided to replace my old one with the full version Win7 before they are no longer available. Having 4GB of RAM helps make this baby run almost as fast as my desktop whizz bang machine in my office. If you are like me, I hate the new Win8 OS and I have not seen a pad style computer that I can get comfortable with.
I spent a whole day decrapifing this netbook and reloading all the programs that I use and already have licenses. I am going to load my Kindle account on it and add some of my music library to it for those long plane rides and layovers. Battery life is always an issue with the trade off in weight on these computers but when I crank down the display and without multi-tasking,I should get enough time to entertain me when a power outlet is not available.
Acer has made some big strides in improving the general layout of things on the keyboard and the built in web cam is far superior to the earlier models.
I also purchased a mini wireless mouse that has a tiny dongle that can be left in one of the USB ports. It works well when a flat surface is available so I can get some business done while on the road too. A palm tree decal on the lid adds a little personalty to it, so I am very happy with this purchase.
So far, there aren't any negatives that I have observed except for the usual complaint about crapware (unwanted programs & games) that eat up disk space and memory and CONSTANTLY nag you to buy something. They say this helps keep the price of the computer low, but that is debateable. There are some nifty free programs that do most of the work to decrapify for you that you can find on the net and run from a thumb drive that I highly recommend, but you still have to go in pretty deep to find all the stuff hidden deeper and delete those manually.
Sorry I cannot comment on Acer support services. I have been building computers for over thirty years so I rarely have the need to request support. Acer has grown in recent years. I hope the market for these mid-size netbooks does not dry up completely for them as the world seems to be moving in the direction of the Pad/Pod styles. Ask yourself how often you are going to use your computer standing up when you are making the decision. Also, do you want to add another Internet Service Provider bill? You can tether this computer to your Android smart phone with a simple utility or better yet link them with a Bluetooth connection and you are good to go.
Happy computer-ing my friends. Mike.
After working with this netbood for about two weeks here are some additional comments. I can report that the battery life is better than I expected. I am getting about 3 hours on a full change doing some light multi-tasking. I don't use the touch pad very often, but that is improved also. The crystal display is magnificent, very clear and easy to read even small fonts. Windows 7 can be sluggish for some tasks, but that is expected in these small computers.
4GB RAM handles everything I throw at it and it does not produce an excessive amout of heat. But remember, heat is the enemy. No one should use a laptop on top of a pillow or some such foolishness. They need a little air! I would suggest not adding more RAM. I think someone wrote another review about heat building up with more RAM added. Try using a thumb drive booster if you have the extra need.
Same goes for hard drive storage. If you need more storage get a Passport Drive if you need to carry alone a few extra full length movies.
I do not miss the extra weight that a DVD RW drive would add. Keep in mind that you can load programs on your netbook from your desktop computer with a simple home network. Why buy another one and haul it around with you?
Overall, this light weight netbook is great for checking e-mail while on the road or at home while watching tv with the commercials on mute. More often these days, I find myself using the computer as an additional source of information while watching tv. Google has settled several arguments with my wife over tv and movie trivia. Of course, she is right more often these days, so you might want to consider that a bit.
Take care my friends.
on January 21, 2013
I love my Acer. It's small, compact and easy to take along wherever I go. I use it mostly for Facebook, e-mail, downloading books and music. It does everything I need it to do. I would highly recommend this machine.
on April 12, 2013
Its mini Laptop, Full Windows 7, 4 gigs of Ram, not really a netbook. I had a netbook but it was slow and limited, this is much better.
Screen is bright and clear, keyboard is small but usable. I got it primarily to program Arduinos and RC gear etc and everything hooks up via the 3 usb ports fine.
Not much bloatware on the unit which is a relief.
Glossy black is a fingerprint magnet but thats a small price to pay.
I added a BT module for full funcionality.
Its a shame to see these getting hard to find, I deliberately got this model because it did not have Win8 which does not play well with non standard devices I hook up to it.
on January 10, 2013
Got this for Christmas and I couldn't be happier with it. It is fast and works great, perfect size for what I wanted. The only minor complaint is the battery life could be a little longer. Highly recommend.
on December 8, 2012
Most important thing you need to know about this netbook is there are 2 memory slots and the 4GB is one stick. That leaves you with one open and you can go straight to 8GB without having to buy 2 new sticks and that is the first thing I did after getting this. Unlike other netbooks the processor is not painfully underpowered, it is rather robust for its class. One drawback with the more powerful processor is of course the drain on the battery which on average use I've consistently gotten 3.5 hours on one full charge compared to the 5-6 on an Atom. I do not see the battery life to be a deal breaker as the performance more than makes up and justifies it. The hard drive is probably its only true weak point but to save on cost and battery life the 5400rpm drive is a no brainer. I'll eventually replace it with a SSD which will improve the performance and increase battery life, but for now it will suffice. One last thought: I have an older Aspire One that requires taking the entire shell off to replace the hard drive or any other components, but not this one. On the bottom there is one large panel held in with one screw, it is supper simple to take off and it provides you access to just about everything you would need.
on April 3, 2013
I purchased the thing for less than $290 from Amazon. Today I can see its price went up to $370. Now it is not my problem.
The netbook itself is very thin, compact. Its features list is impressive.
There are many PROs and only one CON as of now - the puny speakers that made me really surprised. Otherwise - the computer is relatively fast, there is not too much bloatware. The specs are very good. What is not to love???