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133 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First "Netbook" That Can Rival a Macbook Air
Please note that the Acer list price for this model is $379.

Update note 7-19-12: if only one of your two memory slots is populated,the cheapest memory upgrade is to buy a single matching stick to the other, vacant slot. This will boost your video score under the WEI (Windows Experience Index from 4.7 to 4.9. If you add 2 new modules using faster PC3-12800 RAM...
Published on July 4, 2012 by MWebb

versus
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars responsive processor BUT inadequate battery and heating problem
The laptop is responsive. I got mine from BestBuy with Synaptics touchpad which is great. On the other hand, the laptop bottom gets heated up quickly and it becomes too warm to keep it on your lap. The biggest grip I have with it is the short battery life which ruins the portability.

Here are a few battery scenarios:

A. Power Saver, screen brightness...
Published on August 13, 2012 by math-tutorchicago-org


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133 of 136 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First "Netbook" That Can Rival a Macbook Air, July 4, 2012
By 
This review is from: Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
Please note that the Acer list price for this model is $379.

Update note 7-19-12: if only one of your two memory slots is populated,the cheapest memory upgrade is to buy a single matching stick to the other, vacant slot. This will boost your video score under the WEI (Windows Experience Index from 4.7 to 4.9. If you add 2 new modules using faster PC3-12800 RAM your WEI for RAM speed will jump from 5.9 to 7.4. The motherboard is quite good, see the comments below this review. Do not mismatch RAM module speeds or sizes! No additional boost to video score.

+ Better than average display quality - can view the entire screen out to the corners without "darkening;" videos have a "vibrancy" lacking in most 10.1" netbooks. Macbook Airs remain the "gold-standard" however.
+ Nice keyboard feel - nicely spaced, almost full-sized keyboard with "island" style keys with good space between the keys. The keys themselves are about 93% of IBM Selectric typewriter sizing. Comparable to Macbook Air.
+ Very zippy - significantly faster than Atom powered netbooks and lower-end AMD Fusion netbooks (C-60, E-300, E-450).
+ One of the lightest (2.15 lbs with battery but without charger; 3.05 lbs with charger) and thinnest netbooks /notebooks, short of the Macbook Airs (and their copies, the Intel-sponsored Ultrabooks). Solid feel.
+ Trackpad is much more stable than on earlier netbooks - two finger scrolling is smooth too.
+ True "high def" screen (albeit of the 720p, not 1080p, variety).
+ Compared to 1gb of RAM on the remaining 10.1" netbooks, this has 4 gb and the lowest configuration is still 2 gb.
+ Compared to Windows 32 bit in the crippled _Starter_ edition on the remaining 10.1" netbooks, all editions of this AO756 come with 64 bit Home Premium.

- Only a four-cell battery, with an average of 3 to 3.5 hours of battery life. Cannot match the better Atom netbooks (5-8 hours) or the Macbook Airs (5-7 hours). With careful settings and just web browsing, maybe 4 hours.
- Most editions don't have Bluetooth. (My budget edition doesn't, but neither does this higher end model.)
- [Webcam resolution is not specified on Acer website, but appears to be lower res, certainly not the HD found on the latest Apple laptops.] 7-7-12 update: WRONG. Per the device driver and most websites (Frys for example and Amazon, this actually has a HD Webcam with 720p capabillity - amazing at this price point and GREAT for web conferencing (although I have only tried out Skype so far). This pushes this netbook even closer to the practical functionality of a Macbook Air. Trickle down technology is benefiting us hugely.
- No "backlighting" of keyboard if you often type in a dark room (spouse asleep?). Not many laptops have this feature, so it is a minor negative.
- Glossy lid remains a fingerprint / smear magnet. Palm rest panel is not glossy but picks up skin oils. The Asus x101ch with its matt, pebbled finish is far better. Doesn't affect functionality, minor.

+- Single "jack" for input/output (microphone/headphones). A big plus if you have some cellphone style earbuds with an inline mic (great for Skype and Google Talk) but a negative if you have an older style separate jack microphone and need to use it at the same time as some headphones. Since there is a good, echo-canceling microphone built-in to the chassis, you don't need earbuds with an inline mic and can use whatever you have lying around for Skype (or alternatively use the netbook in speakerphone mode with no earbuds at all).
+- No USB 3.0. But why would you want to pay the significant premium for USB 3.0 on a travel netbook that will only require heavy file transfer when it is initially set up and you dump some music and video files on it.
+- Hard drive is a slim profile 7.0 mm height, not the standard 9.5 mm hard drive height. (Thank you, commenter NIKKG for pointing this out.) The OCZ 240GB Vertex 3 Harnessing SATA 6Gb/s 2.5" Low Profile 7mm form factor SSD with Max 550MB/s Read and Max 4KB Write 85K IOPS For Ultrabook - VTX3LP-25SAT3-240G should therefore fit if you need an SSD otherwise start with the Hitachi Travelstar series for conventional platter based hard drives; not all Travelstar are low profile, check!

How "zippy" is "zippy"? Current 10.1" netbooks are powered by Atom N2600's with a PassMark Benchmark of 592. The former Aspire AO722 with the AMD C-60 had a PassMark Benchmark of 563 (the higher-zoot AMD 450 still only has a benchmark of 739). The Celeron 877 powering this Acer AO756 has a PassMark Benchmark of 1474. For me, that meant a fresh out of box set up that would have taken 4 hours on a 10.1" netbook only took 2 hours on this.

With this modern Celeron-powered netbook with its 11.6" HD screen, the netbook era is officially over - except for keeping the low netbook pricing, the compact size, the light weight, the ultra-portability for cafe and travel use. For the cost of a netbook of 3 years ago, you can now get the computing power of a mid-range notebook of the same era, when netbooks, and not iPads, ruled the web. The Celeron that powers this Acer isn't a single cored, old-technology weakling from the era that gave rise to "Celerons," it is a slightly de-tuned dual core Core i3 design running Intel's last generation HD2000 graphics - not quite as powerful as the chips in the Core helpful comment by i3 series on which the processor is based (please see the helpful comment by James, below). Instead of the 1024*600 resolution screen found in netbooks at their height, it has a 1366*768 resolution screen, same as the Macbook Air, same as most value priced 15.6" laptops. And when I say "last generation," the bump from HD3000 to HD4000 only took place a couple of _months_ ago.

In other words, processing and graphics power have trickled down to the lowest range of budget notebooks, while the 11.6" size has simply gotten so much slimmer and lighter there is no longer any reason to drop to a 10.1" for portability. Other than the sheer fact of having a larger footprint (but not a fatter or heavier one), this is just as light and portable as a 10.1" netbook. Still small enough to easily fit into even a small daypack and medium shoulder bag.

I first saw the AO756 in Asia last month (actually it's AMD C-60 powered sibling, the AO725, but the cases are the same) and was impressed by how thin and light Acer had evolved its former AOD722 11.6" netbook (which I just gave to my daughter) into this much sleeker, lighter edition. Over there prices are actually higher than over here (due to a lack of serious discounting over there) while the units come without Windows, meaning a hefty retail purchase of Windows is required to properly run the thing, making it even less compelling to shop overseas (unless you need the foreign alphabet on the keyboard). Shortly after returning from Asia, I noticed the AO756 was up on the Acer website and a couple of weeks later it was up on Amazon and in-stock at my local big blue retail box - in a 2gb, 320gb harddrive edition for _much_ less than Amazon prices as of the date (July 4 '12) of this initial review (but not whole lot less after sales tax). I discovered that the bottom panel easily slides forward and off if you take off the battery and remove a single screw towards the front panel edge (front is the edge closest to you when typing). Under the back panel is not just a single memory slot, but two, and the 2gb model used a 2gb stick so I just had to look around for a matching 2gb stick pulled out of a different laptop as part of its upgrade, to easily upgrade the memory here. The harddrive (normal full height, 2.5") was right there too, against the day that SSD's (solid state drives) drop down in price, as they seem to be doing recently.

I highly recommend this AO756 over both any 10.1" Atom N2600/N2800 powered netbook, and even over the AO725 sibling to this model, which has the AMD C-60 processor at about a $70 saving (but you get less RAM and a smaller hard drive, not only the slower processor). Although you won't notice the speed difference after initial set-up unless you are always doing big jobs, the difference in speed - an almost 3x difference based on the benchmarks - makes a real difference in productivity when you do have big jobs.

I have now (July 12, 2012) confirmed that the motherboard and BIOS will actually support up to 8gb of RAM; it supports both 10600 and 1333 memory modules (Memory controller supports DDR3-1066 and DDR3-1333 memory. - from CPU World website; Acer specs it with the slightly slower 1066. For a few dollars more you can get the up-spec memory.)

Finally, this computer comes with the "upgrade to Windows 8 for just $14.99" special deal offered by Microsoft for computers purchased between June 2, 2012, and January 31, 2013.

_____________________

To maximize performance, you should still remove bloatware and fine-tune the registry. I will detail this process in a comment to this review.

_____________________ 7-7-12 update:

The Windows Experience Index (WEI) shown in the Window's "Control Panel" (search "WEI") for the ao756 is as follows:
Processor: 4.7
Memory (RAM): 5.9
Graphics (Windows): 4.9
Graphics (Games): 5.7
Hard disk: 5.9

Please note that Graphics (Windows) was 4.2 with the stock 2gb of memory that came with my lower-spec edition. When I added a second 2 gb stick (to the second available slot) performance increased to 4.7, which surprised me (I have never seen graphics speed jump from RAM increases before). Original overall WEI was 4.2, limited by graphics, new WEI overall is 4.7 limited by processor speed.

Given how easy it is to upgrade the hard disk and memory, I may upgrade to 8gb of RAM and to an SSD (solid state drive) at some point; on other units I own, the performance jump under WEI for an SSD is from 5.9 (a very typical hard drive speed for both my 5400 and 7200 hard drives) to 7.5.

Finally, I set up both my old ao722 and this new ao756 side by side on the kitchen counter. Screen illumination and viewing angles on both the old and new models is very similar. However, oddly enough, the old ao722 has a slight bluish tinge to its screen while the new a0756 seems much whiter. Viewed separately rather than side by side, it's not anything I would have every noticed.

I also went to Apple's trailer's website and downloaded the 720p trailer for Total Recall. It plays very nicely, but at the Best Buy when I viewed this trailer on a Macbook Air 11.6", the facial details were much sharper and the video was slightly smoother - once again not something I would have noticed without the recent comparison in mind. The ao756 is more than adequate for downloaded video, home-ripped video, and DVD player video (if you have a portable player - about $30-40 these days). I would say the difference is like the difference between a good stereo from Best Buy etc. vs. an "audiophile" (even a low end audiophile like NAD or Creek) setup from a boutique shop. Both are good - how much do you want to spend, and how much do you want to have at risk in your daypack?

I'm pretty happy with this ao756, and liking it more day by day. The only recommendation I would make to potential purchasers is to NOT get the AMD C-60 powered version (ao725) which is not nearly as powerful in processing terms and doesn't really save you that much money over this model (although according to published specs somehow it does save about 6 ounces in packed weight). Also, if you see an a0722 on clearance for a really low price - try to hold out for this one, this one is so much sleeker, lighter, and faster. Really an improvement, not just a cosmetic repackaging.

While it would have been nice to see USB 3.0 on this, it would only make sense if you were running this as a desktop with a 1TB portable drive on the side - I don't see many people fitting that particular use pattern. I see more people buying this and swapping in an SSD for the slight improvement in performance coupled with better power consumption, or people dropping in a terrabyte or so HD when prices and size work in a notebook.

My only regret is we didn't have this 2 years ago. On the other hand, Intel doling out its trickle down processing power to budget platforms has given Apple plenty of time to boost its computer sales to the point where they almost match the combined total of ALL OTHER manufacturers Windows computers. Never thought I'd see the day, especially given with the continuing Apple price differential.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nearly-perfect 11.6" netbook: 4.5 stars, August 13, 2012
By 
Q (OK, USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
I've used this 11.6" netbook since July 25th. Here are my impressions to add to others' reviews on the Acer AO756. I own the 4GB/500GB HDD AO756-2808 model:

WEI SCORE: (5 stars out of 5)
Default out of the box was:
CPU-4.7, RAM-5.9, GPU-4.5, Game-4.5, HDD-5.9
Reran it to get:
CPU-4.7, RAM-5.9, GPU-4.5, Game-4.7, HDD-5.9

Not sure why, but the gaming score upped itself when I reran the WEI test, so if your score is lower, run the test again.

DESIGN: (6 stars out of 5)
In this day of thin netbooks being nearly impossible to upgrade nor easy to gain access to the HDD or wireless card, the 756 shines like a beacon for the others. The bottom plate is easily removed by taking off one screw and sliding the bottom plate toward you. Underneath has *very* easy access to the HDD, 2 RAM slots (one filled) and the wireless card. For this, you rock for me, Acer!

The weight is only 2 lbs 15 oz. *Very* light and thin for a $300 netbook.

PROCESSOR: (5 stars out of 5)
I'll probably say this several times throughout this review: This is a very fast, "snappy" netbook! I'm impressed. Using this Celeron 877, I am amazed at how responsive it is. I'd debated over the Celeron 877 model and the Pentium 967 model, but looking at their respective specs, I could find *no* differences between the two processors (they even have the identical cache) except that the 877 runs at 1.4GHz and the Pentium 967 at 1.3GHz. Passmark confirms that the Celeron is the better processor. Here are a few Passmark scores to give a comparison of present dual-core netbook processors:
Acer AO722's AMD C-50: 449
Acer AO725's AMD C-60: 558
ASUS 1015PX's Atom N570: 638
Acer AO756's Pentium 967: 1,246
Acer AO756's Celeron 877: 1,430

WEI reports the Pentium 967 as a 4.3 score and the Celeron as 4.7.

RAM: (5 stars out of 5)
Mine came with a single stick of Nanya 4GB DDR3 1333MHz (PC3-10600). Nothing fancy here. It's basic RAM and it works well.

Not that I needed it, but I upgraded it to 8GB (2x 4GB) PC3-12800 DDR3 1600MHz RAM -- yet honestly, I'm just being silly with money to burn. This unit runs fine on the provided 4GB. I merely upgraded to see what would happen ... and because I could!

UPDATE: (Sept 19, '12)
I think my AO756 did even better in heavier graphics situations when I replaced my 4GB RAM (ouch) with a fully matched pair of 4GB 1600MHz PC3-12800 RAM (8GB). These higher specs lower the CAS Latency and increase stability. I bought the CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 1600MHz PC3 12800 Laptop Memory(CMSX8GX3M2A1600C9)/ and noticed better stability, less occasional lag, better video and it just seemed to snap more on screen. Others were very happy with Crucial RAM of the same higher specs from the Crucial site. After giving my 8GB to my wife for her new MBP, I was back to 4GB and I noticed occasional lag in videos. I upped it to 8GB with a 2nd stick of 4GB Patriot 1333MHz RAM, but it still had issues in video and a few blue screens which seems to be the Patriot RAM. Going back to the 8GB matching sticks of Corsair Vengeance PC3-12800 (1600MHz RAM), I seem to see a difference.

I ran WEI again and got:
CPU-4.7, RAM-7.5, GPU-4.9, Game-5.7, HDD-5.9

So as reported by others, upping the RAM to 8GB dual-channel upped WEI's memory score from 5.9 to 7.5, the graphics score from 4.5 to 4.9, and the gaming graphics score from 4.7 to 5.7. In real-life terms, I'm not sure this really matters ... but I suppose it's cool for bragging rights. ;)

WIRELESS CARD: (5 stars out of 5)
What can I say? It works. It features an Atheros wireless-N card that works very well and connects perfectly to my wireless-N Linksys EA3500 router. Because I wanted bluetooth as well, I changed it out for an Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 wireless card w/ BT. Opening it up (did I mention that the entire bottom plate slides off easily exposing the HDD, RAM & wireless card?), I was able to change out the wireless card in less than 5 min. My included BT now works perfectly as well!

DISPLAY: (4 stars out of 5, though several would probably disagree with me)
I *love* the 1366x768 resolution, though it does make the display fonts seem small for me, so I've increased the default size of the display fonts on Windows to 110%. I also love the vivid colors. Images seem sharp.

Viewing angles to the left & right of the display seem *excellent*. Up & down viewing angles are only "okay" (not great but not awful either.) For these, I'd give it 6 stars ... very, very good / above average.

Where this display falls short (3 stars) for me, is for the amount of light bleed & poor black levels. Yes, I know I'm being picky, and several may think my expectations too high for a $300 netbook, but this is important to me when watching a video or Hulu. Like most notebook displays today, the display has mediocre contrast & black levels and what appears to be light bleed but may just be the typically-substandard contrast & black levels. Blacks, esp in the lower third, appear to be muddy, washed-out greys. This is most easily obvious on boot up when the Acer screen and then the black Windows 7 screen appears. Positioning the screen to as-good-as-possible up+down levels (just before the top 1/3 goes into negative), the middle band is black with a lighter bar on the top and a washed-out grey bottom third.

Oh, how I wish they'd spend more on the display and get us MBP-quality screens. I could say that is an unfair expectation to make of a $300 netbook, but comparing this screen to my $300 ASUS 10" 1000HA, my ASUS is *much* brighter (the 756 looks a bit yellowish) and blacks are supurb. The contrast on my 10" is 800:1, whereas the contrast on this unit is likely only 200:1. If they could do it on a first-gen 10" netbooks (Acer & MSI as well), why not the 11.6"? If money is the issue, then charge me $50-75 more. I'd gladly pay it!

Going into BB, I saw that *most* of the notebooks had the same basic substandard contrast ratio & muddy-gray black level displays ... until I wandered over to the Apple table. Every model's display was perfect. Blacks were really black and whites were white. Good brightness too. Macs continue to be the gold standard for notebook displays, but they are at least $1,200 or more, ... though my 10" ASUS 1000HA wasn't, so I'd have thought it was possible to give us a better contrast ratio display on this 11.6" model as well.

So 3 stars for the black levels and contrast ratio but *6 stars* for the horizontal viewing angle, excellent, sharp resolution, vivid colors and a lid that can lay back nearly flat: so in total, I give it 4 stars.

KEYBOARD: (5 stars out of 5)
It features full-sized chicklet-style or island-style keys and spacing -- though "full-sized" only applies to the QWERTY keys, not the F-keys or arrows. It has a very short key travel, if that matters to you. I'm a hunt-n-peck basher so I'm fine with this. Feels solid with no flex anywhere. To me, there's little to no give at all in this keyboard. The keys are also quiet when typing.

POWER MANAGEMENT: (3 stars out of 5)
A complaint: Coming from an ASUS 10" and 13" with hotkeys to toggle power management, I miss that on the Acer. The user has to do it through the lower-right battery icon and accessing "Power Options" to see all three power schemes (the Win 7 default is to only see 2 power options at a time). A power-scheme hotkey keyboard option would have been nice and not difficult to do, IMO. 2 stars off for Acer's laziness in this area.

KEYBOARD HOTKEYS & ONSCREEN SYMBOLS/BARS: (4 stars out of 5)
Also, is it that expensive to include a Caps-Lock light on or near the Caps-Lock key? To be fair, the little 10" ASUS doesn't have it either but the 10" MSI Wind did. What the 756 *does* give is a momentary pop-up symbol to show you that the Caps-Lock is on (like they do with volume and wireless). So the pop-up symbol hotkey icons are pretty good.

IMO, what's missing is:
* a hotkey for power scheme toggling
* a hotkey symbol and bar for the brightness (the hotkey is there, but shows *nothing* on screen)
* a Caps-Lock light

TOUCHPAD: (4 stars out of 5)
I'm trying to like this touchpad even after two weeks. The non-button idea, like on the Mac, is great. The surface is clean and easy to feel. The touchpad's-lower-edges-are-the-trackpad-yet-mouse-buttons is a nice touch, but does take some getting used to for me. There are a lot of gestures available in the ELAN Smartpad setup. But no matter what I do, I can't seem to stop it randomly selecting things or deleting text or selecting an item when I was sure my finger was only hovering over the touch surface. I suspect the problem is me, yet when I use a Mac with its glass-topped touchpad and no mouse button, I never have this problem. Again, to me, Macs are the gold standard in this area.

I've turned off nearly all of the gestures and reduced the sensitivity to as low as I can, and still I have the problem. Perhaps this will change with time and training my hands, ... or maybe I just need to start using my wireless mouse.

Whatever it is, it is giving me the most problems of any touchpad I've ever owned. Still there are a lot of things to like about this touchpad, if only I could fix this item or train myself better.

UPDATE (15 Aug, 2012): My trackpad is doing better, which shows my trackpad complaints are really my settings and use issues, not the trackpad itself. So it now gets 4 star. As I get accustomed to it, I'm having less problems.

I'm still unsure which way to set the "Sensitivity" or "Palm Tracking" settings. I had them one way but then put them to low settings which may have helped as well.

HDD: (5 stars out of 5)
Mine came with the 7mm 500GB 5400rpm Hitachi single-platter Z5K500. It feels quite fast and is *very* quiet. 5 stars for this quality, quiet, thin & responsive HDD.

HEAT MANAGEMENT & FAN NOISE: (5 stars out of 5)
Using it for hours and watching Hulu, it gets a little warm on the bottom but not hot. *Very* nice! The fan seems to be whisper quiet (unlike my ASUS 10" & 13"). I'm super-impressed with the quietness of the fan under normal and streaming use.

UPDATE: I've now noticed that while streaming videos via Hulu, my AO756's bottom really does get pretty warm. This could be due to sitting on my lap, but I'm not covering the exit vent at all. Still, to be fair to it, once the movie ends and I stop streaming, the unit's bottom cools down pretty quickly, so to me, heat is still *not* a big concern or issue. It's score goes down from an impressive 6 stars to an excellent 5 stars.

HD WEBCAM: (Wow. 7 stars out of 5)
Again, -- wow. What an excellent image! This webcam can be set to 1280x720. Fantastic webcam. The latest MBP has a 720p webcam so this one is as good at 1/4th the price. My ASUS 10" is good as well at 1.3MP (after it, ASUS began to put only 0.3MP in all of their webcams), but this AO756 is *much* better. I'm impressed!

BATTERY: (4 stars out of 5)
It comes with a 4-cell, 2400 mAh li-ion battery. I'd have preferred a 6-cell battery, but I think they were going for a thinner profile and lighter weight. So it is a toss-up. Hard to have it both ways.

Doing normal work while online (no videos), I can easily get 4 hrs. If I turn off the wireless and just do things like Quicken accounts or Word documents (no music), Passmark's BatteryMon reports I can get close to 5 hrs.

That's still a short battery life for those of us accustomed to ASUS netbooks' 7-10 hr battery life. So for those who need more, Acer offers an extra 4-cell battery for only $39+$10 shipping direct from the Acer Store (ships to US or Canada). The battery only weighs 6.7 oz so is fairly light to carry as a backup power source. Here's the link (if it stays):

us-store.acer.com/product.aspx?prodid=248

This gives me a total of at least 8 hrs of computing away from a wall outlet.

SOUND: (2 stars out of 5)
Ugh. Boy, are these speakers weak and tinny; *much* weaker than found on my 10" ASUS 1000HA.

Tip: But I did discover that I could boost the sound considerably if I clicked on the volume icon in the lower right, then the picture of the speaker and then the tab "Enhancements" and then tick "Loudness Equalization" and "OK". Still, I prefer using earbuds when streaming a movie or else plug in my Logitech Z305 speaker bar.

LID COVER: (4 stars out of 5)
The lid is much *too* glossy to me (as is the screen bezel) and shows every finger-print or oil smudge and will likely show the tinniest blemish or scratch. So I'll need to be careful with it or find a skin to fit it. (I'm not TGG, so I can't make my own!!) Classy-looking, but a fragile finish to me. 3 stars for the over-gloss. Yet, the lid, once opened, lays back at a nearly 170-degree angle! Almost flat! Again, I'm impressed. Good job, Acer. So 5 stars on the open-to-almost-flat angle.

VALUE:(7 stars out of 5)
At least one retailer had the 2GB/320GB model on sale for $250. Most places, it's $280. Who else has this much punch for so little cash? So for the money, I'd be hard-pressed at this time to find another 11.6" netbook to offer as much as this unit gives me for $300.

CONCLUSION: (Out of a possible 5 stars)
To recap, here again are the area scores:
* WEI SCORE: 5 stars
* DESIGN: 6 stars
* PROCESSOR: 6 stars
* RAM: 5 stars
* WIRELESS CARD: 5 stars
* DISPLAY: 4 stars
* KEYBOARD: 5 stars
* POWER MANAGEMENT: 3 stars
* KEYBOARD HOTKEYS & ONSCREEN SYMBOLS/BARS: 4 stars
* TOUCHPAD: 4 stars
* HDD: 5 stars
* HEAT MANAGEMENT & FAN NOISE: 5 stars
* HD WEBCAM: 7 stars
* BATTERY: 4 stars
* SOUND: 2 stars
* LID COVER: 4 stars
* VALUE: 7 stars
_____________________
TOTAL: 4.8 stars

Amazing. Using it beside my 13" ASUS U30Jc with an i3-350M 2.27GHz processor and a Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive, the 756's Celeron 877 processor consistently opens programs faster than the ASUS' i3-350M. How? I don't know. It is very responsive and a joy to use.

I'm torn. I want to give it 5 stars, but due to the washed-out greys in the lower third of the display and my touchpad issues, I'm going to settle for 4.5 stars.

... But I'm being too hard on this little netbook. At this price, if it can even remotely give ultrabooks and the Macbook Air a run for their money, that's really impressive.

Like I said, some retail places carry the 2GB/320GB model at a much-discounted price of $249, so shop around before you buy!

... What are you waiting for? Stop reading this review and go order one. You know you want to! ;)
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars would be great but speakers are horrible, July 8, 2012
By 
This review is from: Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
I bought the Celeron B877 / 2G / 320G version today, and I initially decided to return it. It is super except for one thing that is close to a deal killer for me - the speakers are terrible. The sound is much worse than the sound on my old Gateway LT2114U 10.1" netbook. The sound is very weak even when the volume is turned all the way up, and it is tinny. I tried doing a webcam chat and I have difficulty understanding what the other person is saying. Of course things are fine if you use earphones. I should not have to do this - particularly when the sound is fine on my old netbook! And I know that good audio quality is possible on such a thin device, because I have great quality on my tablet.

The problem is .. I don't see anything comparable (11-12 inches, Celeron B877-level performance) from anyone else for anywhere near the same price. You can pay considerably more to get an 11.6 netbook with lower (Atom N2700 or AMD E-450 or similar) performance. That doesn't sound like a deal to me.

The chiclet keyboard is pretty nice - but unfortunately the arrow keys are very small, even smaller than on my older Gateway netbook. And like my Gateway, there are no dedicated home and end keys - these keystrokes require a Fn key combination. The extra space could have been used to give us bigger arrow keys or home/end keys, but I guess the all the extra space went to the chiclet key spacing.

Another thing that is a bit disconcerting - there are no touchpad buttons! You push the entire touchpad down at the lower left and right hand sides to left or right click.

The display and the webcam are very good.

Here are some comparisons of passmark scores and TDP ratings of the CPUs you might find in this 11.6" form factor:

celeron 877 - passmark 1470 TDP 17W
amd e-450 - passmark 738 TDP 18W
atom n2800 - passmark 723 TDP 6.5W
atom n2600 - passmark 592 TDP 3.5W
amd c-60 - passmark 563 TDP 9W
atom n450 - passmark 318 TDP 5.5W

The Atom takes the prize for low power consumption (don't know how it works out when other components are considered) - but the Celeron 877 blows them all away on the Passmark.

Despite the horrible speakers, I am going to bite the bullet and keep this netbook. I will find another solution to replace the speakers - perhaps something like the Logitech Z305 laptop speaker, which gets great reviews here on Amazon.

UPDATE - 2/11/2014. I love this computer, it's been great for me. It's the perfect size - I take it everywhere, I just throw it in my little "man bag". The keyboard is great. I just wish it were backlit. Also wish it had a touchscreen. I can live with the speakers. So, I just wanted to say that this little guy has really stood the test of time. One of my best computer purchases ever, a really great value.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who says you need an Ultrabook?, July 28, 2012
By 
J. Smith (Denver, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
The AO756-2808 is what I want from a Netbook. I am very happy with the purchase. It gives me what I would have wanted an Ultrabook for, but for half the price of an entry-level model. Performance is closer to a laptop than what you might expect from a Netbook-class machine. Appears to be compatible with Linux.

UPDATE: After using this computer heavily for a few months, it has become my absolute favorite machine. I can throw it into the backpack and go, and frequently do. Practical form factor (discounting thickness) is similar to an iPad. Still using Linux Mint 13 XFCE - haven't booted into Windows since I first installed Mint. Instant-on (resume) feature is still very solid. Networking comes back in seconds, and switching networks has not been a problem. The multi-touch driver support for mouse is amazing - a friend of mine who is a Mac user said it "felt" a lot like the one on his MacBook Pro. Very usable without a mouse. I am a touch-typist, and I like the keyboard - a lot. I am starting to prefer it to my desktop keyboards (never been able to say that about a laptop keyboard before). If this model goes on sale for some reason, I think I will probably buy a second one for the family. Maybe in blue this time.

* 11.6" screen - still small enough to be portable but more usable than a 10". 1366x768 resolution. Usable in full sunlight.
* Full-size keyboard (chiclet style) - fits adult hands comfortably, unlike some of the early Netbooks. Another advantage of the slightly larger screen.
* Celeron 877 - not Atom or the AMD equivalent. Best performance I have seen in 17 watts by far. The difference is striking.
* 4GB of RAM. The extra 2GB does matter, even if you aren't a power user.
* Touchpad is multitouch - supports gestures (so it works well without a wheel-mouse).
* Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit - very usable version of Windows.

I dual-booted Linux Mint 13 (XFCE on top of Ubuntu, if you aren't familiar with the distribution). Flawless. Video and wifi worked immediately. Good 3D support if you are using Unity or one of the other demanding desktops. Gestures work on the touchpad. Suspend and resume have so far been flawless and occur within a few seconds. The Intel chipsets are better supported in Linux than AMD or NVidia at this point in time. If you are planning on using this machine to run Linux, that's a factor in your buying decision. It appears to me that this machine is fully compatible with Linux. Well, it worked for me.

The machine looks nice. It is a little smaller and thicker than the Ultrabooks, and about the same weight, but not chunky like a laptop. In other words, it doesn't look like you stole it from the laptop pool at work.

The Celeron 877 is a big plus. This chip integrates a dual-core CPU (not hyperthreaded - true dual core) and GPU on a single die. Sandy Bridge architecture. The 17W power rating for the Celeron includes the graphics! So when you run video in Flash, it gets a little warm, but not hot. Usually it runs very cool. Much cooler than either of my Atom-based machines. Noticeably faster too.

------------------------------------

At this point in time Acer only offers the 4-cell battery for this model. Battery life (measured on Linux), with full screen brightness, is about 4 hours. 3 hours if playing Flash video. 5 1/2 hours if you turn the brightness down and aren't stressing the CPU too much. So good battery life, but not great.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars responsive processor BUT inadequate battery and heating problem, August 13, 2012
This review is from: Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
The laptop is responsive. I got mine from BestBuy with Synaptics touchpad which is great. On the other hand, the laptop bottom gets heated up quickly and it becomes too warm to keep it on your lap. The biggest grip I have with it is the short battery life which ruins the portability.

Here are a few battery scenarios:

A. Power Saver, screen brightness at 30% (acceptable in a dark room), WIFI OFF, reading Kindle and word processing with MS word: battery drops 16%/hour -> 6 hours

B. Power Saver, screen brightness at 50% (acceptable even outside in a shadow), WIFI OFF, reading Kindle and word processing with MS word: battery drops 19%/hour -> 5 hours

C. Power Saver, screen brightness at 50%, WIFI ON with constant browsing, Skype on (but not talking): battery drops 25%/hour -> 4 hours

D. Power Saver, screen brightness at 50%, WIFI ON, Netflix streaming "The Tudors" with HD off: battery drops 30%/hour -> 3 hours and 20 mins

The above times are a little short so at the end I chose the AO725 model with the AMD processor. Its battery lasts significantly longer: 8 hours in scenario A; 7 hours in scenario B; 5 hours in scenario C; about the same and more in scenario D. The AMD processor is not as snappy as the celeron but fast enough and the battery life is obviously superior, which I need for portability. If I need a really snappy processor, that's what my desktop is for.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Netbook, August 12, 2012
This review is from: Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
I purchased this netbook the first week it was available. Since that time I upgraded the ram to 8GB (I resisted the urge to see how 16GB might work since after all it is a netbook not my main laptop). I also wanted bluetooth so I replaced the wireless card with an Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6235 wireless card. I had to wait until recently for Intel to make a driver update available that enabled the bluetooth to work correctly in this netbook, which I also had to install manually since the Intel auto update tool would not identify the driver update. The wireless card works flawlessly now and connects with my droid X phone and Targus mouse. The most costly upgrade I made was to replace the hard drive with a Samsung 830 512GB SSD, which increased the netbook performance significantly and battery life by about 20 minutes. My windows experience index ratings are; Processor 4.7, Memory 7.4, Graphics 4.9, Gaming 5.7, and Hard Drive 7.9. This netbook runs everything that I need it to run, MS Office 2010, Netflix HD movies, general internet and email use, and does it while plugged in and on battery. In my opinion this would be a perfect netbook (Well at least to me) if it had a backlit keyboard and USB 3, in addition to the upgrades that I have made. I recommend this netbook and am considering buying another one to replace my mother's old weak netbook.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Pros & Con List.... (Only 1 Con...lol), July 22, 2012
This review is from: Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
Length:: 0:49 Mins

Coming from trying like over netbooks/laptops in the past few years,
i can honestly say this unit totally meets price, quality, tech features, portability, design, & speed, all in one amazing machine...:

Pros:
Extremely quiet (have YET to hear a fan, even on startup)
Very Fast
awesome trackpad
loud speakers
beautful crisp display
exceptionally priced
limited bloatware
hdmi input
3 usbs (strategically placed)
excellent island style keyboard
good battery life (i'm averaging 4 HRS)
Full O/S Home Premium (Not Windows Starter)
Windows 64 Bit Version, not 32 Bit (Can acccept RAM upgrades up to 8 or even 16GB theoretically)
Upgrade to Windows 8 only $14.99 (if purchased between June 2 & Jan 31,st 2013)
Just at 3 pounds
Especially love the Non-Glossy palm rests & mousepad, NO FINGERPRINTS!

Con:
Would have loved Bluetooth on board (i know i can get the dongle, but those always seem to give me trouble)

Just a quick list for y'all to consider, no one could have given a more in depth review than M Webb... If u get this unit, do yourself a favor and read thru his thread and follow his tweaks... Will make an awesome machine even MORE "awesomer"...lol

TGG
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be decieved by its size, July 16, 2012
This review is from: Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
I bought this at a local big-box retailer two days ago (make sure you shop around for prices before you buy any computer, it's rare that Amazon isn't the best, but it occasionally happens when stores have sweet sales). A lot of people/websites/etc. are calling this a "netbook," I'm sure because of its size. First off, it's bigger than most netbooks; this is 11.6 inches, not 10.1 inches. That extra inch and a half really adds a lot of screen real estate. More importantly though, this laptop packs way more of a hardware punch than your typical netbook. The processor is light years ahead of most netbooks, it's available memory (both stock and especially after upgrade) is far bigger, and it runs 64-bit Windows. For the non-tech-geeks, that basically means your computer has the capacity to run a lot smoother and faster than it would otherwise. I can't really say much more about the computer because I haven't had it for long, but feel free to ask questions in the comments.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This thing flies!, July 31, 2012
By 
Bob T. (Greensburg,Pa.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
I bought this netbook from BB.At $297 including tax,I could not be happier.After adding a 4gb card I paid a total of $315.00
This is the base model with 2gb ram and 320gb Hard drive.I immediately put it to the test adding a stand alone Asus dvd/cd player.Amazing,no hesiation.no 'Media Center has stopped working".Played the movie 'Secretariat".Just great.
I also have a Gateway desk top w/Intel core I3,6 gb ram and 1 tb HDD and the performance is almost identical
I love this thing!The only thing I don't like is the glossy black top cover for which I ordered a 'Skinit cover'Acer Aspire One AO756-2623 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black)Acer Aspire One AO756-2623 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A lot of hardware for the price, hidden cost of privacy, October 28, 2012
This review is from: Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black) (Personal Computers)
Acer, as well as several other computer manufacturers are installing a BIOS level rootkit developed by Absolute Software... under the names Computrace and Lojack for laptops... they claim they install this to help you recover your computer in case it is stolen... however they install this in the BIOS firmware without notifying their customers... and you DONT RECEIVE THEFT PROTECTION without purchasing a subscription...

THERE IS NO SUPPORT FROM ACER OR ABSOLUTE SOFTWARE FOR REMOVAL

this software is capable of remotely reading and writing all data on your disks/network

if you remove the host level applications and libraries the BIOS level code will replace them and they will call home even if disabled...

after over 4 hours of googling I discovered there is a python script that can be run from linux to dump the BIOS code...

I did not attempt this fix... I returned this model acer to amazon and purchased a SONY since even though they have their own rootkit past they dont do business with absolute software...

google "absolute software bios compatibility" for a list of computer manufacturers to avoid if you value privacy and property rights

thank you for reading...
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