|Screen Size||11.6 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||1366 x 768 pixels|
|Processor||1.4 GHz Intel Celeron|
|RAM||4 GB DDR3|
|Hard Drive||500 GB SATA|
|Graphics Coprocessor||Intel HD Graphics|
|Graphics Card Ram Size||128 MB|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||3|
|Average Battery Life (in hours)||4 hours|
Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 11.6-Inch Netbook (Ash Black)
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Acer Aspire One AO756-2808 comes with these high level Specs. Intel Celeron Processor 877, Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, 11.6" HD Widescreen CineCrystal LED-backlit Display, Mobile Intel HM70 Express Chipset, Intel HD Graphics, 4096MB DDR3 Memory, 500GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM), 2-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED, Built-In HD Webcam, 3 - USB 2.0 Ports, 1 - HDMI Port, 4-cell Li-ion Battery (2500 mAh), Up to 4-hours Battery Life, Microsoft Office Starter 2010, 3.05 lbs. | 1.38 kg (system unit only).Accessories Included: AC Power Adapter, Battery, Power Adapter, Owner's Manual
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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):
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! ;)
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:
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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