When it comes to its core spec, the 751 follows the traditional netbook blueprint quite closely, apart from its processor. It's supplied with Windows XP and, as a result, only has 1GB of RAM (Microsoft won't license XP for netbooks with more memory than this). As with most recent netbooks, it also uses a traditional hard drive, rather than the solid-state drives found on early models, but, with its 160GB capacity, it at least gives you a decent amount of room for storing applications and files.
Rather than use the Intel Atom N270 CPU that's found in the majority of today's netbooks, Acer has opted for the newer 1.33GHz Atom Z520, which is significantly slower. This fact is reflected in the 751's PCMark05 benchmark score of 1,056, and is noticeable in day-to-day use. It feels slower than rivals like the and Asus Eee PC 1000HE and struggles with tasks like smoothly playing BBC iPlayer video in full-screen mode. Its 3DMark06 performance was also poor, with a score of just 83, but we can let that pass because it's the same story no matter which netbook you choose.
The sluggish performance is a shame, as the netbook has good connectivity, with three USB ports, a multi-format card reader, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Certain models with also be available with built-in support for 3G mobile broadband, although our review model lacked this feature.
The netbook's battery life is pretty good too. In Battery Eater's intensive Classic test, it managed to keep running for just a shade under 5 hours, which puts it up there among the marathon runners of the netbook world.
We really love the Acer Aspire One 751's slim frame, amazing screen and spacious keyboard, so we find it incredibly frustrating that Acer didn't kit it out with a faster processor. It's still a very neat netbook, but, with a speedier processor, it could have been one of the best on the market.
Edited by Charles Kloet