Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 22nd Nov 2009 11:52 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems, home to cheap laptops and discounted netbooks sent us over the Acer Aspire One AO751h for a review. The AO751h is in-between of a small laptop and a netbook and so it makes it an interesting item to investigate.
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Z-series not ALL bad...
by fluffypony on Sun 22nd Nov 2009 12:55 UTC
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I have an Asus 1101HA, which was an upgrade from the very first Acer Aspire One. When shopping for a replacement netbook, I had the following requirements:

- equivalent or better processor
- bigger screen (8.9" just didn't cut it!)
- battery life, battery life, battery life, otherwise what's the point??

The 1101HA is not perfect, but it's pretty damn close. It's insanely thin. The 11.6" screen makes it feel small without feeling like it's competing with 13" ultraportables. The SHE (Super Hybrid Engine) allows me to overclock the Z520 to 30% above regular clock speed (ie. to 1.7ghz) which gives me MORE processing power than my old N260 CPU. I have cranked the RAM to 2gb (if you want to read vladimir.cdi and my workaround to get SHE/overclocking working with non-Hynix 2gb modules check this: and replaced the hard drive with a 7200RPM 500Gb drive. I'm running Windows 7 Professional.

Overall, everything is snappy and perfect. The upgrade from 1gb to 2gb makes a HUMONGOUS difference to Windows 7's performance. Photoshop CS4 is usable when SHE is on "Super Performance Mode". Flash is jittery with Flash 10, but great with 10.1 pre-release, which lowers CPU usage for Flash video. Incidently - the GMA 500 *does* support DXVA, so it may still be supported on Flash 10.1 final - let's see what happens.

H.264 video is actually amazing on Windows 7. I have AAC Filter, ffdshow rev 3119, Matroska media splitter, ReClock, and a purchased version of CoreAVC 1.9.5. However, for playing H.264, I use Media Player Classic Home Cinema 1.3.1249 with its built-in MP4 decoder, and the DirectShow Video set to EVR Custom Preset. With that, the decoding is offloaded on to the GMA 500, as long as the video has been encoded with DXVA compatibility. I can literally watch videos for 10+ hours with this setup. Incidentally, DXVA doesn't work so well on XP, so stick to Windows 7 on the 1101HA - even if it means you sacrifice 10-15% battery life.

Speaking of battery life - even with the SHE sitting at 30% overclocking, I get a good 6 hours with wireless on and Bluetooth off. If I plug in my Nokia 6700 Classic or my iPhone and use either to connect to the Internet (ie. wifi/bluetooth off) I can surf for a good 7 hours. Battery life on this machine is INSANE, and exactly what I want.

As an aside, I was recently on a 4 hour bus trip for a team building exercise, and I watched Burn Notice season 3 all the way, streaming the audio to a pair of Motorola Bluetooth headphones via A2DP. The headphones and the laptop performed perfectly, and when I arrived I still had enough battery life to provide music at the welcome party for over an hour before I gave in and plugged the power back in!

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