2009 was the year when the netbook market exploded as lots of laptop manufacturers decided to enter this niche of mini laptops. While most of them came with a 10-inch display, there were several models that featured a bigger 11.6-inch display, like this Acer Aspire One 751h-1545. The definition of a netbook has changed since it was first used for those small 7-inch designs, while the offerings in the CPU area expanded to include Intel, AMD and Via. The term netbook is also used for those bigger 12-inch systems like the Samsung NC20 and the HP dv2 so this segment is getting more and more models, even though some people consider that there is no future for this niche.
Anyway, getting back to this Aspire One netbook from Acer, its slightly larger chassis manages to offer a good compromise between usability and size. The bad news is that the company decided to opt for an Intel Atom Z520 processor clocked at 1.33 GHz, instead of the more powerful Atom N270 (1.60 GHz) CPU that was the top performer when the netbook came out. In raw performance you won’t notice a significant difference but since we’re dealing with a netbook, every bit of extra power is welcome since that Z520 processor is just too slow in just about all tasks that you can think of. The good news is that a while after this model came out; Acer launched the faster Timeline 1810T that came with a significantly quicker Intel ULV processor.
The Aspire One 751h-1545 carried a retail price tag of $379 when it came out and as we mentioned it is powered by a very modest Intel Atom Z520 processor running at a speed of 1.33 GHz. Acer configured this model with 1GB of DDR2 memory working at 533 MHz while for storage it packs a rather small 160GB hard drive rotating at 5,400 rpm. The chipset in this netbook is an Intel SCH US15W while the graphics power is handled by the integrated Mobile Intel GMA 500.
This netbook measures 11.8 x 8.5 (8.8 with the battery) x 1.0 inches (WDH) and tips the scales at 3 pounds (0.6 pounds more if we add the AC adapter). The body of this model looks a little bit like the ones we’ve seen on the Aspire One D250 and the Eee PC 1005HA from Acer, only this time it has been stretched in order to make room for the bigger screen. The company managed to come with a netbook that is as attractive and nearly as thin as those very expensive ultrabooks. The mini laptop comes with a matte gray and glossy black finish which manages to provide a business-like feel, in comparison to the company’s usual 10-inch netbooks that have a lot of colors.
The keyboard of the Aspire One 751h-1545 consists of wide and flat keys that look and feel pretty much like the ones seen on Apple and Sony laptops or previous Asus netbooks. This keyboard is extended from one edge to the other which means that there was enough room in order to fit a full-size Shift key as well as the backspace key, along with dedicated Page Up and Page Down buttons. What we don’t appreciate is the touchpad sitting below which is very small compared to the one on the Toshiba NB205.
Acer fitted this netbook with an 11.6-inch widescreen display that has a maximum resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels which is higher than the usual 1,024 x 600-pixel resolution found in most of the 10-inch netbooks. Thanks to the fact that we’re dealing with a larger display, you will have more desktop real estate without making icons and text too small to read.
Let’s talk about the ports and connectivity features offered by the Acer Aspire One 751h-1545 and mention that in the video department it has been fitted with VGA out. For audio it comes with a pair of modest stereo speakers along with the usual headphone and microphone jacks. The data area is covered by three USB 2.0 ports and an SD memory card reader. For networking you get 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and an Ethernet port. You won’t find any expansion ports on this model or an optical drive. One feature that Acer should have offered for this model is Bluetooth. In addition, since this is a larger chassis, the company might have had enough room to install an ExpressCard slot but it would probably have made the netbook too expensive.
The system should be able to manage to offer a relatively netbook-like usage experience like handling basic tasks such as e-mail, surfing the Internet, light multimedia as well as some productivity apps. The bad news is that due to the very slow processor hiding inside, using this netbook seems to be more of a frustrating experience. We know that in order to achieve netbook satisfaction we have to set some modest sets of expectations but even taking this into consideration the Acer Aspire One 751h-1545 is way too slow in comparison to other similar models. The differences between this model and N270 or N280-based netbooks can be measured in seconds, which even though it might not sound like a great deal, when using the netbook it can get very annoying.
The highlight of this netbook is perhaps its excellent battery which manages to last for almost six and a half hours during a demanding battery drain test consisting of continuous video playback. This six-cell battery is a top performer in the segment of netbooks but we should warn you that it is a bulky extended battery that will stick out from the netbook’s back which some of you won’t probably like.
All things considered, this isn’t one of the best netbooks out there but if you can find a used one very cheap, it is still worth getting it to do word processing or surf the Internet. You might want to consider upgrading the amount of RAM to 2GB in order to make the system a little bit faster.