Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Acer Aspire One 722

Raindrop. After the smaller One 522, a larger alternative in the Acer Aspire One 722, also equipped with an AMD Radeon HD 6250 graphics, shows up at our office. Is it a sensible range expansion or will the waves that it causes subside quite fast?

The Taiwanese company now also has an updated version of its largest 11.6 inch netbook representative available as the Acer Aspire One 722. Alike the previously reviewed Acer Aspire One 522, the test device comes along with a 1 GHz weak AMD C-50 Dual-Core APU (accelerated processing unit) together with incorporated AMD Radeon HD 6250 graphics unit. Other key data, such as a 2 GB DDR3 main memory, a 250 GB hard disk capacity and the usual interfaces, have been maintained.

The netbook shows modernizations in the area of case and display. The latter now has a resolution of 1280x720 pixels (HD Ready) and a glare type surface at a typical size. The prior model still had the finer resolution of 1366x768 pixels in a 16:9 format.

The device is in the usual price range for such a configuration at a recommended retail price of 349 euros, including added value tax. However, it's tagged with a slightly lower price than its predecessor.

Apart from the fresh design, the real innovation is the updated innards by AMD. The core components are made up of an AMD C-50 accelerated processing unit with a clock rate of 1 GHz and two cores (dual core). This component is an entry level solution from AMD that is currently finding a new home in more and more netbooks and wants to challenge the Intel Atom platform. In contrast to the Intel Atom N550, the APU however lacks the virtual multiplying of cores (Hyper Threading) and consequently multi-tasking power. The Intel CPU also has the lead in the nominal clock rate with a positive difference of 500 MHz (1.5 GHz).

Another major bonus point of the new APU is the incorporated AMD Radeon HD 6250 graphics with a fast core clock of 280 MHz and DirectX 11 support. The fact that Acer currently doesn't have an Aspire One 722 model with the stronger AMD E-350 APU and stronger AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics in its supply is a pity. For example, Asus offers the Eee PC 1215B netbook with this solution for 499 euros (RRP).

The first tests in our benchmark course deal with the processor's performance. The C-50 APU achieves satisfactory 1264 points in Cinebench R10 Multi-Thread Rendering (32bit) and thus moves in the familiar netbook range. The Intel Atom N550, as the opponent, occasionally scores better averagely and achieves 1415 points in this test (difference +10.7 percent). A further performance gain can be accomplished thanks to the 64 bit operating system. However, the Intel processor is ruled out because these configurations are only equipped with Windows 7 Starter (32 bit). In plain English, there is a difference of 8.8 percent (1264 to 1386 points) between the 32 and 64 bit application in our test device.

The Aspire One 722 only achieves weak 0.38 points in Cinebench R11.5's CPU benchmark (64 bit) and is thus at the lower end of our database. A comparison with the stronger AMD E-350 APU with a clock rate of 1.6 GHz is worth it although there aren't many available. This component achieves 0.6 points in the Acer Aspire 5253 and has a lead of about 33.7 percent on the C-50 APU. Overall, a rather weak processor performance that is also noticed in routine use as slow opening windows and longer boot times.

The AMD Radeon HD 6250 can set itself apart from the Intel counterpart in the synthetic benchmarks' 3D performance. However, real gaming fun doesn't evolve. Subnotebooks with a dedicated graphics card are recommended for ambitions that go in this direction. Futuremark's 3DMark06 confirms this with a score of 1411 points at a resolution of 1280x1024 pixels. The result is in the lower third, as expected. However, the difference to the Intel GMA 3150 in the Atom N550 CPU is striking. This combination accomplishes only 144 points in the Asus Eee PC 1015PEM and has to admit defeat with a difference of 89.8 percent.

Specifications Acer Aspire One 722-C52kk :
  • Processor : AMD C-Series C-50 1 GHz
  • Mainboard : AMD A50M
  • Memory : 2048 MB, manufacturer: Hynix (Hyundai Electronics), HMT325S6BFR8C-H9, DDR3-10600S, 1066 MHz, maximum 4 GBs, 1 slot
  • Graphics adapter : AMD Radeon HD 6250, Core: 280 MHz, DirectX 11, Shader 5.0, 8.802.2.1000
  • Display : 11.6 inch 16:9, 1280x720 pixel, AUO B116XW03 V2, WXGA, LED, diagonal: 29.5 centimeters, glossy: yes
  • Harddisk : Toshiba MK2559GSXP, 250GB 5400rpm
  • Soundcard : HD Audio
  • Connections : 3 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone out, microphone in, Card Reader: 5-in-1 (MMC, SD, MS, MS PRO, xD), RJ-45
  • Networking : Atheros AR8152 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller (10/100MBit), Broadcom 802.11n (abgn), 3.0 +HS Bluetooth
  • Optical drive
  • Size : height x width x depth (in mm): 25.4 x 285 x 202
  • Weight : 1.358 kg Power Supply: 0.172 kg
  • Battery : 49 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells, 4400 mAh, 11.1 Volt, model: AL10B31
  • Price : 349 Euro
  • Operating System : Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
  • Additional features : Webcam: 0.3 Megapixel, netbook, 40 watt adapter with connector (DE), 6 cell battery, warranty card, instructions, Adobe Reader 9, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Windows Live Essentials, McAfee Internet Security Suite (trial version), newXpresso, Norton Online Backup, Skype, Acer software, 12 Months Warranty, warranty includes pick-up & return service and International Travelers Warranty (ITW), color: black.
  • notebookcheck.net

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