Everything that you need in this compact but powerful laptop
When you are looking for a good powerful but compact laptop you will find many laptops by different brands all claiming that they have the best one for you. I have to admit I had some difficulties in finding the right laptop for me, because it's simply just confusing and I didn't want to get a laptop that would disappoint me after a few month of using it. To decide which laptop was the right one for me I decided to make a list of were I was going to use the laptop for:
Were do I need my laptop for?
Writing of reviews/articles (using Microsoft Word, Excel);
Internet and e-mail;
Watching movies, television and listening to music;
Downloading of programs, movies, music and television shows (all legal);
Saving and editing pictures and video's;
I guess you can sum it up to light computer work. I don't use heavy programs or edit large videos and don't play any games anymore. But that didn't mean I didn't want a powerful computer but I hate slow computers or computer that stall all the time so I wanted a computer with a good processor but memory. Always I wanted enough storage space for my downloading, pictures and video's. In other words my requirements were:My requirements:
Good memory and strong processor;
More than enough disk space to store pictures and some videos;
Need to be compact to take with me in my bag;
HDMI output for TV.
How does this laptop meets my requirements?
Good memory and strong processor
Buying a new laptop one of the main requirements was that the laptop had to work fast in terms of my programs and for example starting the Windows operating system. Windows 7 is already known that it is much faster than its predecessor. This laptop also has an AMD Athlon TM II Neo K145 processor with DDR3 SDRAM memory GD. Now I am no expert in this field and I was advised that this is a good processor and good enough for what I wanted. I know for example that the DDR 3 is two times faster than the DDR2 SDRAM. You can also expand the memory to 4GB.
Now I have this laptop a few months and I can confirm that the memory and processor are definitely more than fine. The laptop works faster and better than my previous laptop and programs like Microsoft Word, Firefox, VLC media player and Utorrent all work without any problems. With ease I can play videos while I'm on the internet and have a program like Word open. The hard disk of this laptop is a 250 GB HDD 5400 rpm. The Rpm says something about the speed of the hard disk and 5400 is not the best speed. Better speed is the 7200 rpm. I can hardly say what exactly the difference is in speed, but 7200 rpm is known to be faster so that could have been better.
More than enough disk space to store pictures and some videos
As mentioned earlier this laptop has a 250 GB hard drive as my previous laptop had 160 MB. For me this is definitely an improvement. To get an idea of how much 250 GB is you can store approximately 51,000 photos assuming that a photo's is about 5mb in size. You should note that some of the 250 GB is being used by programs such as Windows. 250 GB seemed plenty and it is enough, but given the fact that files and videos are getting bigger and bigger in size I do notice that a bit more space would be handy. I have an external media player with 1TB of space, more than enough for my downloaded videos to store, but I would rather have had a bit more room on my laptop.
Need to be compact to take with me in my bag
I travel a lot. The biggest drawback of my previous laptop was the weight and size of the laptop. My new laptop had to be light and compact. Weighing 1.3 kg, I found that this certainly the case. Compact does not mean that it has to be small. I wanted a laptop with a screen big enough. I found 10 inch too small and 15 inch far too big so 11.6 inches was just big enough. It's big enough for watching a movie and editing a document, but not too big that it is awkward to carry in a bag.
HDMI output for TV
My previous laptop had an HDMI output which is for a four years old laptop quite a luxury. Even now, most laptops do not have a HDMI port. I think it is ideal mainly because my TV has an HDMI port, so its perfect for connecting my laptop to the TV for watching videos. Besides the HDMI port, the laptop has:
5 in 1 card reader
3 USB ports
802.11 b / g / n Wireless LAN
The laptop has no Bluetooth capability. I don't need it, but I can imagine that this is a problem for some people. It is easily solved by simply a USB connection Bluetooth device.
Other features of this laptop
The Aspire One 721 may be small, but it's powerful enough to play HD movies: 1080p/720p HD. It has a 11.6inch TFT LCD screen which makes it slightly larger than a netbook. My experience is that this laptop can indeed play HD movies without any difficulty. The only problem I encounter is when watching HD movies on the internet like Youtube. I think the laptop is not powerful enough, given it can't play the movies at the highest resolution. Movies on the hard disk can be viewed without any difficulty.
Keyboard / mouse usage
The main advantage of this laptop compared to a netbook is that the keyboard is just a size larger, including wider keys. The laptop has a touchpad that has the following features:
Scroll - Navigate web pages, files, music playlists and photos using a two-finger vertical scroll motion.
Pinch - Pinch to zoom in and out of application windows.
Flip - Browse photos, websites, documents and photo albums with a back-and-forth, two-finger horizontal slide motion.
Rotate - Rotate images 90 degrees in either direction with a two-finger pivot motion.
The scroll function is indeed very easy to use and works very smoothly. The mouse responds very smoothly and without problems..
The laptop comes with Windows 7 which is already installed so you can use almost straight away. You just enter some basic information as personal data and the system carries only the last few steps out of the installation. Unfortunately the laptop does come with many other already installed programs, some of which are handy.
Given my previous laptop didn't even last one second on the battery, this was certainly an important aspect when buying a laptop, but not the most important one. Today most laptops have a battery that surely would last a few hours. This laptop is said it would last about six hours which I think is exaggerated. I think at most five hours when all the settings as screen brightness are set to low and only using a program like Word. When you're more active then it would last about 3 to 4 hours, which for me is still sufficient.
In my view the only real downside of this laptop is the sound. The speakers are on the bottom of the laptop! Most annoying because often enough you simply can't hear the sound of for example a Youtube video. Often I have to hold up the laptop to hear the sound. The sound of the laptop is not loud enough and for me that is really a disadvantage.
I am satisfied with this laptop? Yes. Overall this laptop has everything I need and is very pleasant in daily use. Windows starts quickly, the programs works fast and the screen and keyboard are large enough. Another important advantage is that the laptop doesn't become very hot what my last laptop did. The laptop meets my needs, only here and there is something that could have been better. The only drawback are the speakers on the bottom of the laptop. A real disadvantage and certainly a drawback. But for me it is an ideal laptop and perfect for those looking for a powerful but compact laptop!