I have the worst luck when it comes to laptops and nearly every one that I buy seems to develop some kind of fault within the space of about a year. My previous one was a netbook and although I had some niggles with it on the whole I appreciated the portability that it gave me. Unfortunately my HP mini gave up the ghost and died of a broken screen so I had to buy myself a new one. After looking around at various laptops ranging from top of the range macbooks to cheaper netbooks I decided on the Acer Aspire One 753 at on paper it seemed to give me everything that I was looking for in a laptop.
~~~~~ Specs ~~~~~
The reason that I chose the Acer Aspire One was because it had laptop power but with netbook portability. It has 4GB of DDR3 memory and a massive 500 GB hard drive so I knew that I would be able to store as many movies and pictures on my laptop as I wanted. One of the niggles that I had with my HP mini was that it only had 1GB of memory which meant that although it was fine for everyday tasks such as browsing the internet etc. when it came to doing anything more memory intensive then it would crash which with me and my habit of forgetting to close down programmes was getting to be quite a frequent thing.
There were several Aspire Ones to choose from but this was one of the most powerful of them. As well as the bigger memory it also has a 5in1 card reader, Bluetooth 3.0, and intel celaron u3600 processor and came pre installed with windows home 7 premium.
The screen is 11.6 inches and full HD and the battery is supposed to last on average for around 6 hours so not as much as some netbooks but certainly more than most laptops.
~~~~~ Unboxing and setting up ~~~~~
I was really pleased with the laptop when it arrived as it was even smaller and lighter than I had thought it was going to be. It is slightly larger than a netbook at 11.6 inches wide and this extra width made it still look small but without it looking like a toy. It is less than an inch thick and only weighs only a couple of kg so is extremely portable. One of the things that I was most happy with when opening the box up was the charger. It doesn't have a power brick in the middle like most other laptops and instead has a much smaller power brick which is joined on to the plug part and this makes it even more portable.
There was a few different colours to choose from when I got this laptop and I chose to get it in red as the red was on offer when choosing it on Amazon. The red has a mesh look to the outside and I personally really like it and think it looks sleek and stylish. The other colours available were black, silver and brown.
Setting the laptop up was very easy and it was simply a case of ensuring that it was plugged in and then turning on and following a few onscreen prompts. The whole thing was up and running in about 20 minutes from opening the box and I experienced no problems with the set up at any point.
~~~~~ Using the laptop on a daily basis ~~~~~
Using this laptop has been pretty much problem free since the beginning. There were a couple of bloatware programmes that I uninstalled but even these were minimal in comparison to other laptops that I've had.
I installed firefox for internet browsing and this has worked fine and I can honestly say that I have noticed the extra power in the laptop as no matter how many tabs I might have running the laptop never struggles to keep up with me.
I use my laptop for managing all my other gadgets like my kindle and my phone and I like that I can charge them all at once without the computer stalling thanks to the 3 USB ports. I also like the 5in1 card reader as it means that I don't have to actually connect everything with wires and can just transfer files through the memory card which is quick and painless to do.
I haven't bought any physical music or DVD's in years and all my media is downloaded to my computer. With the large hard drive I can store so much on the laptop and either watch it on the HD screen or else make use of the HDMI connection to watch on my HD television.
The screen is nice and movies look great on it. I never find that the 11.6 inch screen is too small for me and the colours show up nice and vibrant. The only problem with watching movies and listening to music on the laptop is that the inbuilt speakers are rubbish and by far the lowest on any laptop that I have ever used. I have small separate speakers to get around this but I do find it annoying if I am out and want to show someone a youtube video as I find that they are pretty much unwatchable die to the sound without separate speakers.
Obviously I spend a great deal of time online and also using Microsoft office so I needed a decent keyboard. The one on this is really good. It is full sized so I have no trouble with typing and the keys seem to be secure and they give a satisfying click when typing.
I have found the battery to be fantastic in daily use. It is stated to last on average for 6 hours but I find that when I turn the screen down and am only using it lightly I can get a bit more than that. Even when I am using the laptop on high performance I can still manage to get around 5 hours from a single charge which I find really good and perfect for when I am travelling.
The wireless on the laptop is also fantastic and I find that it can pick up a signal where other laptops might not be able to. For instance I can pick up and connect to my home wireless network whilst in the garden without it dropping out where as with my previous netbook it wouldn't even be able to locate the network never mind connect to it.
Because it is so light and thin the laptop doesn't have a DVD drive which I know a lot of people might not like but it was something that I was willing to compromise over for the portability. I have a separate drive which was cheap enough to buy and as everything such as drivers etc. can usually be downloaded from the internet I can say that I have never once missed having a disk drive built in.
~~~~~ Problems with the laptop ~~~~~
There is one major problem with the Acer Aspire 753 and that is the trackpad which is the worst of any computer that I have ever owned.
First of all the trackpad is set up for multi touch gestures which is similar to those on mobile phones where you can use finger gestures to control the screen for example by swiping to zoom in. This sounded good in practise but what works on a mobile didn't work on a laptop and I found it to be nothing but a pain and when using the laptop I would be accidentally zooming in and out all the time. Luckily this was easily turned off from the control panel.
Unfortunately no matter how many times I have been in the settings I cannot improve the actual sensitivity of the trackpad. The sensitivity is terrible and sometimes the whole process of having to use the mouse to click on something can take absolutely ages. It feels stiff and just wrong. It is so bad to use that I originally thought that there was something wrong with my laptop but after using a friends Acer which was a completely different model I noticed that hers was the same so perhaps it is a fault with Acer computers in general. All I know is that it is such a big problem with using the computer that even though I really like everything else about this laptop I wouldn't consider buying another Acer because of it.
~~~~~ Price and availability ~~~~~
The price was really good for this laptop especially considering its specs. I bought it from Amazon and it was only £299 which I still think is a complete bargain. I forget exactly how much the red was on offer compared to the brown but I think it was £50 so the other colours must have been £349. As I only bought the laptop in July I would assume that it is still widely available from most electronic shops.
~~~~~ Recommendation ~~~~~
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Acer 753. It is compact and has all the portability of a netbook but with all the power of a normal laptop all wrapped up in an attractive package. I can honestly say that I have never had a problem with its performance and the only flaw with it in my eyes is the track pad. For the money I wouldn't let this stop you from buying it as perhaps it is just me who hates the track pad but even if not it is so cheap that you can just pay £10 for an external mouse for it.