Review Asus N71 quad core Laptop and Acer AO521 Netbook [Archive] - Glock Talk

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triehl27
01-20-2011, 00:32
Ok I am not the most tech prone guy, so theis will be in layman's terms.

I needed a replacement for my 1.8ghr single core acer that had served me well for 6 years.

I went to Fry's in July and bought the N71 with it's huge screen, quad core and 8 gigs of ram, 620gig hd's 1 gig of DDR3 video memory.

At current: it is on it's way back to Asus for several issues:
1: the touch pad is WAY to sensitive. it has gotten bad enough that with the senitivity dialed all the way down, the simple motion of air when you pass your hand about the pad is enough to move the cursor. No touching necessary. This makes typing impossible. You can not type with the cursor keeps moving your position all over the screen. The vibrations from typing on the keyboard will also move the cursor all over the place. Turning a document into something that resembles a corrupted file by the time you would get done.

Secondly the built in hard buttons for volume, and mute sometimes work, sometimes don't sometimes activate on their own.

Third the headphone jack when you plug into it such as on a plane or in the car does NOT turn the sound off coming through the speakers. So even with headphones plugged in everyone else also gets to listen to the A-Team. Kinda embarrassing, as I found this out in a crowded car.

Make no mistake, the computer is fast, it makes short work of burning DVD's to the hard drive for back up, something that was reasonablly impossible with my old laptop. 1week vs 15mins. The cost of that speed is weight. So much so that it is not a practical travel laptop. It's frickin HUGE. A lap and a half worth in a car. And heavy. Carry it through an Airport once and that was enough for me to say I need a netbook.

The NETBOOK: Acer AO521-3530
1.7 GHZ Atholon II NEO processor.
1 gig DDR3 ram(oem) mine now carries 2 gigs (cheap and excellent upgrade)
250 gig hd
Windows 7 starter (upgraded to Home Premium) You tube the process
I had an ATOM before. Got rid of it.

I was not looking forward to a netbook again. But I did my research and the NEOs were getting excellent reviews. So again to Fry's and picked up the ACER.

I cannot say enough great things about the Netbook.
The only down side is the speakers, after the ASUS awesome laptop speakers the tinny speaks on this are pretty depressing headphones a must.

The Speed is excellent. I did slow it down a bit by the upgrade to win 7 premium. And the 2 gigs are a HUGE benifit. Read up on the ram upgrade there is only 1 Crucial ram stick that seems to work plug and play. Can't remember which. The stick of ram is now down to like $23 last I looked on Amazon.

The netbook will keep up with almost any laptop. I watch dvd's from an external samsung DVD drive $29 (amazon). I surf, I write reports, I read ebooks, I download files, 99% of everything I do on my larger ASUS I can accomplish with no noticable difference in speed on the Acer netbook.

Now the cost of that noticable speed increase over the ATOM processors:
Battery life. I get around 4 hours a out of mine normally, 5 hours if I minimize the settings. But I don't need more then that between plug ins. If I am on a netbook for 7-10hours a day, man I need a life. So I don't worry that it won't do 10hours or whatever.

Also I have read that heat is another issue since the AO521 does have an independent Graphics processor, and is listed as a Dual core processor. (Some widgets detect 2 some detect 1) I don't care either way as it has never been an issue.

I myself have never noticed a heat issue, even setting it on a pillow on my lap like right now. Maybe that is because I am used to the heat of the quad core. I have never had a heat issue with this netbook.

So this is my setup for my netbook.
I have added a 2 gigs of ram
I have also added a 16gig SD chip and maxed the ReadyBoost on that chip.

Overall I couldn't be happier. I only REALLY need the ASUS for heavy graphics apps and video editing.

Do I notice an appreciable difference between the ATOM and NEO machines?
OH YEAH you bet I do. I could and would NEVER go back to an ATOM based machine after experiencing the speed and usability of the NEO based ACER.

I hope this is of help to someone out there.

TR

g29andy
01-21-2011, 16:33
was wondering how the neo's stacked up, thanks for the review! My "netbook" is an old Dell Latitude X1 (2005 vintage).