Practically every netbook we see features a 10-inch display with a 1024 x 600 WSVGA resolution, nothing too exciting but fine for the basic functions of browsing the web and indulging in some late-night spreadsheet action.
However, the Acer Aspire One 522 isn't content with WSVGA and features a 1280 x 720 WXGA screen instead. Your holiday snaps will look sharp and browsing content-heavy websites is a more pleasurable experience, because you can zoom out to get a full view without making text and pictures a blurry mess.
The display is bright and vibrant too, although the Super-TFT glossy coating is a pain if you take the Aspire One 522 outside. We found ourselves squinting through the glare to see what we were doing, especially during those rare moments when the sun actually emerged.
There's no optical drive, as with almost all netbooks, so you'll have to use an external USB drive if you plan on watching DVDs. The 250GB hard drive can also be used to store your media.
Networking is standard, with 802.11n Wi-Fi available for connecting to wireless networks, and a 10/100 Ethernet port for cabled connections. Three USB ports can be used to attach peripherals, and a 5-in-1 memory card reader provides great flexibility for quickly backing up your data and media.
This is also one of the few netbooks we've seen to feature an HDMI port. The standard VGA port is also available to hook up external monitors or televisions, but the HDMI port can be used to stream high definition content.
Usually netbooks struggle with anything beyond standard definition video, since they use basic integrated GPUs. However, the Aspire One 522 came with promises of much improved graphical performance over standard netbooks, thanks to the on-board AMD Radeon HD 6250 technology.
With that in mind, we ran our benchmark tests and waited for the results to flash upÖ