Acer Aspire One 522 review

A graphically capable and highly usable mini machine, plagued by a terrible battery

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Our Verdict

A lapto with good usability and strong graphics, but severely lacking when it comes to battery life.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 720
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Excellent integrated graphics
  • Sharp, bright screen
  • Slender and light chassis
  • Strong usability
  • HDMI port

Against

  • Terrible battery
  • Lime green might not suit all tastes
  • Typical limited netbook performance
  • Reflective display

Although tablets are fast overtaking netbooks in terms of popularity, especially with the recent release of Apple's hallowed iPad 2, the humble netbook still has a lot to offer the average consumer. For one, the presence of a physical keyboard makes it infinitely superior for typing out lengthy emails and that half-finished novel.

The supply of netbooks is still going strong and we've seen some excellent models lately, such as the highly portable Toshiba NB520 and the feature-packed Asus Eee PC 1018P. However, one of the more interesting netbooks to come our way is Acer's Aspire One 522.

While the vast majority of these mini machines are powered by Intel's low-voltage Atom processors, Acer has broken convention by slotting one of AMD's latest chips into the Aspire One 522.

Rumored to combine effective performance with powerful integrated graphics, the AMD C-50 is a dual-core CPU that runs at just 1GHz. We were keen to churn it through our benchmark testing, to see how it holds up against the competition, but first things first: how does the Aspire One 522 look?

Our test model came with a bright lime-green design that covers the lid and the palmrest. It's certainly eye-catching, and while some people might think it gives the Aspire One 522 a sickly pea-vomit appearance, we appreciated the break from the standard white and black netbooks.

We've seen some chunky netbooks lately, such as the MSI Wind U160DX, but the Aspire One 522 has a slender chassis that slips into compact bags with ease. A weight of 1.1kg means even a child could lug it around all day.

The body may be slim and light but it's also sturdy, with a particularly solid lid that protects the display when you're hiking about. We couldn't find any flex in any part of the Aspire One 522's chassis.

Because of the compact chassis, usability can be a tricky thing to get right on a netbook. There's not much room for the keyboard, but Acer has done an admirable job of fitting a well-sized spread of keys across the entire width of the Aspire One 522.

The keys are perfectly flat, which won't suit all tastes, but we found we could comfortably touch-type for lengthy sessions. Anyone with chunky fingers is likely to struggle, though, especially with the typically tiny arrow keys. Always try before you buy if possible.

We also approve of the Aspire One 522's wide touchpad, which supports multi-touch gesturing for zooming in and out of web pages, rotating images and so on.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon HD 6250
BluetoothNo
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time3 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Product FamilyAspire One 522
Operating System Architecture32-bit
Processor ModelC-50
Operating SystemWindows 7 Starter
Brand NameAcer
Processor Speed1 GHz
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Number of Cells3-cell
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Standard Memory1 GB
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots1
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height25.7 mm
Width258.5 mm
Depth185 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series522
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelAO522-C5Dgrgr
Product NameAspire One AO522-C5Dgrgr Netbook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineAspire One
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberLU.SFH0D.041
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

With its powerful AMD processor, the Aspire One 522 multitasks vigorously, even with visually-intense, high-definition applications. This ultra-mobile 10.1" is light and thin with a big keyboard for fast-paced, accurate data input while you're on the move. Strong connectivity features including optional 3G enable out of this world communication.

Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Aspire One AO522-C5Dgrgr Netbook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter