Acer Puts AMD Chips into Aspire One Netbooks

Acer's updated Aspire One netbooks, the AO521 and the AO721, highlight how far netbooks have come in the last few years. They feature AMD Athlon II Neo processors, ATI Radeon graphics and versions of Windows 7, and can reportedly juggle high-definition games, Websites and e-mail.

Acer has updated two netbooks in its Aspire One line, offering evidence, should anyone still need it, that gone are the days of netbooks as low-powered couch surfers.
The Aspire One AO521 and AO721 each feature AMD Athlon II Neo processors and ATI Radeon HD 4225 graphics with 384MB of dedicated memory.
"Users can vigorously multitask, even with visually intense, high-def applications, while freely exploring the Internet, sending and receiving emails, watching videos and playing games-all on the go and untethered from a power source," Acer officials said in a statement June 18, in what hardly read like a statement on netbooks.
With the Aspire One AO521, users get a 10.1-inch CrystalBrite LED backlit display, a keyboard that's 93 percent full size, 1GB of DDR3 memory and an up to 250GB hard drive. It measures just shy of 1 inch thin, weighs 2.75 pounds and runs Microsoft's Windows 7 Starter.
The AO521 is offered in glossy shades of black or brown-while the larger AO721 comes in matte black, with a meshlike finish that's said to limit fingerprints and smudges.
The Aspire One AO721 also features a high-definition, 11.6-inch CrystalBrite LED backlit display, a full-size keyboard, 2GB of DDR3 memory and an up to 250GB internal hard drive. It's less than an inch thin, weighs approximately 3 pounds and runs Microsoft's Windows 7 Home Premium operating system.
With either the AO721 and the AO521, users will get 802.11b/g/n, Ethernet LAN and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as a Webcam and digital microphone for video conferencing, and HDMI connectivity for connecting to an HDTV.
And for easy navigation, each netbook also features a Multi-Gesture touchpad, for pinching, flicking and swirling one's way through Web pages and documents.
Both netbooks are now available at popular retailers, the 10-inch AO521 for a starting price of $349.99 and the 11.6-inch AO721 starting at $429.99.
Acer is the No. 2 PC market share holder worldwide, and in the first quarter of 2010 it shipped 12 million units-preceded by Hewlett-Packard and followed by Dell. In the U.S. market, however, tight competition between Acer and Dell pushed Acer to third place, with its 2.7 million units following the Texas-based PC maker's 4.1 million units, according to April data from Gartner.