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Acer Aspire 1551 Review

Acer’s new dual-core AMD-based ultraportable is the Acer Aspire 1551. It’s the fraternal twin of the Aspire 721 we reviewed a while back with an identical design and body. Check out our full review below.

In most respects, the Aspire 1551 is the dual-core version of the Aspire 721 with an AMD Athlon Neo II K325 running at 1.3GHz (slightly lower than the 721’s 1.7GHz, single core, but with the same TDP of just 12 watts).

The ultraportable has this nice mesh-textured finish on the lid cover which is a slight departure from the usual dark glossy ones of the previous 11.6-inchers of Acer (i.e., the Timeline series) and helps avoid it from fingerprints.

At under an inch thick, this ultraportable is one of the slimmest and lightest we’ve reviewed in its category. It’s got a full-sized keyboard and a brushed-metal finish on the palm-rest area.

The trackpad area is a bit small and is only separated from the palm-rest by a thin vertical groove. The friction from that brushed metal finish on the trackpad area is a bit uncomfortable though. The left and right trackpad buttons are separated but a bit tough to press on.

The 11.6″ screen has glossy finish and the display is bright and crisp with a nice resolution of 1366×768 pixels. However, it is also prone to glare in the outdoors or against bright light sources.

With an on-board graphics chip powered by an ATI Radeon HD 4225 (336MB shared memory), the system can do some decent gaming performance (at low resolution). The built-in HDMI is an added bonus if you want to play HD videos and output it to a larger TV or monitor. It can play full HD videos with no problem at all and can stream 1080p from YouTube HD without any noticeable choppiness in the playback.

Performance is above average when compared to regular netbooks, thanks to the dual-core CPU and GPU combo paired with a 2GB DDR3 RAM. The CPU has almost the same Windows Experience Index as the ULV Core 2 Duo SU7300 of the Acer Timeline. In fact, the embedded graphics chip got a much better sub-score in the WEI compared to the old GMA 4500MHD of Intel.

The system gets a 3.3 base score from Windows Experience Index but the CPU has a pretty nice sub-score of 3.9. Not much of an improvement of the single-core AMD K125 @ 1.7GHz which got a 3.7 sub-score.

Battery life isn’t as impressive as the other Aspire Ones but a median time of around 4 hours on a single charge (based on BatteryBar) isn’t bad at all considering you get a more powerful CPU and graphics combo.

The 6-cell battery is only rated at 4400mAh. It would have performed better if it were in the 5600mAh range which could give it around 6 hours on a full charge. Here’s the complete specs of this unit:

Acer Aspire 1551
11.6″ display @ 1366×768 pixels
AMD Athlon II Neo K325 @ 1.3GHz Dual Core
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4225 w/ 336MB RAM
2GB DDR3 RAM (max 4GB)
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
3 USB 2.0 ports
HDMI port
Windows 7 Home Basic 64bit

The Acer Aspire 1551 has a suggested retail price of Php27,900 but you should be seeing them in the Php26k range in some stores. It’s a good upgrade if you’re coming from netbooks — good performance, decent battery life but still keeps the thin and light form factor.

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Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He is one of the pioneers of blogging in the country and considered by many as the Father of Tech Blogging in the Philippines. He is also a technology consultant, a tech columnist with several national publications, resource speaker and mentor/advisor to several start-up companies.

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