Just when we thought every netbook would be consigned to the 10in screen template, we find two in the same month with 11.6in displays. The Acer Aspire One 751 and Packard Bell dot m/a are related by more than just screen, though. Packard Bell is now a sub-brand within the expanding Acer Group that also includes Gateway and emachines.

But where the PB flirts with AMD processors, the Acer Aspire One 751 uses more predictable Intel chippery, in the shape of the evergreen Atom.

In this case, it's the lowest and slowest Z520 version, clocked at 1.33GHz, although its final score in WorldBench 6 of 33 was not so far behind what we tend to find from 1.6GHz Atoms. And in use, it didn't feel especially laggardly with its Windows XP operating system.

The Acer Aspire One 751 even takes the same keyboard as the PB dot m/a, a nice example with flat-top keys and good responsive action - although there was more flexing in the middle than we'd prefer. Overall, construction is good, with a solid feeling chassis, and strong lid and hinge. And at 1in thick, it's not at all bulky.

in fact, weighing less than 1.2kg, the Acer Aspire One 751 is also one of the lighter netbooks around, if you take the version we tested with 3-cell battery. But naturally this lightness does come at the expense of longevity.

We found the Acer Aspire One 751 would last for around 3.5 hours off the mains (211 minutes, MobileMark 2007 Productivity). There is a 6-cell battery available, which ought to double battery life while raising weight to 1.35kg.

The Acer Aspire One 751 is also available with a 3G WWAN modem as a manufacturing option, but beware that the version sold by PC World doesn't even include Bluetooth. So for wireless connections, you're limited to its 802.11b/g Wi-Fi card.

OUR VERDICT

The stretched display not only offers more screen space, helped by the high 1366x768 resolution, but allows for a normal-sized keyboard which makes typing that much easier. In spite of using the slowest Intel Atom available, the Acer Aspire One 751 did not seem much slower than any other netbook. If lightness and screen size are more important to you than battery life, take a closer look at Acer’s biggest-screen Aspire One 751.

This review was originally created by Andrew Harrison for PC Advisor.