Acer Aspire One D250 review

£330
Price when reviewed

If Acer’s D150 is too chunky and lacking in sex appeal, then take a peek at its slimline Aspire One D250. Weighing in at just 1.06kg, it even rivals Asus’ 1008HA Seashell in the weight stakes.

It doesn’t, however, give the Seashell much to worry about when it comes to looks. It’s not ugly, but there’s a definite lack of spark. Off-white wraps around above and below, contrasting nicely against a black interior. But the mixture of gloss, matte and glittery black plastic looks a little odd.

The light weight also costs the D250 a little in solidity: the chassis creaks under duress and those hinges look decidedly delicate. And if you’re thinking of taking the D250 on your travels you’ll need to factor in the cost of an extended battery.

The 2,200mAh battery at the D250’s rear lasted for a mere 2hrs 44mins while doing very little, and that’s a figure that you can expect to shrink drastically under heavier use. Performance is a little more heartening, thanks to the Intel Atom N280 processor at its core: a result of 0.43 in our benchmarks puts the D250 near the top of the pile of the current crop of netbooks.

But its ergonomics bring it back to earth with a bump. Insubstantial-feeling keys and a small touchpad conspire to drag the D250 down the rankings, and the screen isn’t the best, either. It’s bright enough, and entirely free from any grain and mottling, but the panel has a tendency to lose detail in bright areas.

Acer’s D250 is a solid, well-designed netbook, but its poor battery life puts it out of the running. With others able to achieve so much more, there’s just not enough of a reason to choose this.

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 259 x 184 x 25mm (WDH)
Weight 1.060kg
Travelling weight 1.4kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Atom N280
RAM capacity 1.00GB
Memory type DDR2

Screen and video

Screen size 10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,024
Resolution screen vertical 600
Resolution 1024 x 600
Graphics chipset Intel GMA 950
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 0
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 160GB
Hard disk usable capacity 149GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA
Optical disc technology N/A
Optical drive N/A
Battery capacity 2,200mAh
Replacement battery price ex VAT £70
Replacement battery price inc VAT £81

Networking

Wired adapter speed 100Mbits/sec
802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support no
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 0.3mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 2hr 44min
Overall application benchmark score 0.43

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows XP Home
OS family Windows XP
Software supplied Acer eRecovery Management

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