Acer Aspire One D250 review
The burning question, though, is why anyone would opt against booting into Windows 7 in the first place. Cold booting does admittedly take about three times as long as Android – about 45 seconds or so before a usable desktop appears – but waking from hibernation takes a mere 20 seconds, just five seconds longer than the quick OS.
Windows 7 might feel a touch more sluggish than XP Home – the Acer scored just 0.30 in our benchmarks – but its refinement and ease of use come as ample reward, and importantly it suffers none of the aggravating limitations of its Google-powered rival.
Physically, very little has changed. The D250’s figure is as slim as ever, and our review unit came finished in a two-tone combination of gloss white and textured matte black, the hinges enlivened with a silver flourish and a lime-green Aspire logo.
We still haven’t warmed to its looks, though, and for all Acer’s efforts it still looks a touch plain next to the likes of the Samsung N110.
Build quality is the same as ever, too – that’s to say, not quite up with the best in its class. The D250’s slim base is impressively stiff, but both the lid and the hinges beneath it feel too flexible and insubstantial to truly inspire confidence.
It has put on a few grams and now weighs in at 1.24kg, thanks to the six-cell battery jutting out at its rear. That battery is a welcome sight and, where the original D250 expired after less than three hours of light use, it now keeps going for a far more substantial 7hrs 57mins.
Ergonomically, though, the Acer Aspire D250 trails the best the netbook crop has to offer. The keyboard is quite usable, but the light-feeling keys and small trackpad aren’t great. The display also fails to excel. Despite reasonable brightness and passable colour reproduction, like many of its netbook ilk it finds itself let down by poor contrast. Only the loud, competent speakers (in netbook terms) really impress.
It’s a classic case of missed opportunities. If the Aspire D250 was as physically accomplished as some of its competitors, the presence of Google’s Android, despite its flaws, might have been a selling point.
As it stands, the novelty merely serves as a brief distraction from the D250’s competent, but unremarkable charms. We still hope future updates will reinstate the marketplace and make more of Android’s obvious potential, but there are much better netbooks available for less.
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||259 x 184 x 33mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Atom N270|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel 945GSE Express|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||1|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,024|
|Resolution screen vertical||600|
|Resolution||1024 x 600|
|Graphics chipset||Intel GMA 950|
|Graphics card RAM||128MB|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||233GB|
|Internal disk interface||SATA/300|
|Hard disk||Hitachi HTS545025B9A300|
|Optical disc technology||None|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||no|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||yes|
|Wireless key-combination switch||no|
|PC Card slots||0|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|PS/2 mouse port||no|
|9-pin serial 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||yes|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Audio chipset||Realtek HD Audio|
|Speaker location||Front edge|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||7hr 57min|
|Battery life, heavy use||3hr 42min|
|Overall application benchmark score||0.30|
|Office application benchmark score||0.34|
|2D graphics application benchmark score||0.30|
|Encoding application benchmark score||0.29|
|Multitasking application benchmark score||0.28|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||Fail|
|3D performance setting||Fail|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 7 Starter|
|OS family||Windows 7|