Acer Aspire One D250 review

£299
Price when reviewed

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.

Acer Aspire Android netbook

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

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 259 x 184 x 33mm (WDH)
Weight 1.240kg
Travelling weight 1.5kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Atom N270
Motherboard chipset Intel 945GSE Express
RAM capacity 1.00GB
Memory type DDR2
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 1

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
Graphics card RAM 128MB
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 250GB
Hard disk usable capacity 233GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Hitachi HTS545025B9A300
Optical disc technology None
Optical drive N/A
Battery capacity 4,400mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

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 yes
Wireless key-combination switch no
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 yes
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Front edge
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 0.3mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

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

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