Acer Aspire One D250
Inch-thick successor to the popular AA1
Review Acer made a significant impact on the netbook market last year with its hugely popular Aspire One A110. It recently released a selection of new netbooks in its Aspire One range, and the D250 we have here is bizarrely similar to the D150, which was only launched a couple of months ago.
Acer's Aspire One D250: only an inch thick
It might not be a catwalk queen, but the D250 looks attractive enough and benefits from a well-built chassis that doesn't creak under pressure. Four colour options are available: white, black, red and blue, and on our white review model each hinge features a small green bit of plastic on the side. Whether this is tacky or tasteful is up for debate, but we rather like it.
We're keener on the D250's girth - lack of it, rather. It's only an inch high. That's not as thin as Asus' svelte Eee PC 1008HA - but makes it much nicer than the D150 and lots of other, chunky netbooks.
The D250 we reviewed makes use of Intel's 1.66GHz Atom N280 and Acer supplies it with 1GB of DDR 2 memory. Watch out, though: it's also available with the 1.6GHz N270, and in fact almost all supplier in the UK are selling the latter.
Two USB ports and a multi-format card reader are found on the right, along with the power socket. On the left sit Ethernet, VGA, audio in/out and a third USB port. The vent is also on the left, and although the D250's fan fired up a fair amount during testing - even when doing little more than browsing the web - it's not loud enough to irritate.
The rear is home to naught but the three-cell 2200mAh battery. A six-cell version is also available, though the battery's a bulky affair that angles down from the notebook to lift the back of the machine up off the deck. It makes the machine less comfortable to carry - stick it in a bag and you won't care - but you may find it angles the keyboard better.
Standard netbook spec
At the front you'll find a small Wi-Fi power switch - Bluetooth can be axed using a button just above the keyboard.
Slightly off topic, but your Zotax ION w/ atom 330 - have you checked your core temps if you're running it passive? A friend of mine took the fan off the heatsink and temps skyrocketed. Or have you got it in a case with a 120mm fan? Just curious as I'm thinking of getting one.
Agree w/Ben Bradley
Picked up the D150 6-cell version for my wife at the weekend, and she's thrilled to bits. It's VERY usable, with great battery life (which is important for her), a decent screen and good performance. Yes, you can still get the AA1, but the battery's useless and the SSD versions were awful. As far as she's concerned she's got everything she'd want an ultraportable to do for a LOT less cash. OK, I can see that some peoples' usage is different, but that's kind of the point.
Price no biggie
I was initially planning on getting the HP Mini 2140, small size and looks good.
Then the EEE 1000HE arrived with insane battery*, better screen res than the HP and I realised I'm not one of those form over substance morons.
Now the EEE 1005HA-M has arrived (in France at least) which is a cross between the 1000HE and the 1008HA seashell thing!
*enough battery to use it on a transatlantic flight sounds good to me... so I don't have to put up with Miss Congeniality 2 or some other tripe.
But sod it, I might not buy one at all and just keep waiting for whatever's round the corner.
Well done Asus, with all this saturation you're missing out on my custom at the moment.
But I do want to wait for Nvidia ION to start appearing in netbooks though.
I've built a new HTPC using a Zotac ION dual-core atom mini-itx board and it's incredible... GPU accelerated 1080p playback all for only 30W power usage and passive cooling!
Price... I'm not too fussed about paying £300 for a netbook.
They were probably making losses on the £150 models, and the EEE7x is less than usable IMO. The £300 netbooks today, easily compare with those incredible £1500+ ultraportables from a few years back... with better battery life!
Yeah you can get the latest and greatest Packard Bell (gah!) from PC World... but I know what I'd rather own
Acer's damn trackpad buttons
Acer doesn't seem to get it with these buttons. I have an old Aspire 3680 here and it suffers from the same button problems. You have to press down on them quite firmly and they respond with a "CLICK!". It gets annoying very quickly, which is too bad because the rest of the laptop is well made and even somewhat attractive.
Like a lot of the other comments too expensive
Fo rme a netbook is the most power I can get in a 10" or smaller form factor for £200.
Anything bigger then that or more expensive then that and I consider it a competitor for a real noteobok
As @Martin said 'If a netbook is £329, you start to wonder whether for another fifty quid you could get a decent sized screen and keyboard.'
Still waiting to see what effect if any the next generation of chips makes on the market.
NVidia ION, new integrated chips fronm Intel and new chipsets from AMD.
I also expect the currency exchange rate is playing a big part in pushing up the prices but I still get paid in GBP, so the £200 mark is my netbook max.