Flip the D250 on its belly and three removable backplates are revealed, providing access to the hard drive bay - home to a 160GB 5400rpm Sata drive - memory and an empty Mini PCI Express slot. If you want to improve on the memory, you'll need to jettison the installed 1GB module since the D250 only houses just single SO-Dimm slot.
There's room for bigger, better keyboard and trackpad
Acer completely revamped the keyboard on its recently-launched Aspire One 751, but with the D250 it appears to have stuck with the exact same keyboard as used on the original AA1. On the 8.9in A110, the keyboard took up almost the entire width of the chassis, but on the D250 there's a 1cm edge either side of it. It's not much, admittedly, but even a slight enlarging of the keys would improve usability.
Acer could also have switched to the flat-style of keys as found on its new Aspire One 751 and HP's Mini range of netbooks. As it stands, the keyboard is a mite too fiddly to type on at speed.
The trackpad measures just 50 x 30mm, and Acer has managed to furnish it with multi-touch capabilities, albeit fairly limited ones. You can zoom in and out by using a two-fingered pinching motion, while dragging two fingers left and right will perform functions such as navigating back and forth between web pages and scrolling through an album of photos. There are no Apple-style three- or four-fingered gestures available, but that's hardly surprising since fitting just two fingers on the miniature trackpad is something of a challenge.
The small sliver of a bar underneath the trackpad provides one button for left and right clicks, but it's horribly stiff to operate. If you're going to use this netbook for an extended period of time, do your fingers a favour and invest in a mouse.
The 10.1in screen has a native resolution of 1024 x 600 and is bright, crisp and exhibits vibrant colours. Best of all, though, it performs amazingly well outdoors and even in direct sunlight we were able to see the desktop clearly. The only thing you'll need to watch out for when using it outside is the glossy screen attracting troublesome reflections. Located just above the screen is a webcam, but it's only a 0.3Mp job.
Here's the three-cell battery - a six-cell unit's also available
The fact Gigabit Ethernet has been sacrificed for bog-standard 10/100Mb/s wired networking won't concern too many perspective buyers, but Acer's decision to go for 802.11b/g wireless instead of 802.11n is surprising to say the least. Bluetooth is built-in, though, allowing for regular pairing headaches with your mobile.
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.