Hands on with Acer's dual-OS netbook
Run Android and Windows 7
First Look At an Acer product launch in central London earlier today, Register Hardware got up close and personal with the firm’s first netbook to ship with two operating systems.
The machine isn’t actually a brand new model. It’s the old Aspire One D250 – reviewed here – that's been out for since the Spring, just updated to run both Google’s Android OS and the 32-bit version of Windows 7.
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The first point to note is that despite this two-OS capability, you can actually only boot up into Android. Switch the machine on from scratch or do a restart, and you'll go straight to the Google OS.
To load Windows 7, you must first start Android, then select "Switch OS" from Android’s slide-out menu and then wait for Windows to load up in the usual way.
The Android desktop on the D250
Acer isn’t clear about exactly why users can’t boot the machine directly into Windows - there's no Grub-style 'Select which OS you want' dialog box at start-up. However, Jim Wong, Acer’s Senior Corporate VP, told us that Android provides that “instant on” capability.
In essence, then, Acer sees Android as an alternative to offerings like DeviceVM's SplashTop - basic Linux distros designed to provide quick access to the internet and media files, but not much else.
Acer's main slide-in-from-the-side menu
Indeed, Android on the D250 is basic. The desktop had just two icons, both of which were for web browsing. The main Android menu is slightly richer, containing icons for a picture/video gallery, another for development tools, one for messaging and another for, of course, the Windows boot-up.
Had Vista and got Win7 booting from "sleep" quicker than that. In fact I doubt there's much in it between Android and W7 in boot times from a cold boot looking at the video...
How can it be a release
with no date of availability, price etc.
Is that not just a proof of concept ?
You beat me to it. I can't figure out what they've put Android on there for either.....
Dual OS could be a first from a major manufacturer?
Thanks for posting all these videos of this cool netbook!
I just wonder if it will be worth the extra cost and data contract.
I am very impressed with my ASUS 1005HA netbook.
I can overclock it to over 2.0Ghz and have little trouble browsing websites with it.
I wrote a review at the following link that details the Intel Atom N270 performance:
I wouldn't exactly call it instant boot, there is a couple of second delay but it's much quicker than what I've seen Windows or even the latest Ubuntu releases to. I'd have thought though that they would include an option to boot straight into Windows, I mean having to boot into Android and then switch OS to Windows seems a bit long winded to me.
Still it's good to see that Android would probably cover a fair bit anyway (Internet, E-Mail, Media).
Maybe to shave a bit of time off the boot they can help add support for Coreboot.