Feeds
75%
Acer Aspire One D250 with Android

Acer Aspire One D250 with Android

The first netbook with Google's OS

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

You could run Windows, open up the D: partition on which all the Android stuff is kept, create a folder called 'Music' and place your content there. Except D: has fewer than 3GB of free space, so don't expect it to hold many tunes. It'll play MP3, Ogg and iTunes-downloaded DRM-free AACs, but not WMAs; ID3 tags and album are are supported. Android will also read SD cards and USB sticks, but surely not having to use these is what fitting a netbook with a 160GB hard drive is all about?

Acer Aspire One D250 with Android

Acer's Windows-based Android config utility lets you avoid the Google OS altogether

So if Android - here, at least - isn't much use for media playback, is there any value to it beyond fast (ish) internet access? Well, not when Windows XP will here resume from sleep in less time than it takes Android to boot: 14 seconds.

Keeping the machine shut down will conserve the battery charge, though. You might think Android consumes less battery power than Windows, but if it does, there's not much in it. An hour or so's tinkering with Android and the D250's 2200mAh battery charge had fallen by much the same as it would have done under Windows.

Now, don't get us wrong, we like Android. The problem is that here it's being used to a fraction of its full potential. When Acer announced this machine, we wondered if we could remove Windows altogether and just run the Google OS. As it stands, even if that's possible - you'd have to tinker with the HDD's partitions, but we think it's doable - you'd leave yourself with a very limited computing experience. You'd be better off installing Ubuntu or Moblin instead.

You'd certainly get more consistency. Among the icons you can add to the desktop are website shortcuts - but only from a pre-set selection. Firefox's bookmarks aren't listed. This is because clicking on an on-screen web shortcut fires up the Android browser, not Firefox. It has the usual Android browser zoom and pan buttons, but these don't work. Neither does Flash playback, which is presumably why Firefox has been added. So why didn't Acer and/or InSyde also ditch the touchphone-centric Android browser?

Acer Aspire One D250 with Android

Android's Browser: nice, but you'll need Firefox for Flash content

After booting up the D250 into Windows, we did get a handful of Android updates come down the line, so there's clearly a possibility that Acer and InSyde will extend the OS' functionality. As it stands, Android is really no better than any other quick-start OS, suggesting the Google OS was chosen for its brand value rather than technology strengths.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.