Android here does have some nice touches, and it's largely a good looking UI. We mentioned the ease of setting up Email, and both Wi-Fi and 3G are eminently usable for wireless internet connectivity. The integrated Huawei 3G modem is unlocked, so stick a Sim in the slot under the battery and you're away. You can manage the modem in Android and in Windows.
But it's the little things that irritate. Some 14 wallpapers are included, but only one is sized to fill the D250's 1024 x 600 screen. You can add email accounts easily enough, but you can't delete them. Clicking icons in the menu bar calls up the Notifications screen, it doesn't take you to the appropriate Settings panel. You can't create a Google account in Android if you didn't do so during the set-up process. It's sluggish, not zipping along as merrily as you'd expect a pared-down Linux distro to.
Nice netbook - but go for the six-cell battery
We should mention the hardware before we go. We liked the D250 when we reviewed it as a standalone Windows XP netbook and our opinion hasn't changed. We re-ran PCMark05 and got exactly the numbers we expected for this D250's 1.6GHz Atom N270 CPU - the previous one had a 1.66GHz N280 in it.
Hard drive, memory and 3G modem are easily accessible through hatches in the D250's base. The glossy screen is nice and bright. The keyboard isn't bad and while the touchpad is a bit on the small side, that's par for the netbook course. Only the battery lets it down - 2200mAh is too small for a device that'll be used out and about - but at least there's a 4400mAh option.
Acer should either release a netbook that uses Android as the primary OS, just as it used Linpus for the first Aspire One. We liked Linpus - it wasn't a geek's OS, but it did the job for everyone else, keeping the machine simple and consumer-friendly. Android could do the same but at scope of third-party apps to increase the machine's functionality.
We were hoping for so much more. Android on phones is a powerful, highly customisable OS with a growing selection of third-party apps. On Acer's dual-OS Aspire One D250, it's just a basic front-end for quick web, and music and photo media access. We knew from that start that's what it was there for, but did they have to limit it quite so much?
This is not, and probably never will be, a true Android netbook. The OS here isn't on a par with Windows, in terms of functionality or role. We like the hardware - the D250 is a nice netbook - but this version really doesn't improve on the basic, cheaper model. ®
More Netbook Reviews...
Acer Aspire One D250 with Android
"Why would Android have NTFS support?" Well, hmm... maybe because Linux has had NTFS support since 3 days before forever. Kind of ridiculous that a free, open-source module couldn't come pre-installed to support this. And what if you want to plug in a USB hard drive formatted with NTFS? Just stupid. If I read the article right, you can access the Linux partition from Windows and Windows has always needed an add-on to access EXT2 or 3 partitions, so this is even more inexcusable.
All in all, sounds like a slapdash effort at best.
@AC @When will they listen
Thanks for the pointer to Novatech, great hardware and everything can be bought without any OS pre-installed: I think that's where I'll be shopping next.
I really like the Acer Aspire One 10" with 6 cell 5800mh battery I have. Unfortunately the promised 6cell Linux version of the netbook never quite arrived so I ended up buying the XP version. (I loaded Fedora on it and have been quite happy with its performance.) Especially the 7.5 hr battery life.
For me to get another Acer netbook it would have to provide 8+ hr battery life, a vertical display resolution higher than 600, and Linux instead of some version of Windows would definitely help tip the scales toward upgrading... (The only reason I got the last one with XP is reports that Microsoft hand reduced OEM cost to as low as $5 each in an attempt to "win" the market back from Linux.)
Why the "justice department" does not prevent the Microsoft monopoly from "rice gouging" or keep Intel/Microsoft from strong-arming vendors into providing only low-RAM, low resolution display versions of netbook is also disturbing...
What can I say? - We in the US have the best government that money can buy... (Too bad only some of us seem to believe our representation should not be for sale...)
Acer Aspire One D250 with Android
As a Tmobile G1 user. i know i can INSTALL A FILE MANAGER AND use it to BROWSE the the phone SD CARD plus u can create differents PARTITIONS on the SD card.i never had a chance to play with ANDROID in the netbook/desktop computer yeaht,because the OS is not ready yeaht to be downloaded, BUT I`M 100% SURE that if u install the FILE MANAGER u`ll be able to SEE and ACCESS THE ROOT OF THE C: DRIVE. also I`m SURE u can PLAY VIDEO with ANDROID.
U GUYS SHOULD HAVE LOOKED AT THE ANDROID MARKET FOR ANY ADDITIONAL APPS.
To quote Andy directly : "? I don't want one of these machines, or any fecking desktop, laptop etc, with Windows on it".
Sounds like he was talking about all kinds of boxes (not just netbooks, eh?), and you can buy all kinds of boxes including netbooks without Windows either white label or DIY.
Do try to keep up, and stop staring at goats...you make them nervous...