Acer Aspire One D250 review

Acer is the first manufacturer to offer Google's Android operating system on a netbook. Is this a turning point for the market? Or not? We review the Acer Aspire One D250 to find out.

Acer android

Searching from here launches the default web-kit based browser but interestingly Firefox is included as well, a tacit admission that a better browser is needed on a device like this.

Browsing aside, you get a webmail app, Google Talk and a Calendar, but other that than Android seems rather limited in terms of default apps, with a basic photo and music player your lot. It's acceptable on a mobile handset, but you immediately yearn for more on a laptop-type device. A visit to the Android marketplace would therefore seem in order, but oddly for some reason you can't actually buy apps from it, presumably as they would need to be netbook aware.

If you want to do more therefore, a visit to Windows is in order, and Acer makes that remarkably easy to do, as in the top left is a large arrow and pressing this brings up a dialogue box that asks if you want to switch to Windows.

android music

The music player might be fine on a mobile, but feels rather basic on a laptop.

When you do you'll find it takes 1m 20 sec to get to a working Windows 7 desktop, which is clearly much longer that it takes to get to Android. However, you could choose to just hibernate from Windows, and resuming from that took 38 seconds for us to get to a usable desktop.

What's also immediately apparent is that while Windows 7 has been praised for being light on its feet, especially the Starter Edition here, it feels much more sluggish than Android.

If you're used to apps appearing lightening fast on recent standard laptops or desktops you'll have to be patient. The 1.6GHz Atom processor clearly struggles compared to beefier Core 2 Duo laptops. The single DIMM slot is an issue here, and one can't help feel that while Windows 7 can get by on 1GB, it would be happier with two. Our benchmark score reflects this slight sluggishness as the score of 0.30 is less than we've seen from other Windows XP machines on the same hardware.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.