A Review of The Acer Aspire One D250 Netbook

This Acer Aspire One D250 certainly qualifies as a best netbook because it has it all, from the very basics to more advanced in-built features. It is very lightweight and has a good strong feel to it. It also has an excellent keyboard, superb WIFI and three USB ports which make a huge difference if you are running an external drive or have attached an external mouse.

The battery life is less in practice than Acer claim, but the performance is superb and we found that it was able to run programs like Adobe Premiere without any problems, and that is saying something. To our surprise, it even managed to run certain games with its built-in graphics card although the detail was somewhat lacking.

On the negative side, this netbook doesn’t have a CD-ROM drive, and while it isn’t necessary, you can’t even play a CD while you are working. Sure, you can copy files onto another pc and use a flash drive to install software, but it is something a purchaser should be aware of prior to buying.

The only other serious drawback for us was that the trackpad; it is really small, and although it is a multi-gesture device just like the MacBook Air uses, it’s very fiddly in use.

Anyone wishing to use this machine for business (or even school or college projects that involve a lot of selection and right-clicking) would be well advised to use an external mouse to increase their efficiency and maintain their sanity.

Our version was shipped with Windows XP, which worked first time out the box, and was easy to set up, but we understand that some suppliers are now using Windows 7 Home edition.

The good connection to our wireless network makes it perfect for internet access but it is tempting to use it for everything else as it is so quick and responsive.

The screen is clear and bright, making it great for viewing (and editing) photos, and the excellent Internet connection means that it is easy to upload them to Flickr or anywhere else for that matter.

Toshiba Mini Vs Acer Aspire One Netbook

Although these the Toshiba Mini and the Acer Aspire one are currently two of the best selling netbook models in the market, I am going to put it straight out that the Toshiba Mini is a much better 10.1-inch netbook especially in terms of functionality and performance.

The Toshiba model has a 1.66Ghz processor while the Acer netbook has a 1.6Ghz processor. Besides this difference, both models have similar specs that include 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive and a 6-cell battery. There is where the differences end.

The new Toshiba netbook has so much to offer in terms of features and many of which are not found on the Acer Aspire One. For instance, besides having a 6-cell battery, the battery on the Toshiba model can last up to 9 hours on a single charge compared to Acer’s usual 6 hours. Another unique feature is that you can also charge USB devices on the Toshiba model even when the Toshiba mini is off or on standby mode.

Another major difference can be spotted in the design of these two models. The Acer Aspire One comes in a variety of colors and have a glossy external casing. The Toshiba Mini too comes in a variety of colors but they have a matte external glossy that does not get smudges and fingerprints as easily. There is even a brown Toshiba netbook model. Overall, I think that the Toshiba Mini has a better design as it feels more solid and has a more refined, professional look.

A Review of the Acer Aspire One 533 Netbook

Acer’s featherweight Aspire One 533 Netbook is fitted with the Atom N457 chip and boasts the quicker DDR 3 ram chip, so it is no slouch. The Aspire 533 uses the same 250 GB hard drive as its predecessor and features Intel’s 3150 graphics card. Our test machine shipped with Windows 7 Starter edition.

The latest offering from Acer is a nice looking machine, it’s shiny cabinet available in four colours, and unlike many other notebooks with a shiny surface this one doesn’t seem to attract fingerprints. If it does become a problem, however, there is a cleaning cloth included in the box.

Size and weight

The 533 weighs in at 1.25 kg making it a light enough to carry for long periods at a time, then as it is barely an inch thick it will fit into an attach a case, or at a push, a large handbag. Although the 533 is fitted with a 6-Cell battery, it does at the rear so the underside of the unit is not completely flush, but we can’t really complain too much about that as it feels sturdy and robust, particularly the screen hinge.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The trackpad on this Acer is quite generous as it is slightly raised its easy to find with the fingertips. An unusual feature is the vertical scrollbar added to the right of the trackpad, though in practice we found this limited in its value.

If we were using this Netbook for real instead of just testing it we would probably want to add a cordless mouse for better control, but we usually would with most notebooks anyway. The buttons on the 533 are combined in one button bar which, while looking slick, was not particularly easy to use. The keyboard is almost full size and the mottled finish on the keys makes them ideal for typing. The keys are well spaced and feel very solid but they are quite flat and sometimes a little indistinct when trying to touch type.

There are some handy function buttons that make it easy to adjust settings such as screen brightness without having to wade through any menus – a clever and useful time saver.

Display

The CrystalBrite backlit LED screen has a 1024 x 600-pixel resolution making it sharp and bright, but it also has anti-glare properties.

We didn’t find this particularly true when we tested it; although it was visible by more than one person due to its wide viewing angle we couldn’t determine any antiglare or anti reflection property, certainly not in daylight conditions. The ubiquitous web cam is fitted into the lid.

Connectivity

The Acer is well appointed and has three USB 2.0 ports in addition to fast Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth.

Battery strength

Battery life is always an issue with notebooks, the manufacturers claim is often being wild exaggerations of the reality; however in this case the eight hours claimed by Acer for its six cell battery was actually quite accurate, and we regularly had more than seven hours continuous use from the 533 in test conditions.

The AC adaptor included with the 533 is very compact and offers shorter charging times, both of which we think are excellent selling points.

Verdict

The Acer aspire 533 is an excellent machine; it is lightweight, compact and features a fast processor, a generous hard drive, an excellent keyboard and truly remarkable battery life.

Acer Aspire One – The Perfect Netbook

Following the success of the Asus Eee, almost every major laptop manufacturer has come up with their own netbook. Being the pioneer in ultra-portable laptops, you would expect Asus to dominate the netbook market, at least for the next few years. Until the release of the Acer Aspire One, the ultra-portables released by other manufacturers fall short in many ways. Many of the models compromised performance, or if it didn’t, carry a hefty price tag with it.

The Acer Aspire One to date is a shining example of the ‘perfect’ ultra-portable laptop. One of its strongest selling points is it competitive pricing. Costing about $350 a piece, the Acer Aspire one is one of the most affordable netbooks in the market. Weighing at just 2.2 pounds, the average unit comes with a 1.6 GHz Atom processor, 1 GB of Ram, a 1.4 Megapixel camera and 160 GB of memory. As far as affordable ultra-portable goes, this is as good as it gets!

The Acer Aspire One comes in 4 different colors and has a sleek and stylish design. It is very solidly built and also has a tinge of chrome styling. The LCD screen is crystal clear with great contrasts.

The size keyboards on netbooks have always been a great concern among laptop users. Almost none of the netbooks in the market today has a full sized keyboard, but the Acer Aspire One come pretty close to having one. Its keyboard site is 92% the size of normal keyboards, which is a pleasure to type on.

Its mouse pad on the other had has a unique arrangement. The click buttons are on the side of the mouse pad (instead of below). After you get used to this configuration, this layout proves to be pretty convenient.