Mini-review of the Acer Aspire D250 netbook

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Wed Jan 20 04:20:49 UTC 2010


Hi all.

A colleague asked me what I thought of an Acer Aspire D250 notebook we
bought for a project. After I wrote a description for him, it occurred
to me that it might be of interest to other Ubuntu users. So here it is.

It cost $399 brand new in Chinatown in Sydney, Australia. It came with
XP Home Edition pre-installed which I didn't boot even once - I
immediately installed Linux (but I did save the Windows partition).

Specs: 160Gb disk, 1Gb RAM, WiFi, Ethernet, 3G, Bluetooth, VGA out
(don't know what resolution), 3xUSB2.0, webcam, built-in mike,
speakers, headphone and mike jacks, SD card reader. Touchpad built-in
mouse, on the small side, two buttons on a rocker bar. Also a power
pack. Battery life is allegedly 7 hours. 1.60GHz Atom processor.

Everything I tested works under Linux. I did NOT test Bluetooth or 3G.

Build quality overall seems good, and it has a Kensington security slot.
Everything important is easily accessible underneath with a small
phillips-head screwdriver - RAM, disk etc.

Quite nippy at basic tasks under Linux, can't comment for XP. Disk
access seems slowish, might be the low-end 160Gb disk. Boot time is thus
relatively long (well over a minute). Sleep/resume is astoundingly fast
under Linux - 4 seconds to sleep, 1-2 seconds to resume, so I see no
reason ever to boot again :-)

Screen resolution is lowish, 1024x600 I think. Keyboard is excellent,
though small. No separate numeric keypad obviously! I had no trouble
with it and I am a keyboard pedant.

Complaints: VGA out and all USB slots are on the sides (VGA and 1xUSB
left, 2xUSB right), where they get in the way. LED indicators (except
power) are too small, and hard to tell apart. The release latch on an
inserted ethernet cable is on the bottom. Oh - and way too many
hard-to-remove stickers :-)

In summary: A great travel computer, not so good as a work computer.
However: If you can run a higher resolution external screen along with a
USB mouse and keyboard, it would probably be a most acceptable
powerhead. Even more so if the memory can be bumped up to 2 or 3 Gb (I
think the max is 2Gb).

Regards, K.

PS: No CD/DVD, so I had to make a USB boot stick, which I did using the
excellent instructions starting at:

   http://www.ubuntu.com/GetUbuntu/download-netbook

Tip: Don't download it from there, it will take forever. Use BitTorrent
instead, it's waaay faster. Find the right links here:

   http://releases.ubuntu.com

I used ubuntu-9.10-netbook-remix-i386.iso.


-- 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)                   +61-2-64957160 (h)
http://www.biplane.com.au/~kauer/                  +61-428-957160 (mob)

GPG fingerprint: B386 7819 B227 2961 8301 C5A9 2EBC 754B CD97 0156
Old fingerprint: 07F3 1DF9 9D45 8BCD 7DD5 00CE 4A44 6A03 F43A 7DEF
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