Acer Aspire One D255
One of the first 10-inch laptops anywhere to use Intel’s new Atom N550 processor is the Acer Aspire One D255 (price not yet revealed). The netbook performs slightly better on benchmarks than its single-core rivals. The design’s portability impressed us, even more, when we compared it to other slim laptops. Is the D255 fast enough, though, to make up for its shortcomings?
Acer Aspire One D255 Specifications
|CPU||Intel Atom N550|
|Display||10.1″ 1024 X 600|
|Wireless Interfaces||No Bluetooth|
|Hard Disk||250 GB|
|Graphics||Intel GMA 3150|
- More portable and portable than competing netbooks
- Long-Lasting Battery Life
- Superior Efficiency
- Uses minimal heat
- Unstable cursor
- Keyboard spacing issues
Strive For More
The D255 shares a similar design with other recent Aspire One models. The lid, like those of other netbooks, is glossy, while the area around the keyboard is matte. It will be offered in the UK in four different shades: black, red, white, and brown. The netbook may look cheap and have a plastic finish, but it is surprisingly sturdy. When closed, its 24mm thickness is impressively slim. Weight-wise, it’s not too bad at only 1.25 kg. However, the design isn’t nearly as stunning as, say, the Samsung N220.
When it comes to range ports, the D255 is the standard fare. There are three USB connections and a VGA port for connecting an external display. In addition to the expected Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity options, there is also an SD card reader for importing content from mobile devices like cameras and smartphones. Okay, I think that’s everything. Additional features like an HDMI connector and Bluetooth connectivity are only available on more expensive computers, which this one lacks. However, for a netbook of this price range, the 250GB hard drive is quite generous.
The D255’s keyboard is separated, like those on many other current Acer laptops, so the keys don’t look like they were stamped out of the chassis but rather float above the surface. It’s easy to build up to a respectable typing speed because of the size and spacing of the keys. The 10.1-inch display is on the small side, but its 1,024 x 600-pixel resolution is respectable.
Its LED backlighting makes it extremely bright, and its glossy covering makes colors pop. The display has excellent viewing angles, which can be beneficial if you want to watch a film with a companion on the road. However, when working under strong overhead lighting, the shiny finish might be distracting due to its glare.
We were hardly aware of its heaviness as we lugged it around in our luggage. The Aspire One D255 is aesthetically consistent with other Aspire One netbooks, sharing their thin, fairly conventional appearance. Its glossy black lid features a dull Aspire One logo and attracts fingerprints, but the screen is so dim that you won’t even be able to see them.
Adding to the already reflective nature of the screen is a glossy bezel on the inside. Additionally, there is room for a pen in the space between the chassis base and the lid. You’ll also find an island-style keypad and a matte gray deck.
Typewriter with Trackpad
The “fine tip” keyboard design found on previous Acer netbooks and laptops is also present on the Aspire One D255’s island-style keyboard. Although the keys are spacious and run the length of the chassis, we found typing to be uncomfortable due to the small chassis and short palm rest, which caused our wrists to protrude past the front lip.
The G and H keys also flexed slightly under our pressure books and laptops are also present on the Aspire One D255’s island-style keyboard. Although the keys are spacious and run the length of the chassis, we found typing to be uncomfortable due to the small chassis and short palm rest, which caused our wrists to protrude past the front lip. The G and H keys also flexed slightly under our pressure. Despite these setbacks, we were still able to type 80 words per minute using only our thumbs, but with a slightly higher than normal error rate of 2% on the ten-thumb typing test.
There are major accuracy issues with the 3×1.5-inch touchpad. The mouse cursor would occasionally skip a few pixels or appear to lag behind when we moved it around the desktop.
This error was especially noticeable when other processes, such as page loading, were running in the background. The pad isn’t consistently responsive or smooth, but it does enable multitouch movements like pinch-to-zoom. Despite our preference for two individual mouse buttons, we found the D255’s single-button bar to provide satisfying feedback without being overly mushy or stiff.
The D255 is distinguished from its rivals in part because it comes preloaded with both the Windows 7 and Android operating systems. While it does start up more quickly than Windows 7, its utility is limited otherwise. The implementation on this netbook is flawed in too many ways to be usable. Most Android apps, for instance, require the ‘Esc’ key to be pressed in order to be closed; the standard mouse and trackpad controls don’t work.
And it seems like many apps take longer to launch and run on Android compared to Windows. While Windows devices had no trouble playing standard-definition videos from the BBC’s iPlayer, Android devices struggled mightily. There’s also no Android app store to make downloading and installing apps a breeze. Fortunately, you are not obligated in any way to utilize Android. The D255 can be easily set up using a straightforward Windows application to prevent Android from appearing as a boot option.
The Acer Aspire One D255 may not be the most attractive netbook, and the inclusion of Google’s Android operating system isn’t as handy as it first appears. Positively, the dual-core CPU improves performance above its single-core competitors while costing only slightly more than its single-core counterparts, making it an easy recommendation.