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Acer Aspire One D260 review

by Russell Barnes

Amid a slew of recent releases, Acer’s Aspire One D260 netbook really stands out from the pack. Russell Barnes loads Linux and takes it for a test drive…

This article originally appeared in issue 93 of Linux User & Developer magazine.Acer Aspire One D260 review Subscribe and save more than 30% and receive our exclusive money back guarantee – click here to find out more.

Specs:Acer Aspire One D260 review
OS tested Ubuntu 10.04.1
Processor Intel Atom N450
Memory 1GB DDR2
Storage 160GB
Weight 1.25kg
Display size 10.1” (1024 x 600)
Expansion Multi-card reader
Price: £248.97 / Approx $329
Where to buy:
Acer Aspire One D260 review

Pros: Beautifully crafted chassis design. Excellent keyboard and mouse pad. Reasonably fast performance
Cons: Chassis is prone to finger marks. Slightly slower hard drive performance. Comes with Windows

The Acer Aspire One D260 is a 10.1” netbook designed as the follow-up to the critically acclaimed D250. It features a solid technical specification which includes Intel’s Atom N450 processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB hard drive and Intel’s GMA 3150 GPU.

Though this particular version of the D260 has a smaller hard drive and works out around £50 cheaper than the Toshiba NB250, their specifications are actually very closely aligned. Despite boasting an N455 processor, you’ll find that the performance of the Toshiba is almost identical to the D260 – this is due to the fact the N455 and N450 are essentially the same processor, aside from the former supporting faster and more power-efficient DDR3 RAM. We’ve often wondered how the two processors would perform head-to-head, and our reviews provide the perfect opportunity to do some testing.

After setting up and updating Ubuntu 10.04.1 on both systems, we installed a small selection of benchmarks to weigh up both machines like for like. The results were surprising in their parity – the performance delta between the two was negligible, to the point where many tests fell well within a margin of error. For example, the Toshiba and Acer models scored 15.54 and 15.42 respectively on the CPU Blowfish test in System Profiler & Benchmark and they created a Blender frame within one second of each other on a 35-minute render, with the D260 pipping the NB250 to the post for a second time.

Acer Aspire One D260 review

There was little doubt that the Toshiba NB250 performed better on our SysBench FileIO speed test, however, by executing a 3GB file read and write test nearly ten seconds quicker (31 seconds compared to 40 seconds for the D260), but in transcoding and file compression they were basically neck-and-neck.

Page 2 – Verdict

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    • Pingback: Toshiba NB250 review | Linux User

    • Dave

      Surprised a Linux website could review 2 netbooks without once mentioning the wireless chipset or performance.

      That’s what I was looking for.

      Dave

    • Pingback: LXer: Acer Aspire One D260 review - oBlurb

    • Edwin Ironshoes

      Are you still buying a Windows license?

    • PsynoKhi0

      Seems to me the Toshiba trades looks for slightly better innards:
      DDR3-support
      Larger/faster HDD
      Slightly lower weight
      2-years warranty
      That may very well explain the price difference.

      Given that my father’s Aspire One died a few months after its 1-year warranty expired, although it had been used basically for email and the occasional YouTube clip, I’d go for Toshiba’s slight price premium ;)

    • PsynoKhi0

      @Edwin
      My guess is that asking for a refund is such an absurdly time-consuming process that if they waited to get through with it to publish their reviews, those would be 3 generations late, if released at all heh

      Though I hear you, I wish that the EU windows unbundling suggestion from 2 years ago had been implemented.

      The license for W7 has unfortunately been revised to mention the risk of needing to return the computer… Is that even legal?
      1. PCs aren’t Macs, hardware and software come from 2 separate entities, surely you SHOULD be able subjected to 2 separate license agreements
      2. The hardware doesn’t need windows to run prefectly fine
      3. Piracy? How is that the users’ concern? So you may be forced to pay for a product you don’t need nor want because of the manufacturer’s inability to protect their software… Sounds a awful lot like paying someone to perform a poor job. That might be logical in some alternate reality (the Redmond Triangle?) but I doubt my employer would find this very fitting…

      Erm yay for slight off-topic :)

    • Russell Barnes

      @Dave
      We didn’t do WiFi chipset performance tests, no, but suffice it to say we had no driver problems or issues at all.

    • alliedbass

      I like the review. It was a bit limited but suffice it to say yes ubuntu works fine with the broadcom and atheros chipsets. I have never got the card reader working but i dont expect nor need to have everypiece of hardware working right off the bat. Its linux. To learn it is to love it.
      Currently running CrunchBang Statler on aspire one d260 and after a bit of tweaking ( thats the fun ). I have the fastest aao-d260 on the planet.

    • Stephen

      Hay has anyone got the MIC to work properly on these netbooks with Ubuntu?