The Acer Aspire One D255’s physical design is understated. Apart from the slight bulge of the 4,400mAh battery at the rear, it measures only 24mm thick, and that slim figure is matched with a gloss-black lid and an attractive strip of metallic grey stretching across the wrist rest.
Acer hasn’t sacrificed stamina for those good looks, though: the Aspire One D255 lasted 9hrs 25mins in our light-use battery test.
Despite being relatively light at only 1.13kg, build quality is solid. The lid doesn’t feel as taut as some of its rivals, flexing noticeably to and fro, and tugging on the slender base reveals a little give, but neither is a cause for concern.
The keyboard layout is free of needlessly shrunken keys and that, combined with the wide right-shift key, makes it easy to get up to a brisk typing speed. The touchpad also works without fuss. The wide, smooth surface feels nice, supports two-fingered scrolling, and is accompanied by a rocker button that offers just the right amount of resistance to each click.
The 10.1in display has an excellent 438:1 contrast ratio and, by netbook standards, faithful colour reproduction. Brightness peaks at a modest 206cd/m[sup]2[/sup], but otherwise the only major downside is the shiny finish, which results in distracting reflections in brighter conditions.
The clincher is the core specification. Intel’s dual-core Atom N550 processor helps push the Aspire One D255 to an overall score of 0.21, placing it among the fastest performers in the group. USB 3, Bluetooth and Gigabit Ethernet are absent, but three USB 2 ports, an SD/MMC card reader and 802.11n wireless should cover most eventualities.
Other netbooks offer more features, and AMD Fusion models are better at video, but those looking for a solid all-rounder need look no further. Acer’s Aspire One D255 delivers dual-core power at an excellent price.
|Dimensions||259 x 185 x 29mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Atom N550|
|SODIMM sockets free||0|
|SODIMM sockets total||1|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,024|
|Resolution screen vertical||600|
|Resolution||1024 x 600|
|Graphics chipset||Intel GMA 3150|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk||Western Digital WD2500BEVT|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless hardware on/off switch||no|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|USB ports (downstream)||3|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Camera megapixel rating||1.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||9hr 25min|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.21|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 7 Starter 32-bit|
|OS family||Windows 7|
|Recovery method||Recovery partiion|