Acer Aspire One D250 Android review: Acer Aspire One D250 Android

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The Good Attractive red chassis; good battery life.

The Bad Android is very basic and really gets in the way; fiddly keyboard.

The Bottom Line By including the Android OS, Acer intended to give users of the Aspire One D250 Android faster access to everyday computing applications. While it boots quickly though, the presence of Android soon causes more problems than it solves

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7.5 Overall

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The latest version of the 10.1-inch Acer Aspire One D250 is a netbook with a difference. It's the first mini PC we've seen that comes not only with Windows XP installed but also with Google Android, an operating system designed primarily for mobile phones. Despite its twin-OS configuration, this miniature marvel retails for a relatively reasonable £250. Note that we reviewed the XP-only version of this machine in June.

Robots are the future
Some people may wonder why Acer has bothered supplying Android on a netbook, but the answer becomes clear within about 17 seconds of hitting the power button. The OS boots about three times faster than XP, which means you can be on the Internet, check your emails and have grown bored of watching people fall over on YouTube before XP's hourglass has vanished.

Don't expect access to many applications, though. You get Minefield (a development version of the Firefox browser), plus webmail, Google Talk and Calendar. More applications can be found by clicking the settings tab on the right side of the Android desktop, but most of them are pretty lame. There's an alarm clock, generic Android browser, calculator, calendar, camera, contacts list and music player -- the sorts of things you'd get on a mobile phone, basically.

Danger, Will Robinson
As attractive as the presence of Android may seem, it's also fraught with problems. The biggest of them is the fact it was designed for mobiles, not PCs. Firstly, you'll need to remind yourself that the D250 doesn't have a touchscreen, despite the fact it's using an operating system designed for gadgets with such an interface. Then you'll need to get used to the odd graphical user interface, which is impossible to control using a mouse alone -- you'll need to keep the Esc key handy for going back a step each time you're done with a new menu.

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