Home' LAPTOP Magazine : December 2010 Contents Acer
CPU: 1.5-GHz Intel Atom N550 Operating
System: Windows 7 Starter Edition Hard Drive
Size/Speed: 250GB/5,400 rpm RAM/Upgrad-
able to: 1GB/2GB Display Size/Resolution:
10.1 inches/1024 x 600 pixels Graphics: Intel
GMA 3150 Wireless: 802.11b/g/n Ports: Three
USB 2.0, Ethernet, VGA, headphone, mic,
Kensington Lock Card Slots: SD card reader
Size: 10.2 x 7.3 x 1 inches Weight: 2.4 pounds
Warranty/Support: One-year limited/24/7
Smaller and lighter than other netbooks
Strong battery life
Keyboard a bit cramped
The Acer Aspire One D255 is Acer's first dual-core
netbook, and one of the first 10-inchers anywhere to
use Intel's new Atom N550 processor. The machine's
benchmark performance is moderately better than
single-core competitors. However, is the D255 fast
enough to overcome its flaws?
The Aspire One D255 shares the slim but some-
what generic design of other Aspire One netbooks.
The glossy bezel that surrounds the glossy screen
makes it even more reflective. At 2.4 pounds and
10.1 x 7.3 x 1 inches, the D255 is smaller and lighter
than competitors such as the ASUS Eee PC 1215N
and the Toshiba Mini NB305.
The island-style keyboard also matches other
Acer netbooks. Though the keys are large and extend
end-to-end across the chassis, we found the overall
typing experience cramped. We also noticed a little
flex when we pressed down on the G and H keys.
The touchpad suffers from serious inaccuracy
problems. Occasionally the pointer suddenly jumped
a few pixels and other times it slowed to a crawl.
The D255's single-button bar offered good tactile
feedback without being too stiff.
The 1.3-megapixel webcam produced blurry
images that were completely washed out under
The D255's 1024 x 600-pixel screen provided
strong viewing angles. Intel says that the Atom
N550 improves high-def video playback, but when
we downloaded a QuickTime
trailer ofSaw 3D, playback was
noticeably jerky. Streaming
full-screen 720p Flash videos
from Fox.com and YouTube,
owever, was smooth.
Audio from the
ers was loud enough to
fill a room, though somewhat tinny. Unfortunately,
when we moved the pointer around during audio
playback, the audio itself occasionally stuttered.
The dual-core 1.5-GHz Atom N550 CPU allowed
the netbook to achieve modestly higher scores
than its single-core competitors. On PCMark05,
the D255 scored about 16 percent higher than
the netbook category average.
The D255's 250GB hard drive booted Windows
7 Starter 8 seconds faster than other notebooks
in the same category. It copied 4.97GB of mixed
media files noticeably faster than the Toshiba
NB305 (20.6 MBps).
On 3DMark06, we saw a relatively low score.
But it's on a par with the N150 Plus(156). However,
the Ion-powered ASUS 1215N scored a whopping
When it came to transcoding video, the D255
really shined: 4 minutes and 10 seconds is nearly
2 minutes faster than the category average, but
not as speedy as the dual-core ASUS 1215N(3:17).
Acer Aspire One D255
One of the first netbooks with Intel's mobile dual-core Atom processor
offers slightly improved performance but a tempermental touchpad.
However, that 12-inch netbook costs
We tried World of Warcraft on the
D255, with poor results. At 800 x 600
resolution with all special effects turned
down, we managed to get a barely
playable 28 frames per second. At the
native resolution of 1024 x 600, the
D255 notched a slideshow-like 6 fps.
The D255's dual core Atom N550
CPU had no negative effect on its
battery life. It lasted longer than most
netbooks, with a strong runtime of 8
hours and 14 minutes.
The wireless card delivered subpar
transfer rates at both 15 and 50 feet from the router.
The D255 comes preloaded with McAfee Internet
Security and Norton Online Backup, though you
must register or uninstall to avoid periodic pop-up
alerts.The D255 also includes the Acer Crystal Eye
webcam and Acer Video Conference (for controlling
At $349, the Acer Aspire One D255 has a reason-
able price and long battery life. The dual-core Atom
N550 offers modest performance gains, though
these benefits are offset by a jumpy cursor and
irksome trialware. While some competitors don't
last as long on a charge, we prefer the Samsung
N150 Plus ($349) for its matte display and more
responsive keyboard, and the Toshiba NB255 ($289),
which has a better touchpad.
CHMARKS Score Category
PTOP Battery Test
TOP Transfer Test
t Time (min:sec)* 0:55
(autodetect/max) 28/6 fps 27/9 fps
Test (min:sec)* 4:10
* Lower is better
LAPTOP | December 2010
A jumpy cursor
makes the 3 x 1.5-
inch touchpad on
the Acer Aspire One
D255 less than ideal.
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