The Acer Aspire One D260 is a 10-inch netbook based on the Intel Pinetrail Atom N450 1.66GHz processor. But compared to the Acer Aspire One 532h, the Aspire One D260 doesn't offer anything new in terms of hardware and features.

Acer Aspire One D260: Design & Looks

The new Acer Aspire One D260 is designed in a similar way to the Aspire One 532h netbook - but the Aspire One D260 is a lot more smarter, even cuter. The netbook's coloured in lavender with a glossy finish on its 10-inch screen lid. Acer has relegated its company logo to the top-left of the screen lid (compared to the Acer Aspire One 532h), proclaiming instead the D260's "Aspire One" series slogan prominently across the screen lid of the netbook. The Acer Aspire One D260 is another good-looking netbook next to the Sony VAIO M, MSI Wind U160 and Dell Inspiron Mini 10.

The Acer Aspire One D260's palmrest, touchpad, and area surrounding its keyboard deck have a matte lavender finish which doesn't attract any fingerprints or smudges - another minor improvement over the Aspire One 532h netbook. The netbook, however, has a glossy black bottom panel - it's one single plastic panel so upgrading the netbook's hardware isn't exactly easy. But the Aspire One D260 is well-built and weighs 1.25-kg with a six-cell battery - pretty similar to the Aspire One 532h.

Acer Aspire One D260: Usability

Acer hasn't changed much in terms of screen and keyboard on the Aspire One D260 10-inch netbook. The D260's 10-inch glossy widescreen LED-backlit display supports a resolution of 1024x600 pixels. The screen has average viewing angles compared to other netbooks, but its bright and sharp, and good for watching movies or reading text. The screen's equipped with a webcam - placed on the top bezel - that comes in handy for videochats.

The Acer Aspire One D260 retains the same keyboard design and layout as on the Aspire One 532h netbook - also seen on the Gateway LT21. The Aspire One D260's keyboard sport isolated, flat-top keys that are full-sized and nice to type on. The D260 netbook's keyboard deck doesn't flex while in a typing frenzy. It isn't as good as the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3 or Dell Inspiron Mini 10, but the Acer Aspire One D260's keyboard is definitely very good to type on.

Another minor design enhancement on the Aspire One D260 netbook compared to the 532h is the D260's touchpad. The gesture-enabled touchpad on the Aspire One D260 is slightly raised above the rest of the palmrest - so you know if you stray out of the touchpad's boundary. The gestures on the D260's touchpad works well, no complaints. The Acer Aspire One D260's single-strip mouse button might take time getting used to but works well overall.

Hardware Features
The Acer Aspire One D260 is a standard 10-inch netbook with standard netbook hardware. The D260 netbook has an Intel Atom N450 1.66-GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard drive, and Intel GMA 3150 graphics. Compared to other netbooks at this price point, the Acer Aspire One D260 offers the least hard drive space. The Acer netbook doesn’t have Windows 7 Starter operating system, but comes with the older Windows XP Home Edition instead.

In terms of connectivity options, the Acer Aspire One D260 doesn’t pack in anything exciting - it's all standard fare. The netbook comes with three USB ports, VGA, ethernet, card reader, and audio jacks, and wireless connectivity standards like Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 are also supported on the Aspire One D260 netbook. No new features compared to the Aspire One 532h but nothing missing either.

The Acer Aspire One D260 comes with useful proprietary software - ePower Management, eRecovery Management, and CrystalEye Webcam. The power management software and recovery tool are especially useful.

Performance
The Acer Aspire One D260 performs like a regular netbook. With a WorldBench 6 score of 34, the Acer Aspire One D260 stacks up as good as any other similarly priced netbook. Like any other netbook based on Intel's Pinetrail Atom N450 processor, the Acer Aspire One D260 can handle up to three programs running simultaneously before hitting performance roadblocks and slowing down.

The Acer Aspire One D260 netbook managed to play 480p and 720p HD YouTube videos without a hitch, but couldn't handle smooth 1080p HD video playback - like any other netbook. The D260 netbook's 10-inch screen is good for both indoor and outdoor usage, and its onboard speakers - situated under its front edge lip - are good for personal entertainment at best. All through our testing, the Acer Aspire One D260 didn’t overheat overmuch.

Battery Life
The Acer Aspire One D260 offers very good battery performance. The netbook's six-cell battery lasted 4 hours 52 minutes through our synthetic tests - at full screen brightness and high performance preset. This beats the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 and MSI Wind U160 battery time. Expect easily over 8 hours - even close to 9 hours - of battery life while surfing the web over Wi-Fi off a single charge, if you turn on Acer’s ePower management tool or on a conservative power plan.

Acer Aspire One D260: Performance

Tested in the PCWorld.in Lab

WorldBench 6 34
Office 2003 (sec) 670
Multitasking (sec) 1321
Firefox (sec) 943
Winzip (sec) 647
Battery Life (mins) 292
PC Mark 05 1451
3D Mark 06 159
Linear Disk Read (Begin) 59.2 MB/s
Random Disk Read 45.4 MB/s
Disk Read Access 18.3 ms
HD 720p Playback

Very Good

See also: Group test: what's the best netbook?

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Acer Aspire One D260: Specs

  • Intel Atom Processor N450, 1.66GHz, 512KB L2 Cache
  • Genuine Windows 7 Starter
  • 1GB RAM
  • Intel GMA 3150
  • LED LCD, 1024x600, 10.1in
  • 160GB
  • Multi-in-1 card reader
  • 3x USB
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • VGA
  • Headphone/speaker/line-out jack
  • Built-in speakers
  • Webcam
  • Battery, power adaptor
  • 258.5x185x24mm
  • 1.11kg
  • Intel Atom Processor N450, 1.66GHz, 512KB L2 Cache
  • Genuine Windows 7 Starter
  • 1GB RAM
  • Intel GMA 3150
  • LED LCD, 1024x600, 10.1in
  • 160GB
  • Multi-in-1 card reader
  • 3x USB
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • VGA
  • Headphone/speaker/line-out jack
  • Built-in speakers
  • Webcam
  • Battery, power adaptor
  • 258.5x185x24mm
  • 1.11kg

OUR VERDICT

The new Acer Aspire One D260 is a smarter, better-looking netbook than the Acer Aspire One 532h. It offers excellent battery life and comes with standard netbook hardware and performance, and sells for an attractively low price.

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