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Acer Aspire One D257 10.1 inch Netbook (Intel Atom N455 Processor, 1GB RAM, 250GB HDD, 8 Hours Battery Life, Bluetooth, Windows 7 Starter & Android) - White
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The 10.1 inch Aspire One D257 is the ultimate, ultra-portable infotainment companion bringing you efficient performance, sensational style and convenient connectivity anywhere you go.
Acer Aspire One D257 Netbook
Power lead and adapter
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They have had a lot of fun with them too and the built in webcam means that they can see as well as speak to Nanny on the phone now.
Of course they know how to be 'ESmart' and I never leave them alone and unsupervised on the web.
I think it is a great little netbook which is excellent value for money and does exactly what we wanted.
I think one important fact to remember is that if you've been working with a high end workstation or reasonably powered laptop, then this machine obviously isn't going to compete. Which means its performance is a little sluggish at times. I didn't expect it to be anything else than it is but you just need to give it time to think before clicking around wondering why things aren't happening.
The build quality is very good. The screen is sharp and clear. Speakers are a bit "tinny" though. The keyboard, naturally, is smaller and takes a little care to use at first. I kept missing the shift, tab and backspace keys but the feel is good.
On receipt it boots into Windows and runs through the setup. First thing I did after that was to make a recovery disk. The backup is over 9Gbytes and needs 3 DVDs - but of course there is no built in DVD drive. There is an option to backup to USB memory sticks but I chose to plug in a small USB Hard Drive and it backed everything up to this in about 30 minutes.
Next step was to get rid of all the junk software that's preloaded. Games, MS Office (but you need to buy the license), McAfee, Norton and a host of other stuff. I have my own AV and Firewall preferences.
There is an option via some Acer Config S/W to have the machine boot into Android. It works OK but personally I can't see any benefit to this. Sure it boots faster but is very limiting in what you can do and a bit clumsy in my opinion. Its not compulsory and you can revert to just having it boot straight into Windows.
After that you configure Windows how you like it.
Being a small screen means that some windows don't carry as much info as you may normally see on a regular machine. This means scrolling around and the touch pad is OK but not as smooth as my Dell Laptop. The scroll seems a little jerky as well. However I have a small wireless mouse which I prefer to use and works just fine.
Battery life indicator switches from 4 to 8hrs at 100% charge depending on what's happening at the time. This seems promising.
I'm still waiting for the extra memory to arrive which will improve performance but overall its what I expected.
One comment about Win7 Starter. You can't change the desktop image by default. However, search the web for Starter Background Changer. This utility program allows you to do just this.
Overall a great little machine if you need something light and small to carry around. Just don't expect instant response to everything you throw at it.
Edit: Just upgraded memory to 2Gbytes and while it doesn't improve the Windows Score very much everything is a little snappier to use. Programs appear to load faster and switching between apps is also better.
Upgrading the memory is a little tricky but should be within most peoples capabilities. The memory module is located underneath the machine and you need to remove the cover panel on the bottom. This can only be done after the keyboard has been removed....
1. Remove keyboard. Its held in place by three clips at the top (screen end), carefully prise up the keyboard here and then slide to the back to clear the taps holding it in at the front. Either remove completely by disconnecting the cable or leave in place. I left my in place.
2. With the keyboad clear look for 5 screws labeled 'Door' and remove these. This then allows the panel on the bottom to be prised out.
3. Prise out the bottom panel starting at the front of the panel and then sides. The back is held in by tabs. Lift clear and you'll see the module.
4 Replace module and then refit panels and keyboard in reverse order.
Take care in handling the memory modules as they are static sensitive.
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