Acer D150 Review

Following the immense success of the original 8.9-inch Acer Aspire One, Acer’s new Aspire One AKA D150 comes with a bigger 10.1-inch display; slicker casing and an array of improvements over the immensely popular 8.9″ Aspire One. Can the new D150 be the top selling netbook just like the original one?  Read the review to find out!

Design

The new Aspire One is built along the design of its older model. That said, there are some (welcome) design changes in the D150. For example: the shiny palm rest is now brushed metal finishing. The hinge has also undergone design change. We will cover these changes and other improvements one-by-one in the review

EEE 1000H and Aspire One D150

EEE 1000H and Aspire One D150

On the right side of the netbook, you will find that the rings on the side of the hinge are gone. They are now replaced by teardrop-shaped hinge, which looks great. On this side, you will find the Kensington lock, power port and 2 USB ports.

On the left side, you will find VGA port, LAN port, a USB port, earphone, microphone jack and multi-card reader.

On the front, you will find the WiFi toggle switch.

The Aspire One D150 is much less chunky than the other 10.1-inch netbooks like  EEE 1000H and looks better too.

Display

The Acer Aspire One D150 is equipped with a 10.1-inch display which has 1024 x 600 resolution. Unlike most of the netbooks in the market, it has a glossy display. The colors are rich and images look vibrant.

Just over the display, you will find the 0.3MP camera, which I found decent enough for Skype video calls.

Keyboard

Most of the people go for the 10-inch netbooks for two reasons:

  • for bigger display (of course)
  • for full-size keyboard

The bigger display allows the netbook manufactures to fit-in for the bigger ‘almost’ full-size keyboards. The keyboard of D150 is great to type on. Although, Acer could have fit in a bigger keyboard as there is some empty space on the sides. That said, the keyboard is a joy to use. I’d no problems in typing a document in the wordpad. With the EEE 1000H, I get nearly 90-100WPM and with the D150, I got 85WPM. May be I will improve with the usage.

I also appreciate the full size shift key and dedicated page-up and page-down buttons. In all the ASUS EEEs, you have to use the fn+up arrow combo to use the page-up function. Since, we use page-up and page-down functions quite a lot when browsing through long documents and web-pages, the dedicated keys improve the user-experience.

Another improvement is that the Acer has made the touchpad bigger and the vertical buttons previously found on the sides of the touchpad are now replaced by a single bar which is placed below the touchpad.

Speakers

The speakers are located at the bottom of the unit. They are loud enough for skype calls.

Memory

The Acer Aspire One D150 comes with a 160GB HDD and 1GB RAM. How do the HDD performs? Let’s see that in the benchmark test.

Benchmarks

Here are the results obtained by Crystal Disk Mark test:

..and for comparison, here are the results of EEE 1000H followed by EEE 1002HA (both use HDD):

As it can be easily observed, most of them performed similarly in the Crystal Disk Mark test. Here are Crytal Mark benchmark result:

Upgrading

Upgrading HDD and RAM in the older Aspire One was not an easy job. Acer listened to the complaints of the users and have made upgrading HDD and RAM extremely easy in the new D150 Aspire One. The RAM is upgradable to 2GB.

Connectivity

The D150 comes with all the latest connectivity radios that you would expect from a modern netbook. This include WiFi and BT (older aspire one did not have BT). However, the Aspire One D150 that I reviewed came with something extra: WiMax slot. Yes, if your network supports WiMax, just put in your SIM and boom! You can now enjoy mobile broadband.

Battery Life

Gone are the days, when the users cared less about the battery life. People expect to carry these netbooks everywhere they go and nobody wants to carry the charger with them as it just kills the point of mobility.

The D150 ships with 6-cell 5200mAh as standard in most of the countries, which simply gives mind-boggling battery life. In casual wifi surfing, it crossed 6 hours with ease and still had some juice left. This is better than the most of the 6-cell netbooks like EEE 1000H and MSI WIND U100.

It protrudes out from back though.

Charger

Charger should be as compact as possible in the netbooks. Older Aspire One came with a huge power brick. Acer has made the power brick smaller for the D150, which looks a lot like the one which is supplied with the latest EEE PCs.

sorry for the blurred image, but that does not matters here. Right? ;)

sorry for the blurred image, but that does not matters here. Right? ;)

Addons

The ACER bundles a nice neoprene case which does a much better job than the pathetic case that the ACER bundled with the older verison of the Acer Aspire one.

Acer has bundled eRecovery software for easy restore and backup of the HDD image. It lets you:

  • create a factory default disk
  • create drivers and apps disk
  • restore system to factory defaults
  • restore only OS (user data won’t be deleted in this option)
  • reinstall drivers and apps

It also comes with eSobi, Google Desktop, trial of office 2007 and McAfee Security Center.

Some comparison pictures with the other popular netbooks

EEE 1002HA and ASPIRE ONE D150

EEE 1002HA and ASPIRE ONE D150

EEE 1000H and Aspire One D150

EEE 1000H and Aspire One D150

EEE 1002HA, ASPIRE ONE D150 and EEE 1000H

EEE 1002HA, ASPIRE ONE D150 and EEE 1000H

Final Verdict

The new Aspire One D150 offers a elegant and stylish design along with enough power to satisfy for your daily as-well-as mobile computing needs.  And with the 6 hours-plus battery life and extremely affordable price ($350-$400 for 6-cell battery), it is a great bang for a buck. We recommend it.

Pros:

  • Great battery life
  • Cheap for what you get
  • Looks nice
  • Brushed metallic palm rest
  • Zippy performance
  • eRecovery software is handy
  • Full sized shift key and dedicated page-up/down buttons
  • RAM and HDD upgradable
  • Better bundled case (compared to older Aspire One)

Cons:

  • Keyboard could have been bigger.

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