Review Price £249.99
Connectivity on the Acer Aspire One D260 is par for the course, consisting of three USB 2.0 ports, an analogue VGA output for video, 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks, a memory card reader and 100Mb Ethernet.
Likewise the screen is the same size (10.1in) and resolution (1,024 x 600) as found on most netbooks, and unfortunately sports the glossy, reflective finish that's all too common. It's a slightly better than average performer thanks to decent greyscale differentiation (meaning you'll see more dark detailing in films, albeit at the cost of white purity), no obvious backlight bleed/inconsistency or banding and excellent sharpness. Viewing angles are only mediocre though, and vertically especially the screen displays significant contrast shift so you'll need to take care how you angle it when viewing pictures or video.
When it comes to audio the D260 performs similarly to the more expensive 533, lacking in volume, punch and depth. Overall then we're not too impressed despite generally clear reproduction, meaning you'll want to hook up a pair of headphones or external speakers.
Battery life is good if not quite up to (admittedly far more expensive) rivals, with the six-cell, 4,400mAh (49 Watt-hour) battery lasting for just over six hours in our video playback test with screen brightness at 50 percent and Wi-Fi turned off. That should be plenty for most users, and less intensive use with a still usable lower brightness ought to see you well into the seven hour mark. It's also more than the similarly priced Samsung N130, which does benefit from a non-reflective display that may tempt many.
When it comes to value, the £230 D260 has the potential to catapult the Aspire One netbook range back into the popularity it enjoyed with the original Aspire One, as this is cheaper than most netbooks based on the newer Atom N450. Acer's choice to go for a smaller hard drive and omit Bluetooth has really paid off in this regard, as compared to £280-plus rivals like the MSI Wind U160 and Toshiba NB250, the D260 not only offers identical performance but also far superior ergonomics.
While the Aspire One D260 doesn't bring anything new to the table where specifications are concerned, its visual flair and soft-touch ergonomics lend it an edge, honed further by a price that easily undercuts rivals.
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