If you plan on using your netbook only for basic computing tasks, critics say the Acer Aspire One D270 is a solid budget netbook, thanks to its all-day battery life and stutter-free video streaming
The Intel Atom Cedar Trail processor at the heart of the Aspire One D270 plays high-definition video like a pro, but it struggles with virtually all other tasks, reviewers report. It can handle web surfing, checking email and basic document editing, but that's about it -- and the programs will be slow to open, to boot. The RAM is permanently soldered to the motherboard (rather than installed in a socket) so you can't upgrade it. The display has a fairly low resolution and poor contrast, reviewers complain, and the speakers are weak.
Even though they're shrunk to fit the 10.1-inch netbook's frame, the keyboard, trackpad and mouse keys all respond well and are fairly comfortable, users report; multitouch gestures are supported. Connectivity options are the standard fare, with two notable exceptions: an HDMI port and Bluetooth 4.0. Trying to watch video on an external monitor via HDMI leads to excessive stuttering, however.
This netbook sports the same molded plastic, water droplet design of the beefier and better regarded Acer Aspire One 722 (*Est. $330 and up), and users are split down the line as to whether the case is a positive or a negative. One version sports colorful balloons instead of water droplets.
The one-year warranty is nothing special, but reliability is high enough that few users need to take advantage of it. However, if there is a problem, Acer has a poor reputation for customer service.
The Acer Aspire One D270 can handle only basic computing tasks before bogging down, but it's a low-cost netbook with a whopping nine-hour battery life. That's enough to keep you working for a full coast-to-coast airplane trip, with time for a two-hour stopover in Tulsa. Great video streaming adds to the value, but if you have a bit more to spend, experts say its line mate, the Acer Aspire One 722, offers a better blend of price and performance.
Professional reviews are hard to come by, but a European version of the Acer Aspire One D270 has been reviewed by NotebookCheck.net. Otherwise, configurations of the netbook that are available in this country have been reviewed by dozens of Walmart.com and Amazon.com users.
1. Notebook Check.net
NotebookCheck.net gives the Aspire One D270 an overall score of 87 percent, although reviewer Konrad Schneid says the netbook is slow and performs poorly in processing tests. "You know the tradeoff: if the standard limitations of a netbook -- chiefly the poor, low-res screen and paltry performance, are deal-breakers for you, the D270 and Cedar Trail platform will do nothing to change your mind," he writes.
Review: Review Acer Aspire One D270-26Dbb Netbook, Konrad Schneid, May 3, 2012
Amazon users give the various, colorful versions of the Aspire One D270 an overall rating of 3.8 (out of 5) stars. Most say it's a good value for the money, assuming you don't expect it to be as powerful as a laptop. Some users express disappointment over the soldered-on RAM, which isn't upgradeable, and a few complain about Acer's customer service.
Review: Acer Aspire One AOD270-1410 10.1-Inch Netbook (Espresso Black), Contributors to Amazon.com
Buyers say the Aspire One D270 is stylish, portable and a great all-around netbook, though several caution that its sluggishness should relegate it to a secondary role.
Review: Acer Espresso Black 10.1" AOD270-1824 Netbook PC with Intel Atom Dual-Core N2600 Processor and Windows 7 Starter, Contributors to Walmart.com
While a couple of people who "don't know much about computers" complain about the Aspire One D270's slow performance, users who knew what they were buying report being very happy overall with the netbook. Several include tips for maximizing performance.
Review: Acer Balloon Carnival 10.1" Aspire One AOD270-1606 Netbook PC with Intel Atom N2600 Processor and Windows 7 Starter, Contributors to Walmart.com