OS tested Ubuntu 10.04.1
Processor Intel Atom N450
Memory 1GB DDR2
Display size 10.1” (1024 x 600)
Expansion Multi-card reader
Price: £248.97 / Approx $329
Where to buy:
Pros: Beautifully crafted chassis design. Excellent keyboard and mouse pad. Reasonably fast performance
Cons: Chassis is prone to finger marks. Slightly slower hard drive performance. Comes with Windows
The Acer Aspire One D260 is a 10.1” netbook designed as the follow-up to the critically acclaimed D250. It features a solid technical specification which includes Intel’s Atom N450 processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB hard drive and Intel’s GMA 3150 GPU.
Though this particular version of the D260 has a smaller hard drive and works out around £50 cheaper than the Toshiba NB250, their specifications are actually very closely aligned. Despite boasting an N455 processor, you’ll find that the performance of the Toshiba is almost identical to the D260 – this is due to the fact the N455 and N450 are essentially the same processor, aside from the former supporting faster and more power-efficient DDR3 RAM. We’ve often wondered how the two processors would perform head-to-head, and our reviews provide the perfect opportunity to do some testing.
After setting up and updating Ubuntu 10.04.1 on both systems, we installed a small selection of benchmarks to weigh up both machines like for like. The results were surprising in their parity – the performance delta between the two was negligible, to the point where many tests fell well within a margin of error. For example, the Toshiba and Acer models scored 15.54 and 15.42 respectively on the CPU Blowfish test in System Profiler & Benchmark and they created a Blender frame within one second of each other on a 35-minute render, with the D260 pipping the NB250 to the post for a second time.
There was little doubt that the Toshiba NB250 performed better on our SysBench FileIO speed test, however, by executing a 3GB file read and write test nearly ten seconds quicker (31 seconds compared to 40 seconds for the D260), but in transcoding and file compression they were basically neck-and-neck.