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Friday, 29 May 2009

Acer Aspire One D150 - Mini-review and Ubuntu 9.04 install

I've had an AAO D150 for 5 days now and I have to say that I'm entirely happy with it - my only complaint is that I wish I'd had more time to spend on it!

The unit itself comes put of the box with the usual manuals but does expect you to burn the reinsallation and drivers disks yourself. I've always though that this is a rather mean policy when you're selling a device that doesn't include an optical drive, but maybe that's just me.

The Aspire One is also not available as a Linux option - it's only available as Windows XP. If you're read my other blog posts, you'll already know that I'm not a fan and it won't suprise you to know that Windows XP didn't last 24 hours before I wiped it and installed Ubuntu 9.04 - my current favourite operating system.

OK. Other things worth knowing about the unit: the D150 comes with a 6 cell Li Ion battery that gives up to 6 hour use, the keyboard has a full right-hand shift key and (unlike my old EeePC 900) has proper page-up and page-down keys rather than function key combinations. The screen is nice and clear and bright, and the unit has all the expected ports 3xUSB, audio in/out and SD card. One nice touch is that the bios supports an additional function (you press F12 at boot up) that allows you to choose the boot device. Makes installing from CD or booting from a USB very easy...

... about as easy as installing Ubuntu 9.04. It really was as simple as: download the ISO, burn a disk (I have a USB DVD RAM drive), boot the disk, choose install, provide user info and select the simple options for everything else. Long story short - it just worked. Audio, USB, SD Cards, Wifi, Lan all seem to be working. The Wifi light on the front doesn't, but my experiences with an A110 lead me to believe that installing the backports will fix that - I'll post the results. The only untested things are the Mic and the WebCam.

As far as applications go, I'm running Firefox, Thunderbird, Skype, OpenOffice 3, Gimp, Inkscape and Blender as linux native. Blender is the only one that has issues and it looks like patchy 3D drivers, but I'll let you know when I find out more. In addition, I have installed Wine, and on top of that have Flash 8, Dreamweaver 8 and Photoshop CS2 all installed and running fine, which is very cool!

My next tasks are to sort out my Three network 3G USB dongle and install and test the Second Life client. I'll let you know.

My over-all impressions of the unit are that is is well built, well spec'ed and very smooth to use. Exactly what I was looking for!


  1. One thing I forgot to mention: it doesn't come with a sleeve in the box. Again, this seemed a bit cheap - you get one in the box for a EeePC 701, so surely Acer could have managed it in a £300 top-of-the-range one?

  2. Hi,
    Did you get the mic to work?
    Sounds like I am following in your footsteps.
    I really like the Acer AOD150. I bought it a couple of days before going on vacation & didn't have time to switch to ubuntu, so I used the XP it came with. I used skype & pandora radio from the hotels. Now that I am home & have more time, I have installed ubuntu 9.04 netbook remix. Everything works for me but the mic. It is probably pilot error, as I am just learning the ubuntu gnome interface. But try as I might, un-muting, turning up the volume, etc., I cannot seem to get the mic to work. Do you have any ideas?