Acer Aspire One D270 Netbook Pops Up for Pre-Order

Acer Aspire One D270 Netbook Pops Up for Pre-Order

Remember netbooks? If you haven't already been bitten by the Ultrabook bug and don't want to spend upwards of $700 on a higher end machine, next-generation netbooks built around Intel's Cedar Trail platform are finally starting to trickle out. Acer was one of the biggest players during the netbook's original run, and the company's all-new Aspire One D270 is now available for pre-order.

Starting at $280, Acer's Aspire One D270 is a 10.1-inch netbook featuring an Intel Atom N2600 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, 1GB of RAM, 320GB hard drive (5400 RPM), Intel GMA 3600 graphics, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, GbE LAN, 0.3MP webcam, HDMI output, three USB 2.0 ports, Windows 7 Starter, and a 6-cell battery good for up to 8 hours of battery life.

That's not a bad setup for the money, and while it's not as sleek or slim as an Ultrabook, at just 2.87 pounds, the D270 hardly tips the scales. As for color options, the D270 is available in Seashell White, Aquamarine, Express Black, and Burgundy Red.
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How do the new Atoms compare with Brazos?

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Well, the AMD Fusion has a clear edge graphically with GPU performance roughly 5 to just over 9 times better than Intel ATOM GMA's. Even the new Cedar Trail GMA's are far less powerful but it depends on your needs as the new GMA's finally add HDMI, Display Port, eDP support, and hardware acceleration of media that even supports Blu Ray. So aside from a little light gaming the new Cedar Trails can satisfy most netbook users media needs.

However, Intel ATOM's still have the clear advantage in power efficiency for max run times and lower system temperatures.

The AMD Bobcat core is also technically superior to the Intel ATOM CPU, but because of the power efficiency difference AMD had to seriously under clock their C-Series Ontario chips to compete in the 10" netbook space. So with 500MHz or more clock speed advantage even the dated ATOM CPU pulls ahead and the new Cedar Trail chips are all dual core and start at 1.6 GHz for the N2600, with less than half the max TDP of the Ontario.

AMD's higher end Zacate E-Series though with the E-450 pulls ahead of the ATOM, but because of the much higher TDP it can't be put into anything smaller than a 11.6" size system.

The Cedar Trail GMA's do have some problems though as they are based on Imagination's PowerVR SGX545 GPU and driver support is still less than ideal. Like the hardware actually supports DirectX 10.1 but because of the driver issues it is presently limited to 9.0c.

The present focus on getting ready for Windows 8 has also put on the back burner support for 64bit Windows 7 for the GMA drivers and there is presently no good Linux drivers available for these Cedar Trail GMA's.

The newer AMD C-60 and E-450 add AMD's Turbo Core performance booster, but it's not as robust as it is on their higher end chips and limits the over clock by only boosting a single core while under clocking the other to balance the load and keep within the TDP limit. While the E-450 default clock speed is only 1.65GHz, versus the E-350 at 1.6GHz. So mainly the newer chips add single core processing boost and a little more powerful graphical performance but otherwise don't alter the status quo.

So for 10" netbooks, so long as you're not a Linux user, the Intel ATOM still compares well with better CPU performance and run times, with just good enough graphical performance. While the Ontario provides better graphics but lack of equivalent CPU performance limits benefits and aside from the benefits of the APU doesn't provide better than ATOM CPU performance.

Leaving the only clear lead in the 11.6" to 12.1" netbook range for AMD's Zacate E-Series. Though if you double the price you can get a much more powerful Ultrabook and the Ivy Bridge based systems are just a few months away.

AMD should hopefully be getting 28nm updated offerings before the end of the year that will probably give them a clear advantage with up to quad core configurations but next year Intel is coming out with a 22nm Silvermont update to their ATOMs that by all accounts will be a game changer for them with the first major architectural change since the ATOMs were first introduced.

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Very nice post. Thanks!

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