Acer Aspire One AOD250 (ZG8) netbook with Telstra Next G
A stylish Acer netbook with an integrated Telstra Next G 3G module
- Integrated 3G module for Telstra Next G connectivity, excellent built quality, solid keyboard, very comfortable to use
- Screen is susceptible to reflections, requires some effort to keep the glossy bezel clean
The Aspire One AOD250 (ZG8) with an integrated Next G module is one of the best netbooks on the market. The integrated 3G module means there are no dongles hanging off it, and the overall build quality and style of the netbook is superb. We recommend it for anyone who wants a small laptop to get online anywhere and anytime.
Price$ 1,665.12 (AUD)
Telstra has teamed up with Acer to provide a Windows XP-based netbook solution with a built-in Next G module. This module makes it possible to log-on to the Internet from anywhere within Telstra's mobile network. It's the ultimate tool for a road warrior, not only because of the (almost) ubiquitous Internet access it offers; the Acer Aspire One AOD250 (ZG8) netbook is also one of the lightest 10in netbooks on the market, and has one of the best keyboards we've ever used on such a small device.
The netbook itself weighs close to 1.1kg and it has plenty of style. It has a black finish with a glossy screen and shiny bezel, but it will require some maintenance to keep it clear of dust and fingerprints. When the netbook is closed, it's two millimetres thinner than a standard netbook. Acer has implemented some clever design touches — including the use of tapered edges — to make the Aspire One AOD250 (ZG8) netbook look and feel much thinner than a regular netbook, when in reality it is only approximately 1mm thinner when compared side-by-side with other netbook models.
It's a very well built netbook with a solid feel. The keyboard does not bounce at all when you hit the keys, and the keys themselves are tactile. They are 16mm wide, which is an average size for a netbook keyboard, yet because the keys feel so solid and well spaced and placed, the Acer Aspire One AOD250 (ZG8) is a joy to use. You can type on it for hours on your lap without getting tired from working in an awkward position. This makes it ideal for using it on the go.
The touchpad is also a good, usable size and its responsive when we moved the pointer across the 1024x600-resolution screen. However, double-tapping to launch a file or application sometimes required more than one attempt. The touchpad supports gestures, which means you can pinch your fingers to zoom in or out of photos, and use two fingers to flick back and forth between images for example when you view them in Windows Picture and Fax Viewer.
The Acer Aspire One AOD250 (ZG8) has three USB 2.0 ports, two SD memory card slots (in a Linux environment, one slot acts as an expansion slot for storage), and microphone and headphone jacks located on the side. A 3-cell (2200 milliamp hours) battery sits along the spine of the netbook and doesn't protrude, while a 10/100 Ethernet port sits at one end of the spine and a D-Sub port sits at the other end. Both of these ports are angled slightly towards the rear of the netbook, which means that cables attached to these ports won't get in the way while you are using the netbook at your desk.
If you use the laptop for Web browsing (via its 3G modem — a Qualcomm HS-USB Modem 9212 model) and creating office documents, with the screen brightness set to low, then the battery will last approximately 2.5 hours. If you watch a video while the WiFi radio is enabled and with maximum screen brightness, the battery will last closer to two hours. A switch on the front of the netbook lets you enable and disable the 3G and WiFi modules.
Logging on to the Internet via the 3G module is easy. Simply launch the Telstra Connection Manager software, enter your PIN and click the 'connect' button. When you buy the netbook from Telstra with a data plan, this is all you'll have to do to get online. It's a very simple process.
We were able to browse the Web at speeds up to 4.4 megabits per second (Mbps) and were able to upload data at 1.2Mbps. This is a much faster Web browsing speed than we've seen from other 3G products (such as the Netcomm Telstra Turbo 7 Wireless Gateway (3G10WT), for example, while in our tests the upload speed was exactly the 1.2Mbps we expected.
You'll want to keep the brightness high if you use the Acer Aspire One AOD250 (ZG8) outdoors or in a light-filled room. If the brightness is set too low, high reflection will be bothersome and will make the onscreen content hard to view. If you use the netbook on your lap for a lengthy period of time, it will get noticeably warm, but not to the point of being uncomfortable.
Under the hood, the specifications of the Acer Aspire One AOD250 (ZG8) are similar to most other netbooks on the market. It has an Intel Atom N270 CPU with a 1.6GHz CPU speed, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics, a 160GB, 5400rpm hard drive (a Hitachi HTS543216L9SA00).
In our tests, the hard drive recorded an average transfer rate of 19 megabytes per second (MBps), which is a shade slower than the 20MBps we expected, and it took 8min 8sec to convert 53min worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3s.
This MP3 encoding performance puts the Aspire One AOD250 (ZG8) in the middle of the pack compared to the other netbooks on the market, but overall, we are happy with its performance. It runs Windows XP swiftly and you can run Web browsing, photo editing applications, listen to music, watch videos and create office documents without noticing much sluggishness — unless you happen to perform all of those tasks simultaneously!
The Acer Aspire One AOD250 (ZG8) netbook with built-in Testra Next G module can be obtained for $0 upfront, as long as you are on a data plan of $30 per month, and a netbook repayment plan of $30.38. The minimum cost over 24 month plan is $1665.12, plus usage costs. We think it's worth the price if you want a stylish, comfortable netbook with integrated 3G.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Dell: Mainstream laptops with wireless charging are still years away
- SSD adoption in laptops exceeds expectations
- Apple will refund you for your iMac hinge repair costs
- MacBook Pro teardown reveals pointless speaker grilles and hard-to-replace Touch Bar
- Apple leads tablet sales, but the iPad Pro is not its best seller
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- TPBI Report Developer - SSRS SSIS SSASNSW
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- FTSystem AdministratorNSW
- FTProject SchedulerSA
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- FTInfrastructure ConsultantQLD
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- FTTechnical Account ManagerNSW
- FTPMO Coordinator - Permanent Opportunity!NSW
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD
- FTManager - Field ServicesVIC
- CCMicrosoft Active Directory ArchitectACT
- CCNetwork Design EngineerACT
- CCService Desk Consultant-Baseline Clearance RequiredNSW
- FTChange AnalystVIC
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantQLD
- TPDigital Business Analyst | AgileQLD
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Finance ConsultantNSW
- FTBack End DeveloperNSW
- TPTest ManagerQLD
- FTSoftware EngineerSA
- FTIT Project CoordinatorVIC
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW