Acer is preparing to ship its $330 Aspire One D255, putting it among the first netbooks available with Intel's new Atom N550. The 1.5GHz chip is the first dual-core Atom specifically aimed at portable devices, and along with an additional processing core, it packs an extra 1MB of cache that makes for a more "responsive" experience. In fact, last week Acer said the N550 was 50% faster than its predecessor during internal testing, though the company didn't elaborate.

Besides the speedier, more efficient processor, the D255 is pretty standard as far as netbooks go. It carries a 10.1-inch 1024x600 display, 1GB of RAM (expandable to 2GB), 250GB of storage, a multi-card reader, a 1.3-mega pixel webcam, Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n, VGA-out, three USB 2.0 ports, and a three or six-cell battery offering four to eight hours of life. It comes with your choice of Windows XP Home or Windows 7 Starter along with a healthy serving of bloatware.