Tablets are becoming fairly common these days. Most people are turning to them for all their Web usage. However, netbooks are still managing to chug along in the market. While previously, netbook manufacturers only had to deal with competition from other brands in the same space, they now also have the ever popular tablet segment to contend with. To tackle this issue, Acer has come up with a unique solution by launching the Aspire One Happy 2 netbook. This laptop sets itself apart from others as, besides the ability to run the stock Windows 7 Starter Edition, it can also boot into Android. Read on to know if this netbook can face the competition and if it is worth a purchase.

The netbook is extremely lightweight

The netbook is extremely lightweight

Design and Build Quality
The design of the Acer Aspire One Happy 2 is quite trendy and is available in a range of colours. We received the papaya milk variant at our labs with a liquid droplet design on the front panel. This netbook measures 10.1 inches and weighs just 1.25 kg, so it is pretty small and light, making it easy to carry around in a small bag.

On Video: Acer Aspire One Happy 2

The top panel, the on/off button and the trackpad don the papaya milk colour, while the rest has a white finish. The keys are not the regular chicklet style found on most keyboards, but rather a variant of it. The keys are well built and typing on it is easy and comfortable. The bezel surrounding the screen is pretty sturdy as well. The hinges have a metal rod running on the inside and there were no issues with the quality. Tilting the screen was effortless; neither too loose nor too tight.

Same colour used on the trackpad and on/ off button

Same colour used on the trackpad and on/ off button

Connectivity options lie on either side of the netbook. On the right are two USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader as well as jacks for headphones and mic. Located on the left are the VGA, Ethernet, USB 2.0 and charging ports. Overall, the build quality of the Aspire One Happy 2 is really good and we faced no problems whatsoever. Design-wise, this netbook would definitely appeal to the younger audience.

Features
The Aspire One Happy 2 has a unique, but not totally uncommon, feature in the form of its dual boot ability. This netbook can boot directly to either Windows or Android via the Acer configuration manager.

This netbook, like most nowadays, features the dual core Intel Atom N570 processor running at 1.66 GHz. This processor is produced in 45nm and belongs to the Intel Atom N series, which is designed for netbooks and nettops. With this CPU, you can expect to get better battery life than you would from a single core Atom processor. It promises lower power consumption, but has relatively slower performance too. The other core components of this netbook include a 320 GB hard drive along with 1 GB DDR3 memory. Having this much storage is pretty good for a netbook at this price point.

Comes in a variety of colours

Comes in a variety of colours

Acer has configured the Happy 2 with the Windows 7 Starter Edition. This OS is usually preloaded on netbooks by manufacturers, making it easy for users to have all the basic functions of Windows. Along with the operating software, Acer has preloaded the netbook with some of its own software, including Acer Crystal Eye Webcam to record videos and make video calls, and Acer GameZone Console, which is a collection of mini games.

Performance
The performance of the Aspire One Happy 2 was gauged by comparing it with the Acer Aspire One 522 netbook because of the similarity in price. While running the PCMark Vantage benchmark, the Happy 2 fared better; the score recorded by the dual-bootable netbook was 1659 as compared to 1572 for the 522. Real-world tests like video encoding fared better on the Happy 2 as well. The entire comparison of scores is available in the table below.

Benchmarks

Benchmarks

While checking the general performance of this netbook, we noticed that due to the light weight, it’s very comfortable to keep on the lap for long durations. The Happy 2 is a cool customer and doesn’t really get heated up at all. The viewing angle of the screen is good, as is the case with most netbooks. The only issue we faced was the slight humming sound, but it’s soft and mostly inaudible. The volume from the speakers is quite decent for a netbook. The boot time for the Happy 2 is a bit long though, taking just under 23 seconds to start Android up.

The battery life really impressed us a lot, and it is a feature that Acer highlights as one of the Happy 2’s USPs. While running the highly exhaustive Battery Eater Pro test, the netbook lasted 4 hrs 11 mins. This is much longer than the Acer Aspire One 522, which lasted 3 hours. This battery can easily last more than 6 hours with a fair amount of usage, including watching videos, Web browsing, etc. If you use the Android desktop OS, the battery can possibly last even longer. All in all, we were quite impressed with the Happy 2’s performance.

Liquid droplet design

Liquid droplet design

Verdict
The Acer Aspire One Happy 2 is available in India at a market price of Rs. 15,739. This is a really good netbook and we were hard pressed to find any real flaws with it. Though the dual-boot feature is not heavily marketed, we found it to be this netbook’s biggest advantage. The battery can last almost as long as most tablets in the market and better than most laptops out there. If you’re in the market for a netbook for yourself or as a gift this Diwali, the Happy 2 would be a great choice.

Publish date: October 22, 2011 12:50 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 8:47 pm

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