Acer Aspire One Happy 2 review
Tablet computers have risen to take away the spotlight from netbooks in the eyes of most consumers nowadays. However, there are still a lot of things that netbooks can do that tablets simply can’t. Consider the Acer Aspire One Happy 2. It offers half a terabyte of local storage while weighing little more than a kilogram and comes in a shocking pink color, to boot. It’s kind of like a 10-inch tablet with a built-in keyboard and trackpad. In fact, that’s what all netbooks are like. So what makes this one stand out from all the others? Read the rest of this Acer Aspire One Happy 2 review to find out.
When it comes to netbooks, Acer is boss. Their first effort in the netbook space called the Acer Aspire One is considered by many to be the best-selling netbook of all time. Even now you’ll probably be able to find it being sold in one online store or another. The Acer Aspire One Happy 2 is clearly based on it with a lot of welcome improvements.
The Acer Aspire One Happy 2 uses an industry standard 1024×600 10-inch LED-backlit LCD screen. It would have been nice to see a higher resolution display here, but it really isn’t so bad as it is either. You can turn the brightness all the way up to 9. And even though it doesn’t use a matte screen, it’s not really that glossy. In fact, the Aspire One Happy 2 can actually be used under direct sunlight without stressing yourself out. If you look around the screen, you’ll find a built-in mic and webcam.
A 1.66GHz dual core Intel Atom N570 processor keeps things running smoothly, and with 2GB of RAM, the Acer Aspire One Happy 2 had absolutely no problems with Windows 7 Ultimate. 500GB of onboard hard disk storage ensures that you won’t have any problems downloading or storing most of your music and movies. However, it should be noted that 1080p HD movie viewing is still an impossibility. It can handle 720p HD movies just fine, though. And who would watch a full HD movie on a 10-inch screen, anyway?
When it comes to wireless connectivity, the Acer Aspire One Happy 2 will serve all your needs. It has built-in Bluetooth 3.0 and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Plus, it also has an Ethernet port on one side so you can use it with any wired Internet connection at home or elsewhere.
Speaking of sides, the Acer Aspire One Happy 2′s right one carries all the right ports. There’s a built-in SD card slot, a pair of audio ports, and two USB 2.0 ports on there. There’s even a Kensington lock slot near the back for security purposes. Meanwhile, on the left side, you’ll find one more USB 2.0 port, a heat vent, a VGA-out port, the aforementioned Ethernet port and the power jack. Unfortunately, HDMI-out is missing here. But that is to be expected, since the Acer Aspire One Happy 2 can’t really run full HD movies anyway. With Intel GMA3150 graphics, output through VGA to monitors with resolutions of up to 2560×1600 is a cinch.
Now perhaps it’s time to discuss the Acer Aspire One Happy 2′s most important features of all. The ones that can make or break your decision to buy it instead of one of those new tablet computers. The spotlight will now be put on the built-in keyboard, trackpad, and 6-cell Li-ion battery.
The keyboard on the Acer Aspire One Happy 2 is a small one. This means that the buttons on it are quite small, too. But you know what else has small buttons? Your cellphone, your smartphone, your music player (if you have one). Your TV remote, your AC remote, your landline (again, if you have one). There have been plenty of other gadgets in the past with small buttons, and for something like the Acer Aspire One Happy 2 to have buttons as small as it has, it’s perfectly normal.
They’re not even really that small; all buttons except for the ones on top where the function keys are are bigger than my fingertips. Besides, it offers one thing that tablet computer virtual keyboards will probably never get right no matter how advanced they get: proper tactile feedback. The keys aren’t hard to push at all and they make very minimal noise so you won’t annoy your seatmate at the coffee shop as you type with them. Perhaps the only problem anyone might have with the Acer Aspire One Happy 2′s keyboard is the fact that it isn’t a chiclet one. It uses the usual scissor-type configuration found in most laptop keyboards nowadays.
And what about the built-in trackpad? It’s wide enough, and has a single button on the bottom that works for both left click and right click. It supports multi-touch gestures, too. You can scroll up and down by dragging two fingers on the center, for example. It doesn’t seem to support side-scrolling, though, so there might be a few times that you’ll miss it.
As for the 6-cell battery, it’ll let you get up to around 7 or 8 hours total battery life on a full charge. That’s if your turn off all wireless connectivity features, turn the screen’s brightness all the way down, and use the speakers sparingly, though. If you want to surf the Web with a Wi-Fi connection, watch YouTube videos and listen to your music collection, you’ll get up to 5 and 1/2 hours of juice on this thing.
If you expected more battery life from the Acer Aspire One Happy 2, to tell you honestly, so did I. But if you look at the battery, you’ll find that it’s actually very thin. You’d have to look at the spec sheet to know that it’s actually a 6-cell. It goes well with the whole ultra-thin theme of the Aspire One Happy 2, sure, but if it weren’t for the size restrictions, I think it could have provided at least a couple hours more battery life per charge.
There’s plenty to love about the Acer Aspire One Happy 2. It’s super thin, crazy light, and even I have to admit that the pink color is kind of sexy (there are other colors, too). If you’re looking for something that represents the netbook in every sense of the word, you’re looking for the Acer Aspire One Happy 2. Personally, I’d buy it just for the 500GB HDD. And okay, for the “strawberry yogurt” pink coloring as well.