Acer Aspire One Happy review

Price when reviewed

Despite the cheesy name and lurid pink finish of our test sample, the Aspire One Happy makes an instant good impression. Pupils were particularly keen on the look of this netbook, including the cover design and accent colours on the trackpad and power button. Measuring only 24mm at its thickest point, it’s comfortably smaller than its competitors, and it closes flat too. Size may well be the major reason for choosing a netbook, so the Aspire One has an immediate advantage. At only 1.25kg, it’s a comfortable weight as well.

Acer Aspire One Happy review

However, and perhaps because of its diminutive size, the Aspire One Happy doesn’t feel substantial. The plastics feel cheap, and it’s unlikely this netbook will stand the test of time.

The Aspire One Happy’s single-core Atom N455 processor and 1GB of RAM mean that, as with many similarly specified models, it’s happiest when performing basic tasks. It even struggled when streaming video from BBC iPlayer – and with a benchmark score of 0.17, it definitely isn’t high speed.

Acer Aspire One Happy

Usability is mixed. The 10.1in glossy LED screen is bright and clear enough to make web browsing and document creation a pleasant experience. Acer has also worked hard to maximise the size of the keyboard, with the keys going right up to each edge. Unfortunately, they have a rattly feel to them, and both pupils and staff noted that the cramped layout and short travel make it easy to accidentally catch others. The trackpad is better, supporting clicking and scrolling, but the two buttons have been integrated into one pivoting bar.

The Acer boasts the usual three USB ports, a VGA output, a multicard reader and a webcam, plus 802.11n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth. It can achieve up to the stated eight hours of battery life; we had it working comfortably through a full school day – even though the System Tray indicator reported only 1% remaining!

In the end, the Aspire One Happy isn’t particularly cheap, fast or comfortable to use. If you’re purchasing netbooks, you could do better.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions258 x 185 x 24mm (WDH)

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Atom N455
RAM capacity1.00GB
Memory typeDDR3

Screen and video

Screen size10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal1,024
Resolution screen vertical600
Resolution1024 x 600
Graphics chipsetIntel GMA 3150
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1


Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno

Other Features

USB ports (downstream)3
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.3mp

Battery and performance tests

Overall Real World Benchmark score0.17

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Starter 32-bit
OS familyWindows 7

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