Acer Aspire One Happy lappy juggles Windows 7 and Android

Colourful netbooks with silly names wouldn't normally get us excited, but the Acer Aspire One Happy has a clever party trick.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films | TV | Movies | Television | Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read

It's time for a break from today's eleventy-billion Windows Phone 7 phones. Instead, let's have a splash of colour with the cheerily named Acer Aspire One Happy, a 10-inch cocktail-coloured netbook that has a clever party piece: it juggles Windows 7 and Android.

The Happy laptop comes in candy pink, lavender purple, lime green and Hawaii blue. Colourful netbooks with silly names wouldn't normally get our juices flowing, but these models have an interesting raison d'etre. They run not just Windows 7, but allow you to switch to Google's Android operating system.

We've seen a flood of tablet PCs this year challenging the iPad by taking advantage of Android's lightweight OS for portable Web browsing, social networking and apps. We've even seen a tablet -- the ViewSonic ViewPad 100 -- that'll switch between that mobile experience and Windows 7 for when you need more computing grunt, but this is one of the first netbooks to get in on the act. Like the ViewPad, you have to reboot the Happy and wait for it to restart in order to switch between one OS and another.

The Happy runs Android 2.1 so it's nearly bang up to date. It's powered by your choice of Intel Atom N450 or dual-core Intel Atom N550, with up to 2GB RAM and Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150. Acer reckons it'll keep smiling for up to 8 hours. There's a 3G version for proper portability, with each model measuring 24mm thick and weighing 1.25kg with a six-cell battery pack.

The Aspire One Happy is available now starting at £250.

Update: A previous version of this story stated, based on information supplied by Acer, that the Happy could switch between operating systems without rebooting. When we asked how that worked, Acer admitted this was a mistake in the press release and you do in fact have to reboot.