We’ve been covering netbooks consistently this past month, and its about time we look at one of the bigger names in this clustered market, and that is HP. Their Mini series is almost genre defining for the realm of small ultraportable and efficient notebooks, in other words, netbooks. But every product has lots of substitutes, thus we keep the rigor up and check this Mini210 model (Pinetrail Platform) individually to see if it's worthy of anything. Here is the review.
We received the model with a color scheme called Pacific Blue, and like the name suggests we have a netbook fully clad in Blue. The finish is glossy, but only for the screen and external lid. The wrist rest is plain matte black, with a touchpad bearing a smoother, glossier finish; also the buttons for the touchpad are continuous with the surface, no separate buttons here. I prefer separate buttons, as those have slightly better ergonomic quality. I had a few issues with the touch pad, sometimes the pointer acted erratically.
The Mini210’s keyboard is pure chiclet style, with a considerably flat, raised surface showing in between each key. The keyboard as a whole is edge to edge though, a good thing for typing ergonomics, as more space is created. The Shift and enter buttons are full sized, and all normally located, thus this too is a good point.
Around the keyboard there are no buttons, not even power on. The latter is a slider switch on the side. Also on the sides are the regular bouquet of netbookesque connections, comprising 3 USBs 2.0, D-Sub out, memory card reader and Ethernet in. Last but not least, there is a VGA resolution webcam just like every other netbook.
System Specs and software
Under the hood we have the Pinetrail platform for netbooks, with Intel Atom N450 (1.66 GHz, 512KB cache) processor and Intel NM10 Chipset. Integrated graphics is by the GMA3150. The RAM is 1GB DDR2, and HDD is 160 GB. The screen is a 10.1-inch WLED one, with a native res of 1024 x 600. Battery is a regular 6 cell Li-ion strip.
The OS installed for us was Windows 7 Starter preinstalled with our model, a netbook version of Norton Internet security and also HP’s own Instant On OS, which bypasses Windows, and allows users to directly do basic tasks like music, chatting, browsing etc. I really like this concept, and HPs offering looks and feels better than the one by Asus. HP is bundling its HP cloud online storage drive with the piece, thus consumers have an online storage space of 1TB for life.
Benchmarks analysis and verdict
The Price tag of Rs. 19,990 cannot be called a reasonable one, with performance that is not far away from the norm of a N450 processor. Some readings came below average too. All CPU heavy tasks are done in pretty much the same way in every netbook with the same chip inside, but then what matters is ergonomics and battery. This one has long enough battery life 9 hours 15 min, and 5 hours 28 minutes on the fully loaded benchmarked test. The mousepad needs some getting used to, but the rest of the ergonomics is fine. Overall I cannot find anything really spectacular about the Mini210 that stands out against the competition, but still there is value here in terms of good battery life, and a great alternative OS made by HP.
Published Date: Feb 23, 2010 09:58 am | Updated Date: Feb 23, 2010 09:58 am