One of our favorite Netbooks gets a sequel: meet the HP Mini 5101

When we heard that HP was making some big changes to its small business Netbook, we were worried.

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When we heard that HP was making some big changes to its small business Netbook, we were worried. After all, the current version--the Mini 2140--is probably our all-time favorite Netbook, thanks to an innovative keyboard (since adopted by HP's consumer Netbooks), full ExpressCard slot, and solid metal construction.

This new version, the Mini 5101, is indeed a stylistic departure from the 2140, trading the gently rounded silvery metal look for a sharp-edged black brushed-metal chassis. It's a little bigger than its predecessor, and also a little less expensive, at $425.

But since the start of 2009, we've seen a radical shift in Netbook prices, with entry-level models coming in under $299 , for essentially the same combo of an Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, Windows XP, and a 160GB hard drive (in this case, you get the slightly faster N280 version of the Atom).

Still, if you can spend a little more for your Netbook, you'll find that the Mini 5101's keyboard and touchpad are hard to beat, and the rugged metal construction screams quality.

Read the full review of the HP Mini 5101.

About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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