Pre-beta Flash update makes Nividia Ion Netbooks even better

The HP Mini 311 is one of our favorite current Netbooks, thanks to its hi-def screen, reasonable price, and Nvidia Ion graphics. Our main knock has been that the accelerated video, while great for basic gaming and HD video file playback, didn't work with

Got an HP Mini 311? Download the Flash 10.1 prerelease update ASAP.

The HP Mini 311 is one of our favorite current Netbooks, thanks to its hi-def screen, reasonable price, and Nvidia Ion graphics. Our main knock has been that the accelerated video, while great for basic gaming and HD video file playback, didn't work with the kind of streaming flash video used by Hulu and other sites. In our recent review, we said:

Video playback was excellent, and our test HD WMV file ran flawlessly--something no other Netbook has been able to do. Web-based video is a bit of a different story, but an updated version of Flash (reportedly available in November) will let streaming Web video take advantage of the GPU. For right now, Hulu on-demand content ran decently as-is, but not radically better than other Netbooks.

So, we're pleased to see the Flash player 10.1 update is available (as a prerelease version) for download. It's not even in official beta form yet, but we downloaded and installed it on an HP Mini 311 Netbook to test it out.

Even in this early form, full-screen HD video via Hulu was much improved. Playback was mostly smooth, with a tiny bit of occasional stuttering. Prior to the Flash update, low-res Hulu programming played reasonably well (and even then, not in full-screen mode), and HD video was very hard to watch.

If you're interested in installing the pre-beta version of Flash 10.1 on your Nvidia Ion Netbook or Nettop, you can find it here.

Read the full CNET Review

HP Mini 311

The Bottom Line: HP's Mini 311 adds a larger, high-definition display and advanced graphics to a basic Netbook, while keeping the price very appealing. Once it starts shipping with Windows 7, this could become our favorite Netbook. / Read full review

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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