The Good Best Netbook keyboard we've seen; thinner and lighter than HP's previous Netbook; ditches slow Via processor for faster Intel Atom.
The Bad Limited expansion options; overly glossy screen; needless proprietary external drive connection.
The Bottom Line HP may have arrived late to the consumer Netbook game, but by lifting the generous keyboard from last year's business-oriented model, the Mini 1000 easily joins the category's top tier.
|HP Mini 1000||Acer Aspire One 722||Sony Vaio VPC-YB35KX/B||Acer Ferrari One FO200-1799 (Athlon 64 X2 L310 1.2GHz||Acer Aspire One D260-23797|
HP Mini 1000
It may seem as if Hewlett-Packard is arriving somewhat late to the Netbook game with its Mini 1000, but the company's business division has offered a similar system, the 2133 Mini-Note PC since the spring of this year. That model scored points with the best Netbook keyboard we've seen and a solid metal construction, but the wimpy VIA processor (and a higher price than other Netbooks) kept it from being a top contender.
This new consumer version has a nearly identical design, but in lightweight plastic (its body is also slightly thinner). The large, comfortable keyboard remains--and is the Mini 1000's best feature--while the CPU has been upgraded from the Via C7-M to the Intel Atom. At $549, our review unit is about $50 more than our self-imposed Netbook price cap, and it surpasses the $500 mark without including a pricey, yet preferred (for a Netbook), solid-state drive. Our model features a 60GB (spinning) hard drive; SSD options up to 16GB are available.
We're dubious of HP's bizarrely proprietary "HP Mini Mobile Drive" slot, which is basically a recessed USB port into which only specially branded HP USB drives can fit. We'd happily trade this slot for a media card reader or ExpressCard slot. Without it, we might have been able to get separate headphone and mic jacks--as it is, you get only one shared audio connection. Still, the actual hands-on experience is the best of any Netbook we've tested so far, making it well worth a look for anyone interested in jumping into the Netbook arena, especially those who dread spending time typing on cramped keyboards.
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