HP Mini 210-1156sa review: HP Mini 210-1156sa

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The Good Delicious design; Slim and lightweight; High usability.

The Bad Weak battery life.

The Bottom Line It does nothing to separate itself from the rest of the 10.1-inch netbook herd, but the HP Mini 210-1156sa is still a well-designed machine. Shame about the iffy battery life, though.

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7.5 Overall

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Here comes HP again, straight out the gate with a lovely new netbook for us to get our paws on. This is the 10.1-inch HP Mini 210-1156sa, and it's yours for around £250 from PC World.

Party time

We've seen our share of pink laptops, normally shamelessly hawked to the beleaguered female market, but we've never seen any that look quite as delicious as this. Rather than an eye-melting luminous shade, HP has opted for a muted pink hue with a metallic tint on the interior.

It's topped off with a party-ring-like lacquer coating over the lid and underside of the netbook, which isn't something we see very often. Even the trackpad features the same pattern. To be honest, this netbook makes us want to eat a whole lot of ice cream, which is a sure hallmark of successful engineering.

Portability is impressive at a petite weight of just 1.22kg. The netbook's dimensions are pretty slender, too, measuring a meagre 23 by 268 by 178mm, so hurling it into your backpack or handbag and sprinting out the door is definitely on the cards.

We're very happy with the keyboard on show here, which is one of the largest we've seen on a netbook. The great big keys and large space bar are cause for celebration, and the gaps between each button should help cut down accidental mis-presses. The individual keys feel a touch plasticky and rattly, but we don't think it's a huge issue.

The pastel iced-doughnut design extends to the Mini's trackpad, which is large for a netbook but still features HP's annoying integrated-click function.

We're also in two minds about the trackpad. On the one hand, this isn't the tiny, cramped affair we see on so many netbooks, and its wide, highly sensitive mousing area might stop you developing chronic carpal tunnel in your thumbs. On the other hand, HP still insists on integrating the click buttons into the trackpad itself, so you'll frequently find yourself accidentally nudging the cursor when all you wanted to do was hit the left click. Fail.

Hey good lookin'

The Mini's display is a strong point. We're talking about a 10.1-inch panel with a 1024x600-pixel resolution. It's glossy, but it's also lovely and bright. Colours look vivid on this panel, so viewing photos and Web pages on this screen is a pleasure.

Colourful inside and out, the Mini's 10.1-inch display showcases bright, vivid colours, making it a huge selling point.

Before we get to performance, let's talk about the bits and bobs around the side of this netbook. In the interests of saving space, things are a bit minimal -- three USB ports, VGA out, a multi-format card reader and a solitary 3.5mm jack for some headphones. There's no extra port for a microphone, so if you're always on Skype, that's something to think about before throwing down your cash.

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