Saturday, 11 September 2010

Two Cents worth - HP Mini 110-3000sa

Nice Keyboard
I was really impressed with the keyboard on the Mini 110 which I am using at the moment. I could feel that the tactical feedback is marvellous and I do not have any problems with it. However, it is just a shame that HP did not come out with a backlit keyboard, unlike Dell. Perhaps HP would like to consider having a backlit keyboard on laptop keyboards across their entire range as standard. That will be just great! With a backlit keyboard, it allows a user to work in total dark.

Can't Stop the Fan from Spinning!!!
Even before I have started using the Mini 110, I did have reservations about a netbook's fan noise. From my encounter with Samsung netbooks, I had thought about it and feel that the fan on the HP Mini 110 will not be very noisy. This would extend to the fact that I am only going to use it to do some word processing. I was wrong, initially.

This is because I can't stop the fan from spinning!!! To be fair, I could disable the 'always on' on the option within the BIOS to prevent the onboard fan to spin all the time but I did not do so. I think it is good to have the fan to be switched on all the time as it will cool the netbook. Besides, I would not have any problems as the Intel Atom N450 have the ability to throttle down the speed when there is no such a need for it. The noise coming out of the ventilation is not loud. It is acceptable, unlike the Hannspree SN10 which I had originally.

Surprised Vanity Cover
I was quite surprised with HP for allowing users to pop the underneath open wide with just a switch and without any screw drivers! That is just fantastic! I think the vanity cover is just a good marketing strategy for HP as they know that users would like to upgrade their netbook to the maximum and they would like to upgrade the hard drive capacity to the maximum if they could. I think those designers at HP are quite thoughtful!

The single memory slot can only accomodate up to a 2GB DDR2 SODIMM. I got myself a Crucial and it proves to have speed up the many process when I am working on the Mini 110. Heck, it is expected that such netbooks will only be able to accomodate up to 2GB memory unless you are talking about more expensive netbooks like the DV2 or DV3 range from HP. The worst is Dell Mini 10v as the 1GB memory is the maximum which the motherboard can recognise! It would be totally different if you have the Nokia Booklet 3G. Although the 1GB memory is soldered on the motherboard, you can modify it and store a 2GB memory on it and the system will stick be able to recognise the 2GB!

I have no problems with the 10.1" screen as it is expected to accomodate a resolution of 1024x600. It is a far cry from the Nokia Booklet 3G but nontheless, I think it is justified from the amount of money which one is going to pay for it at £239. The Nokia Booklet 3G cost £650 when it was first launched. Presently, the Nokia Booklet 3G is around £400 brand new on ebay.

Pre-installed softwares
The Mini 110 came with Windows 7 Starter and filled with many HP softwares. I had to uninstall most of the HP softwares and the Norton antivirus to ensure that the unit will run much smoother and faster. I have nothing against Windows 7 but I think it will be much better if the netbook runs on Windows XP. Overall, I am happy with the speed of the OS.

The Mini 110 comes with bluetooth, wireless N, 3x usb 2.0 ports and a mono speaker. I don't expect a netbook to perform as good as a laptop but the wireless N did surprised me. So far, I had no problems with the N450 cpu and the rest of the hardwares. So far so good. I would, however, recommend users to look out for dual core Atoms at the moment, namely the Mini 1503 from HP. The Asus 1201N comes with a desktop version of the dual core Atom N330. Obviously those netbooks will be much more expensive so take a pick!

There is no one perfect netbook. It is up to you to decide which is better for you.

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