With all the netbooks on the market in the last year or so, it almost makes a person wonder if the days of full-sized notebooks are numbered. Considering the economy the way it is, people are looking for a bargain and these little netbooks sure can provide one. I have been using an MSI Wind Netbook lately, but my true love was the HP 2133 Mini-Note that I reviewed last year. I loved its metal shell, 8.9 inch 1280 x 786 display and keyboard. The only issue with it was the fact that it came with Vista installed, ran warm and didn’t have the more efficient Atom processor. Now it’s several months later and we have the HP Mini 1000. Let’s see if if is good enough to make me dump the MSI Wind as my travel computer.
HP Mini 1000 with HP Swirl Imprint Finis
Intel(R) Atom(TM) Processor N270 (1.60GHz)
1GB DDR2 System Memory (1 Dimm)
Windows XP Home with Service Pack 3
10.2″ diagonal WSVGA HP LED Brightview Infinity Display (1024 x 600)
Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator 950
Hard drive: 60GB 4200RPM PATA Hard Drive
HP Mini Webcam with HP Imprint Finish (Swirl) – For 10.2″ Display
Wireless-G Card with Bluetooth
3 Cell Lithium Polymer Battery
HP mini 1000 netbook
AC power brick with detachable cord
Windows XP and driver CD
HP paper notepad
Getting Started poster
The HP mini 1000 is available in four different configurations. Two with XP, and one with a Linux based OS. These three have Black plastic cases. Then there’s the special Red Vivienne Tam designer model that has XP.
As you can see from the image above, this review is for the Black XP version. The case is a shiny Black that has a cool swirly design on the top.
The thin Grey swirls are not super noticeable. You have to actually get close up to see them.
On the front edge, there are two slide switches with LEDs built into them. The Left switch toggles power and the Right switch toggles WiFi and Bluetooth. There are also two status LEDs for hard drive activity and the battery.
Here’s a back view of the screen hinge. There aren’t any connectors on the back of the netbook. They are all located on the sides.
The Left side has a power connector, USB port, air vents, an expansion port, audio out (headphone) / audio in (microphone) jack and an Ethernet jack. The Ethernet jack has a protective rubber cover over it.
The mic/headphone combo connector is an area where HP has skimped. I rarely use headphones or a mic with my netbook, but if I did, I might be grumbling at the lack of two separate connectors. I’m more annoyed at the lack of a regular VGA video out connector. As is, you have to buy a special adapter for the expansion port if you need this ability.
On the opposite side, we have more air vents, with an SD card slot below them, a USB port, a plastic slug where the HP mobile Drive (only available on the SSD models) would be located and a security cable connector. If you’re wondering, the mobile drive is a recessed USB slot that only specially sized HP USB drives can fit.
I was a little bummed to see that there are only two USB slots. The MSI Wind had three. That said, two should probably be enough for most people.
As far as size, the HP mini 1000 is a bit smaller than the MSI Wind netbook as you can see from the image above.
The mini 1000 can be purchased with either an 8.9 or 10.1 inch display. I opted for the 10.1 inch. The screen is held closed with friction and a strong hinge.
The actual display is glossy, which some people may or may not like. I will admit that I seem to have way more problems with glare on this little netbook than with the glossy screen on my 15″ Macbook Pro.
Here we see the display open to its maximum angle.
To compare with another netbook, we have the HP mini 1000 on top of the MSI Wind. Both have their displays fully open. As you will notice, the Wind’s display can open further than the mini’s. I have found myself wishing that I could open the mini’s display just a bit farther. I think that it would help a bit with glare issue.
As far as picture quality is concerned, the mini has a very nice display. It’s crisp, bright and vibrant. I just wish the resolution was as high as the mini-note (1280 x 786). Even though the mini 1000 is physically larger, its maximum resolution is only 1024 x 600. To get around the vertical resolution limitation, I found a nice compact Firefox theme (Classic Compact), turned off the Firefox status bar and also auto hide the Windows task bar.
Click thumbnail to see full-size image
My main complaint with the MSI Wind was its cramped keyboard layout. As a touch typist, I had all sorts of trouble with it and was constantly pressing the wrong keys with my Right hand. I absolutely loved the HP 2133 mini-note’s keyboard though, so I had my fingers crossed that the mini 1000 would have the same layout. Luckily, it does, or it’s really similar. Either way, it’s much nicer to touch type on than the Wind. Yay! 🙂
The keyboard is flat, as are the individual keys. But the keys themselves are large. Actually this keyboard is 92% the size of a full size keyboard. You can definitely tell. It is very comfortable to type on. I love it.
The track pad is a nice size and has a button on either side to mimic Left and Right ‘mouse’ buttons. You can also run your finger up and down the Right edge of the track pad to scroll pages up and down. The tiny button above the track pad toggles it on and off.
Above the keyboard’s top row of keys in the hinge area, is the speaker. Audio quality is really good with this little netbook!
If we flip the mini over, we can see the large battery area and then the memory slot above it. That’s right, if you want to upgrade your RAM, you won’t have to do any scary dismantling.
The door easily pops open so that you can swap out the DIMM. Tip: Order a 2GB DIMM from NewEgg for about $17. It will be the easiest memory upgrade that you’ve probably ever done.
One of the reasons why netbooks are so popular (other than price) is their small size. They are easy to carry around with you as they don’t add a whole lot of bulk and weight. But they thing that always gets me is the how bulky most laptop/netbook AC adapters are.
You have to admit that carrying around a bulky cable and adapter really detracts from the whole portability advantage netbooks have over regular sized laptops. I have found a solution to help with the bulk though…
You can replace the cable with an adapter like the one you see above. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s better than nothing and does help to save some space in your gear bag.
Battery life on this little guy is thankfully better than the MSI Wind. Both have a 3-cell battery, but the Wind is lucky to get 1 hr and 45 mins of use per charge. I was able to work an additional hour on the mini. I suppose 2hrs and 45 mins isn’t that bad. Of course, I wish it were longer.
The mini 1000 gets a little warm on the bottom after it’s been running for awhile. It’s not exactly hot, but it is warm enough to cause the internal fan to kick on. Fan = noise, which I’m not a big fan (ha!) of. I’m being really picky here, but hey, that’s just me. It’s definitely not a deal breaker…
I have read that people are complaining about the web cam being too dim. I don’t seem to have that problem with mine, but the image quality is grainy and all around pretty crappy. Again, not a deal breaker for me, because I rarely if ever use a web cam.
This netbook has the same Atom processor in it that the MSI Wind has, and as a result, it feels the same as far as launching apps, loading files, etc. I have no complaints as far as performance is concerned. It’s a great little worker.
When it’s all said and done, the HP mini 1000 had no problem kicking the MSI Wind out of my gear bag. The superior keyboard and better battery life are a no brainer. I’m very happy with my purchase!
Stick around to read what the rest of the Gadgeteer team think about the HP mini 1000. I purchased one for each team member and they are all going to share their own thoughts on this netbook.