Dec 252009

My laptop was on repairs for a while so I decided to join two needs. First one was me having a laptop and second one was me having something for wife as Christmas present. This laptop is result of those needs. :)

HP mini 5101 has an Intel Atom Processor N280 (1.66 GHz) and up to 2 GB of RAM. While this may not sound so powerful, it works nicely with Windows 7. Standard 2.5″ 160 GB hard drive is something that offers good performance and space for a nice price. All things considered, I am not sure that SSD drive would behave that much better on this machine.

Until I saw this notebook, I never imagined 10″ screen as being that small. If you open Visual Studio 2010, there is huge amount of scrolling needed. Resolution is 1024×600 and that ensures that not even all dialogs are visible. There is option of HD screen (1366×768) but I am not sure that it would improve things much. It would just force me to use higher DPI setting which brings same problem back. Fortunately there is support for external monitor and that is life saver.

Case is definitely bright point. It is light but it looks like something that can handle man’s hand. What reminds you that this may not be toy for stronger gender is finish that just attracts fingerprints. However, in gentle hands that clean it once a while, it looks good.

Keyboard is one of those Chiclet-style (every key for it self) and it spans almost from edge to edge. I still prefer standard HP notebook keyboard but I cannot say that I considered it too much of punishment to use this one. Only weak points are plastic connections of keyboard to notebook body. That plastic just breaks too easy.

I can say that programming on that machine was quite good experience once you connect external monitor. Without external monitor, there is just not enough screen real-estate to do anything but basic browsing.

Since I got my laptop back, only thing that I miss from HP mini is it’s weight (1.2 kg). However, once you arrive on your destination, there is that point when you actually need to use your computer. And comfort of full laptop is not something that HP mini can challenge.

[2010-04-06: I upgraded memory from default 1 GB to 2 GB. This did not improve Windows Experience Index but it did wonders to working experience. For those interested full scores are 2.3 (processor), 4.5 (memory), 2.0 (graphics), 3.0 (gaming graphics) and 5.9 (hard drive).]

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