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Realistic HP Mini 210 Review


Mr. Bananagrabber
Political User
Hey Everyone,
I figured I'd review my little HP Mini netbook for those of you thinking of delving into the netbook market. The model I have runs Windows 7 Starter, and has a 160gb HDD, 1gb of Ram, and an Intel 1.66Ghz Atom processor all performing on a 10.1 inch (1024X600 resolution) screen, with the help of a 6 cell battery. Specifically the HP Mini 210 (1030NR)
Let me start off by saying... "wow, not what I expected..." when I purchased this netbook off Amazon for 270 dollars I was expecting performance somewhere in the realm of a smartphone, I was expecting sluggish internet browsing, sluggish video and audio playback, and I didn't even know about doing stuff like Powerpoint and Word, I was wrong... Let me list out the Windows Experience Index for you:

Gaming Graphics:3.0
Primary HDD:5.3

That's not too shabby for something that gets nearly 10 hours of battery life. I do wish there was another stick of ram for a total of 2gigs, just to make it a little better at running multiple tasks but given the processor it may not make too much of a difference. However, I can easily run Windows Media Player, Firefox, and word all at the same time.

As I said before, the battery provides for almost 10 hours of operation under normal use (Web browsing, word processing) I haven't tested watching movies until the battery runs out to tell you how long it lasts under that load but I can assure you that under normal use it does last as long as it says. With the standard 3-cell battery the laptop is supposed to get somewhere around 5 hours, although I can't vouch for that since I have the 6-cell.

Although the netbook doesn't have a disc drive, it does have a few nifty features like 3 USB ports, a VGA out port, a Card Reader, a WebCam and a 160gb HDD, so the lack of disc drive is more than outweighed (I took a DVD/RW drive from an old laptop and bought an enclosure for it and use that as the disc drive when needed). Since it has the 160gb HDD (optional 250gb available) there is plenty of room to store enough tv shows or movies to satisfy you on a plane ride or long car ride. The WebCam is pretty good as well, although I have never had another on-board webcam to compare it to, it looks similar to the quality of my friends HP dv6000 series' webcam.

The main benefit to this little netbook is the battery life, but the size is also a plus. I used to lug around a 17inch DV9000z (Which has since been retired to the desk) and something that big simply isn't meant to be bumped and bent on a daily basis in a backpack or carrying case, you need something small if you want it to work for a long time. Which is where this little Mini comes into play.

The Keyboard on the Mini is almost regular sized, in fact its so easy to use that I've been using it to type this review, its comfortable. The one downside to the input is the mouse pad, I wish it had physical buttons instead of one click-able pad with sort of a right and left click at the bottom. The buttons are responsive but it takes a hell of a long time to train your thumb how far it needs to go before you click (since there is no indent or anything to let you know where the buttons are without looking)

Finally, we come to the Operating System, which is Windows 7 Starter. You'll hear a lot of complaints about the "starter" part of the name, people saying its severely dumbed-down compared to the regular windows 7 or XP(found on other netbooks) personally... I love it. I'd rather have a new shiny OS that looks brilliant than old XP on my netbook. The only noticeable thing missing in starter that the average person would use on a daily basis is the lack of ability to change your background image (Which I don't care about), and if it really bothers you there are plenty of programs out there to hack this issue for you.

EDIT: I forgot to mention the side air vents. This netbook has a great feature in that its vents are on the side instead of the bottom like many laptops. This means that you can put it on your lap, couch, bed or anywhere soft without having to worry about it over heating. Just another great feature of the HP Mini 210.

All in all, I love this little netbook, I use it everyday and for most of my computing needs, and with the new desktop i hardly ever use the dv9000z that I just replaced the motherboard in. The quality is superb (had it for 2 months with no problems) and the performance is surprisingly good, and for 270 dollars there is really no way to go wrong with this little HP Mini 210. If you are looking for a netbook, definitely consider this one.
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Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't window's performance thingy just compare your stats against the same hardware in other devices?

anyway, great write up and will look at one of these now, my friend has an acer with vista and the performance is miserable

you're device getting 10 hours battery is getting my best buy jean activated

thanx again


Mr. Bananagrabber
Political User
correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't window's performance thingy just compare your stats against the same hardware in other devices?

anyway, great write up and will look at one of these now, my friend has an acer with vista and the performance is miserable

you're device getting 10 hours battery is getting my best buy jean activated

thanx again
Maybe, not really sure. If that's the case than the Experience Index is useless (since I doubt this little processor got a 7.9 in any other machine... I thought that the Windows Experience Index rated how your computer ran the operating system but I don't really know. Either way, I love this little thing :) and would definitely recommend it. And this is coming from someone who is definitely not an Intel fan (although I am certain the good battery life has something to do with the fact that the CPU is an intel, amongst other things like a big battery, lol)


Mr. Bananagrabber
Political User
Great write up. I been looking these for a while now.
Hey Everyone,
So I just stole one of the 2 gig sticks from my dv9000z (and replaced it with the 1gb stick from the netbook) and put it in the netbook, and it is amazingly fast. If you have an HP Mini netbook (I'm assuming any netbook actually) that doesn't already have 2gb of ram it makes a huge difference bumping it from 1gb to 2gb, as if it wasn't already amazing, its now even better.

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