It is an absolutely gorgeous day in Houston and I decided this morning to check out a brand new Starbucks near me. This is one of those new-fangled standalone stores that are springing up all over and it just opened so off I went to see how it will be for getting some writing done. It is a very well designed store and has lots of light and tables for working and I can tell I’ll be spending a fair bit of time in here in the future. I needed to get some serious writing done as I’m working on a feature article for a print magazine and I brought the HP Mini-Note with me to see how it works for "real" writing.
Very well it turns out. The keyboard is great for lots of typing with it’s near full size and the extended battery I’m using provides just the right amount of ergonomic tilt to the device for comfort. It is a real joy to have a "real" notebook this size that lets me get web research done at the same time I am writing an article. The Mini is multi-tasking well and it may be the perfect writer’s notebook for all of the reasons I have mentioned. It has an advantage over other mobile devices that came in very handy this morning as I was surprised to find that this Starbucks is so new that the T-Mobile Hotspot is not working yet. Imagine my horror when I set up to work and realized there is no connectivity here! No problem for the Mini however as I just popped my Verizon v740 ExpressCard modem into the slot on the Mini and connected right up. I have been working away for over an hour as a result and it is a wonderful feeling to know that this device can handle anything I throw at it to get my work done.
I do have a minor gripe about the design of the Mini-Note though. The ExpressCard 54 slot is on the front right side of the device and when I am using an external mouse like the Bluetooth mouse I am using today the modem sticks out a bit in the way. Not a big deal but a minor gripe for sure, I find it better on mobile devices when the modem plugs into the back of the left side which gets it totally out of the way. In any event I am extremely happy with the performance of the Mini here today and I find it so full-featured that I can just concentrate on my work and not the device itself. That is priceless.