First impressions of the HP Mini 1000 MI

HP Mini 1000 netbook

HP Mini 1000 netbook

My surprise was total this morning when the FedEx guy rang my bell and handed me a very small box.  That box had a brand new HP Mini 1000 MI netbook to evaluate from HP.  The MI (or Mini Me) is the Linux-based model with HP’s home-grown UI shell they call MI for Mobile Internet.  I haven’t been playing with the 1000 very long but keep reading after the jump for my first impressions and photos of the Mini 1000.

Oops, first the specs:

  • Ubuntu
  • 1.6 GHz Atom N270 processor
  • 1 GB memory
  • 16 GB SSD
  • 2 USB 2.0
  • 3-cell battery
  • Multi-format card reader
  • HD Audio
  • Recessed USB slot (to be used with HP Mini Mobile Drive)

The HP Mini 1000 MI (actual model number is 1140NR MI) is easily the lightest and smallest 10-inch netbook I have used.  The plastic case used in the Mini 1000 (fancy imprinting included) is much lighter than the aluminum case used in the Mini 2140 I am also evaluating, even though both are roughly the same size and form.

The performance of the Mini 1000 is very decent, although playing back video can drop frames occasionally.  What sets the 1000 apart from all other netbooks is the HP MI shell that provides the UI.  While it sits on top of Ubuntu the intent is to use a “home page” metaphor for the UI and this does a good job of that.  This page shows email (including unread headers), web page thumbnails, search bar, Music player and Photos player right on the home page.  There is also a task bar at the bottom of the page that graphically shows what is running and beneath that is a button that looks like the OQO logo which fires up a task manager similar to that of OS X.

The little HP logo in the lower left corner of the home page will take you back to the home page no matter what is being displayed as will tapping the HP button (formerly known as the Windows key) on the keyboard.  In the bottom right of the screen is the system bar where you can track network connections, battery life, etc.

This interface works very well and I found that I was getting things done in mere minutes after firing the Mini 1000 up for the first time.  The web browser is a Firefox variant that works as expected and I added the Foxmarks add-on right away.  A minute after adding Foxmarks all my bookmarks and page passwords had been synced with the server and my browsing environment was like it is on all machines I use.  I was up and running at that point.

I will be sharing additional thoughts as I get more time with the 1000 but meanwhile here are some pics of the littlest netbook:

 
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