HP Mini 5101 Caressed, Loved, Reviewed

hp-mini-5101The Mini 5101 netbook that HP outed in June is just now making the review rounds. The device is also available direct from HP, with configurations starting at $399. PC Magazine took the Mini 5101 for a spin and pinned it with 3.5 of 5 stars.

Those looking for a larger keyboard than currently available on most netbooks today should be happy — the 5101 takes the keyboard up to 95 percent of full size. It looks to me like this is accomplished with a bit of bezel around the 10-inch display. That extra room on the overall screen size offers a bit more room for a keyboard on the base. That room helps with the trackpad and buttons, too. HP moved the mouse buttons from the side of the smallish trackpad to underneath, which is a more traditional placement. But the slightly larger overall dimensions didn’t do much to the weight, which is a positive. With a 4-cell battery, the device weighs 2.6 pounds. A battery swap to the larger capacity 6-cell adds 0.3 pounds to the overall weight, making the Mini 5101 still easy to tote.

With a 6-cell battery option paired to an N280 Intel Atom, I would have thought that all-day computing might be possible. No such luck, as PC Mag’s benchmark test turned in a time of five hours and 15 minutes. Surely that’s due to the lower capacity of the 6-cell as compared to others on the market — it’s a 55 Whr power pack.

I think the HP Mini 5101 really shines in the terms of available options. Although they’re sure to boost the price well beyond the $399 starting point, it’s nice to see a range of choices for a netbook like these:

  • 7200 RPM hard drive choices in 160GB, 250GB and 320GB capacity
  • 128GB solid-state drive
  • Qualcomm Gobi solution for 3G with AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint
  • 1366×768 display in lieu of the standard 1024×600

The HP Mini 5101 has a few shortcomings and looks more “business” than casual, but still looks like an appealing package for folks wanting a refresh of HP’s prior Mini choices.

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