HP miniNote review (vs the Asus minibook)


The HP miniNote is a fine piece of kit, but I question whether it’s much of a Netbook. In fact I’d place it in a position somewhere between a Netbook and a full laptop…

The specs are pretty impressive though – the one I’m using has a 10 Inch screen, 2Gb of RAM, 1.6 Ghz process and an impressive 150 Gb of Hard drive space. The battery length is also pretty impressive, I’ve easily had five hours out of it, with estimates of up to 8 hours claimed. The size is bigger than other netbooks but still much small than most laptops. You can get a feel for it’s size from the following images:

HP miniNote depth

HP miniNite width

HP miniNote

It’s keyboard feels like a full size one – your fingers fit the keys and make typing a breeze – but is still slightly smaller than standard. You can happily type away on it for a good deal of time, it would be ideal to take with you down the coffee house for a quick drink, although prolonged typing did make my fingers feel a little cramped after a time.

Here’s the the HP mini next to the Asus miniNote:

HP miniNote and Asus miniBook

The HP is clearly a lot wider which could make it a little harder to carry around. Another problem for its netbook credentials is its start up time. A good test of a netbook is the time it takes from when it’s switched on until the time you can get a web page up, say a weather forecast. I believe this would be a typical use for a net book. Time comparison:

HP MiniNote Switch on to desktop : 72 seconds Switch on to Website: 235 seconds
Asus MiniBook Switch on to desktop : 25 seconds Switch on to Website: 85 seconds

I believe this is mostly due to the different operating systems they run (Linux on Asus, XP on HP). The Asus operating system was specifically created for speed, add even on a much slower machine the speed is impressive. The linux operating system could in theory be installed to the HP making a really impressive peice of kit.

Cost is somewhat prohibative too. The original Asus at the moment costs about £195 while the HP can cost around £450, this is well within the full laptop cost area.

The HP is a really great sub notebook, ideal for when you need to do a little work away from you office or home. Think of it as a really small laptop, placed somewhere between a netbook and a laptop, great for typing, not so great for a quick internet update.

RM Asus Eee (by gum) PC – The miniBook.

Just got my hands on a new RM Asus miniBook machine today – how cute the little fellow looks!

My first impressions are that it is certainly a capable machine which you can take anywhere with you. The Keyboard is very small but I got used to it – I’d recommend the two finger entry approach. It uses a linux operating system.

Here’s a size comparison of the miniBook with the book (which I now propose should be an official standard size) “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, The miniBook is slighly longer, slighty deeper but about half as thick:

Harry Potter book and miniBook side view

Harry Potter book and miniBook top down

Harry Potter book and miniBook open

And here’s a comparison with my 17 Inch Widescreen Dell laptop (Which was somewhere in the region of 8 times more expensive…):

Laptop and miniBook side-by-side

Laptop and miniBook together

Easy Mode

Here’s some pictures of the Easy Mode the computer boots up into, it’s basically a list of tabs of applications split by type.

The Internet tab (Includes for example FireFox and Skype):
Internet Tab

The Work Tab (Includes for example OpenOffice and FileManager)
Work Tab

The Learn Tab (Includes Subjects folders which include for example a planetarium and fraction Tutorial)
Learn Tab

The Play Tab (Includes for example Games folder and Media Player)
Play Tab

The settings Tab
Settings Tab

There’s also a favourites tab where you can add your favourite apps.

And here’s a few screenshots of a select applications, all as they appear with out any tweaking.

OpenOffice Writer:

Frozen-Bubble Game (Screenshot slightly cut off, the game runs in full screen)


The explorer (The observant amongst you will have noticed how similar some of the shots look to WindowsXP – Check the title bars out, and especially this screenshot)

I’ll be following up with some tips on using the Asus miniBook soon.

Let me know…
…what your experience’s of the machine have been.