HP Mini 210

HP's Mini 210 combines style and battery life in a combination that makes it genuinely compelling.


8.4
CNET Rating
6.8
User Rating

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Design

HP's design team has often done great things with the netbook form factor in design terms, and the Mini 210 is no exception. Sure, it's mostly black — most netbooks are — but the smoothed edges, thin profile and bright lid in black, white, blue or red give it a healthy dose of style that many other netbooks lack.

The keyboard is well laid out within the usual parameters that limit what can be done on a netbook. Of note there's no page up/page down keys at all, and the cursor keys are folded down next to each other, but beyond those minor quirks, the Mini 210 ranks up there with the best netbook keyboards we've tested.

Features

The exterior of the Mini 210 is so nice that it's rather disappointing to discover that underneath the exterior lies a rather plain netbook recipe. Windows 7 Starter edition sits on top of an Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz, 1GB of RAM and an Intel GMA 3150 graphics solution. The display screen is a 10.1-inch 1024x600 LCD panel, same as pretty much every other vendor. Wireless is supported, but it's only 802.11b/g.

Officially HP sells five variants on the Mini 210. There's the entry-level AU$449 1015TU model, and then five models at an AU$599 price point; the 1016TU, 1017TU, 1018TU and 1020TU. The difference between the top tier models is only in the colour of the lid (Black, White, Red and Blue respectively), but the difference between the sole AU$449 model and the AU$599 models lies in storage, power and integrated Bluetooth. The AU$449 model comes with a 160GB hard drive, no Bluetooth and a three-cell battery. The AU$599 models bump that up to a 250GB hard drive, integrated Bluetooth and a six-cell battery. We tested with the 1020TU, which is the model with the blue casing.

Aside from Windows 7 Starter, HP also offers up a quick launch operating system based on Splashtop Linux OS. Being HP, it's subtly re-branded as "HP QuickWeb" and offers a near instantaneous boot for simple web browsing, music playback, photo browsing, Skype and chat applications. If you don't like Splashtop it's easily disabled from within either QuickWeb or Windows 7.

Performance

The Mini 210's physical build ensures a pleasant computing experience for the most part. Like most thinner netbooks, heat build-up can be an issue. Likewise, in common with other six-cell models, the bulky battery juts out of the back at an angle that can be a little uncomfortable on the lap, but these are minor quibbles. The keyboard response is excellent with well spaced keys and a responsive clickable touch-pad.

Atom processors and PCMark05 haven't always behaved well together in previous tests, and this was exactly the case with the Mini 210 which crashed the test suite repeatedly. Based on simple application testing and the fact that the Mini 210's innards are quite standard, you can expect a slow performance out of the 210. 3DMark06 did complete, but its score of 155 puts it solidly in the Solitaire-only camp.

We ran the Mini 210 through our standard battery testing regime. This involves switching screen brightness to maximum, disabling all power-saving features entirely and setting a looping XviD file to run to the point of battery exhaustion. It's a test that's designed to be brutal and give a "worst-case" battery life scenario. In actual usage — especially with a dimmed screen, less intensive processing and judicious use of Wi-Fi only when needed — you can expect a lot more than we get with this test, which only gives us a base line. The Mini 210's base line was highly impressive, however, lasting four hours and 45 minutes before conking out.

HP has historically placed something of a premium on its netbook designs, so the fact that the RRP of the Mini 210 is in line with the current netbook norm is highly pleasing. Combine that with a great keyboard, instant-on Linux capability and very good battery life and you've got an excellent netbook.

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hubartus
1
Rating
 

"Very slow and very bad quality"

hubartus posted a review   
Australia

Very slow, including slow internet, its not good for anything really. Hard disk died as soon as warranty expired. An online search reveals many people have experienced same problem. Waste of money

 

AmandaN posted a comment   

what is the wireless bit? 802.11 b/g

tkh2403
7
Rating
 

tkh2403 posted a review   

The Good:has basic operations

The Bad:slow not ideal for powerful applications

this does the job for me at work, no complaints. just don't expect to play high end video games on this. mainly built for work

 

Abdul posted a comment   

The Good:Brilliant design, excellent graphics and very affordable!

The Bad:Mousepad annoying to use

You can use the HP Mini Netbook anywhere, for traveling, studying and so on. it's very handy and quite light, the graphics are exceptional for a Netbook. Battery life not bad, with Windows 7 Starter installed. Overall! I would definitely recommended it!

 

rox posted a comment   

The Good:handy

The Bad:super slow!

am encountering a charging problem presently. unit doesnt want to charge anymore. somebody please help. unit is just 3 months old.

 

ozzi posted a comment   

Ok so it's a netbook and has a 10 inch screen. i could have lived with that as I hook it to a 22 inch HD lcd screen, but the lame Atom processor, it's got to be one of the worst processors ever devised..and those tall claims of low power consumption,...the HP mini 210 barely manages to eek out a 3 h battery life on very low screen brightness and wifi turned on.and on power saver mode at that too..however if one is to maximize screen brightness, and have the mini perform tasks requiring normal processing, the battery life dwindles down to a lamentable 2 hrs...and it just takes take an irritatingly longer amount of time to display the desktop on windows 7 starter

 

Romz posted a comment   

The Good:Tough design, looks funky.

The Bad:Battery lock slips off sometimes. tracking pad can get a bit annoying with no physical buttons.

great if you live on a ship (like myself) and perfect for skyping with loved ones. Win7 starter doesn't let you change the wallpaper, and when you try to open a screen a bit wider with the track pad, it often selects the whole desktop which can get annoying. I upgraded to 2gb ram which turned out to be extremely handy.

Chris
8
Rating
 

Chris posted a review   

The Good:small, good kb, bright screen, great for travelling and uploading photos on the go.

The Bad:Nothing so far

I've dropped WinXP in favour of Ubuntu. I've also upgraded the RAM to 2Gb which helps A LOT.

jalapenoman123
9
Rating
 

jalapenoman123 posted a review   

The Good:wide range of colours, good for children and for a 2nd computer

The Bad:graphics, 1gb of ram

has good aspects and bad aspects


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User Reviews / Comments  HP Mini 210

  • hubartus

    hubartus

    Rating1

    "Very slow, including slow internet, its not good for anything really. Hard disk died as soon as warranty expired. An online search reveals many people have experienced same problem. Waste of money"

  • AmandaN

    AmandaN

    "what is the wireless bit? 802.11 b/g"

  • tkh2403

    tkh2403

    Rating7

    "this does the job for me at work, no complaints. just don't expect to play high end video games on this. mainly built for work"

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