This 2nd generation HP Mini Note (1109TU) has been out as early as December last year (officially launched 2 weeks ago) but we only got to try and test one this week. I actually requested for the HP Mini 2140 but the messenger sent in the wrong model. So here’s a quick review of the HP Mini 1109TU while I await the replacement unit.
HP took notice of a lot of the issues concerning their first mini notebook (HP Mini 2133) and addressed them in the succeeding models. I think was a move in the right direction.
- They jumped ship and joined the Intel bandwagon, for good reason. The new mini notebook has Atom N270 1.6Ghz.
- They ditched Vista in favor of the older OS, Windows XP, which is most favored in the netbook market.
- HP priced their units more competitively. Not calling your mini-notebook a netbook is not a license to charge more than average for them. The Mini Note 1109TU now retails for just Php18,990.
Among the 10″ models, the HP Mini 1100 is one of the lightest and smallest we’ve reviewed here in the 10-inch category. They were able to shave off some pounds by repositioning the trackpad buttons to the sides instead of the bottom and cutting off a couple centimeters on the girth of the mini note. This is what they initially did with the 2133 and was followed by the 9″ Acer Aspire One. This made using the trackpad a little awkward that you’d always end up using both hands instead of one to operate the trackpad and buttons. That, or weeks of getting used to the unusual orientation (I’d recommend an external USB/Bluetooth mouse though).
The biggest advantage of HP’s Mini Notes is the keyboard, the largest we’ve seen of any netbook in its class. It’s practically almost the same as a standard keyboard of regular-sized laptops so if you’re into touch-typing, this one’s the best you can get. That, plus the glossy marble-black finish on the top gives the mini note a classy statement (albeit attracts a lot of fingerprints and smudges).
The screen is bright and glossy but sometimes too glossy to its disadvantage especially when used outsides at daylight. Nevertheless, the screen is crisp and clear. What’s a bit disappointing it the screen resolution — HP dropped the pixels down to 1024×578 when the standard is 1024×600. That’s a mere 22-pixel height difference but still matters as there are softwares that don’t run under 1024×600 or 1024×768. There’s a larger resolution (1024×768 pixels) but I haven’t seen them in stores yet.
Battery life is typical of a 3-cell battery — between 2 – 2.5 hours in my tests. The storage is also smaller with only an 80GB HDD instead of the usual 160GB and higher others are offering. Maybe that’s why HP was able to bring down their suggested retail price to under Php19,000.