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HP Mini 311 Review

The HP Mini 311 is Hewlett-Packards’ latest and largest iteration of the Atom-powered netbook. At the same time, this is the only netbook in the local market today that sports an NVidia ION LE chipset. See our full review below.

hp mini 311
The HP Mini 311 went out with a design that crosses between the HP Mini 2140 and the Mini 110 — a glossy, black swirl lid and matte silver keyboard finish. It has a thicker base though that tapers into a bit thinner at the front end giving an impression that it’s slimmer than its predecessor.

hp mini 311

In most respects, the Mini 311 has almost the same internal specs as the other previous mini-notes with the single exception of a souped up platform — an NVidia Ion LE, which includes the nVidia GeForce 9400M graphics with 512 dedicated memory. That, plus the DDR3 memory (the default 1GB is embedded and an extra DIMM slot can take an additional 1GB or 2GB stick).

The rest are pretty standard — an Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz, 160GB HDD, 1.3MP webcam, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi b/g, card reader, USB ports with an added HDMI port for HD output. There’s a dedicated physical button for WiFi on the upper right side of the keyboard.

The system is pre-installed with Windows XP SP3 and while it’s very responsive and snappy, I have yet to check the system running Windows 7 (nVidia ION LE is made to be only compatible with XP but a hack is possible to make it run Windows 7 smoothly).

If there’s one thing I appreciate the most, it’s the screen real estate of the HP Mini 311 — the glossy screen is bright and crisp with a pretty nice resolution of 1366×768 pixels. You don’t have that nagging feeling you always get with most netbooks — small, cramp screen with incessant scrolling. The only drawback is that the glossy finish is prone to glaze in the outdoors.

mini 311

With size comes comfort and the bigger form factor of the Mini 311 allows for a much more comfortable keyboard layout. It’s the same as the one in the Mini 2140 but you get a more spacious palm rest and a much bigger (like 50% more area than the Mini 2140) trackpad with separated left and right clickers. The trackpad’s got multi-touch features too.

The unit has a built-in 6-cell battery that’s fitted into the body so you don’t see any protrusion of any kind at the back which is nice. A single full charge gives me an average of 5 hours of normal use with WiFi on.

The Altec Lansing speakers are situated at the bottom part up front and span the entire width of the unit. The speakers have enough volume even for open movie playback. The black paint tends to get chipped off easily though. The 1.3MP webcam is decent and comes with a small pin light.

From experience with normal usage, I feel that the graphics outperforms the CPU so some of the noticeable lags could be attributed to the Atom rather than the GeForce 9400M (This is from experience with playing Flash games and running YouTube HD on a number of netbooks of varying configurations). Will do a separate entry on graphics benchmark, gaming and over-all system performance at the PCLabs.

For a suggested retail price of Php28,990, the HP Mini 311 seemed a bit on the expensive side but considering you also get an external DVD+RW out of the box (worth Php3-4k), I think it’s a worthy buy.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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81 Responses

  1. redjaquino says:

    Another impressive lappie from hp, those guys always outperform their previous gadget offering in the market! I agree with u yuga, with the ext drive included its a good deal indeed!

    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  2. it looks good. I should change my Compac then..lols

  3. Andrew says:

    Can it run Photoshop and other development softwares decently?

  4. berkano says:

    Interesting note you made about the OS Yuga. The official HP site does allow for customers to choose Windows 7 pre-installed. I guess those who want to snag this and plan to install Windows 7 for later is out of luck. Will a Windows 7 – equipped version reach our shores (sans hack)?

  5. daddy joey says:

    eto ba un dala natin nung sat?

  6. Jong says:

    i want this for my yugatech xmas wish list

  7. daddy joey says:

    nice, maganda nga to. :)

  8. anthony says:

    Sir Yuga, san ba natin to mabibili??

  9. maki says:

    is it possible to upgrade to 3GB DDR3 and 320GB hard drive?magkano kaya guys aabutin,.
    any idea bout sa hp 311 na may windows 7 na?kelan lalabas satin?

  10. yuga says:

    @anthony – most PC shops in the Malls carry this model. Try Complink.

    @maki – I think it’s possible but you have to shell out at least Php5k for that.

  11. maki says:

    yuga- thanks. hindi na siguro ako maga-upgrade.haha

    complink southmall(las pinas) galing ako dun kanina sabi phase out na sila hp 311,..

  12. maki says:

    bought 1 unit yesterday.
    hp 311-1002tu
    2gb ddr3 sdram,
    250 gb,
    window 7 starter. for P29,990

    hd video streamning on youtube lags,.pano ayusin un?sa pinsan ko hp 110 naglalag din hd streaming vid

  13. MIMIR says:

    I have a question, Why does it have a simcard slot behind the battery pack? Does this mean it also has a 3G modem with it?

  14. Blue Lucero says:

    the point to having the dedicated 512mb video ram is for movies and games, no?

    but it lags on streaming video daw. any idea what games it maxes out on? can it play left4dead 2? cuz i’ve seen the left4dead playing on it.

    just wondering on forward compatibility.

    might be better to wait for the ion netbooks to start showing the 2ghz chip na?

  15. @Blue Lucero some netbooks lags on streaming also, like Acer Aspire A0751, maybe because of the low powered cpu.

  16. bench says:

    mura dito sa UAE…2100dhs…this is my choice since I gonna buy one for me na kasi kinuha nung utol ko yung netbook ko e…

  17. Jerome says:

    maki:: sir yung video chip po ba nya ay ION na or still ION LE?

  18. hal says:

    which s better, hp mini 311 or toshiba nb200?

  19. Zirdaj says:

    maglalag talaga cia sa flash videos like youtube kasi CPU-intensive yun at hindi graphics intensive (this has a weak intel atom like most netbooks). Pagdating pa ng bagong flash update mamamaximize yung graphics card para sa online/flash videos/games. Kelangan nga lang yung hack para mapakinabangan yun, kasi ION “LE – Lite Edition” lang to, iba pa sa full na ION.

    tiningnan ko sa HP Philippines, HP Mini 311-1001TU PC pa lang meron sa pinas, ION LE yun with win XP sp3 pre-installed.

  20. Jerome says:

    BPI Madness in glorietta has HP Mini 311 (1002 sku) with the following specs:

    Windows 7 Starter
    250GB HDD
    2GB RAM
    ION graphics chip (according to dxdiag).

    You may want to check those out, it’s priced at P29,990. Villman and Electroworld are some of the stores I saw that carry it.

  21. jeffrey says:

    THE ODERWAYAROUND . ..its not good for me, that kind of laptop… atom spec.. high video card… for me i have NEC laptop bought three years ago.. …one thing i learn most of the laptop has high specification but u cant use it daily. It should depend on the end-users need… you dont need this specification. Der r better price outder for specific needs dont by it becoz of d design.. be smart customer ask about technical support, stability issue, temperature and battery lyfe – ” wear and tear” .. just a tip for those want some laptop…dis xmas

  22. daddy joey says:

    @jeffrey: i agree, you also have to consider the applications you need to run on your machine when you’re on the hunt for a laptop/netbook. from there, you can decide if you’re going for a higher/mid spec laptop/netbook

    personally, i would go for a full specs laptop priced at 35K and up over a 30K netbook. :)

  23. ryan says:

    bought one for my gf from hp trinoma at 29,500 cash price.

    windows 7 starter, 250gb hard drive, 2gb ram.

    im pretty sure its already full ION since they released it with windows 7 already and wala naman nakasulat dun sa details ng Nvidia graphics card na LE, ION lang.

    great laptop, great graphics we’ve tried playing games on lan already. graphics are even better than my PC. even tried the HDMI cable on our samsung full HD. (may konting lag lang pero bearable) may photoshop narin ako, but dont expect too much from the processor.

    downside lang ung windows 7 na starter, hindi customizable ung wallpaper, so unless you’re willing to pay 7000++ just to customize your desktop stick with it nalng. medyo mabagal lang din ung external cd drive via usb lang kasi.

    Pero over-all after all the research I did before buying it, bought it the day after windows 7/full ion came here in the Philippines I think so far its the best netbook around. high specs, great graphics. even better than a same priced heavy ‘note’book.

  24. tins says:

    sarap nman maging gf mo! hehehe. i agree, this is the best netbook so far! doesn’t look cheap like the minis, but at the same time, more travel-friendly than the full-featured laptops. :)

  25. bebe says:

    swerte naman ng gf mo..
    haha im planning to buy this hp notebook this january.. naubusan na ko ng stock sa greenhills. hehe ^^

  26. char says:

    ito sana ang gusto kong bilhin kaya lang nauna ng nakabili ang bro ko ng acer ao751h sa singapore sayang :( baka ibenta ko na lang para makabili ako nito..

  27. Ariel says:

    Just purchased one last November 25 at complink sm bacoor, then suddenly a new model came with 2gb memory and a 250gb harddisk with only a 1k price difference.

    One thing when I got the my unit it was pre registered to a name raymond forton. Is this a return laptop? One thing we always encountered jump of text while typing.

    Please help me how to send this complaint to HP.

    thanks a lot.
    Mr. Canton

  28. Ariel says:

    hello yuga,

    thanks for your advice, i will return the unit tomorrow.

  29. ryan says:

    @Ariel – re: jump of text while typing. im kind of sure na napipindot mo lang ung touchpad, ganun sya ka-sensitive eh. try checking other reviews, isa rin siya sa mga prob.

  30. jhon a. says:

    how does this HP 311 stack up with Gateway LT3102i/3103i or Acer Ferrari One?

  31. Mga sir, you can try Acer Aspire 1410. I got mine in SG which is suitabl for m level of demand… ;)
    I’am not sure though if this is already available in PH…

  32. Lia Q. says:

    got help and risked installing windows 7 ultimate over the pre-installed windows 7 starter. it’s definitely personalized now than staying with a starter.

  33. Dan Florendo says:

    The 311’s being sold in the PH come with Win7 Starter?!?

    wah! Better buy online… I think it comes in either XP SP3 or Win7 Home Premium… :(

  34. Alvin says:

    Hi Guys I am wondering why my hdmi port doesnt show the sound and I cant seem to make the High def audio option on the sounds and audio devices option.

    Please help me


  35. Jerome says:

    Worth every penny for this purchase!

  36. isaac says:

    hi lia q. just would like to ask re your post..

    “got help and risked installing windows 7 ultimate over the pre-installed windows 7 starter. it’s definitely personalized now than staying with a starter.”

    how much did you pay for the win7?

  37. Lia Q. says:

    didn’t pay for anything for upgrading starter to ultimate. there are cracks available or going legit is also an option.

  38. macafra says:

    hello! i’m planning to buy this laptop..
    pero parang hindi siya ok pagdating sa videos based sa mga comments na nabasa ko.

    worth it pa rin ba kung bibilin ko??

  39. john says:

    Has anyone tried playing Heroes of Newerth with this?

  40. Lia Q. says:

    @macafra – I’ve watched several movies from saved files and DVDs and it’s been great so far. Though a regular “hang moment” happens like once in an hour during long video playing and in games as well. It just lasts for 2-3 seconds with low rumbling sound. The same happens when watching videos over the net like YouTube. I don’t mind it anymore after 2 months of owning 311, happens to be more of a habit already.

  41. macafra says:

    @Ms. Lia Q.

    thanks! maybe i think i can stand those little hang ups.. anyway, i hope there will be available stocks this week in pampanga stores..

  42. chiidorisek says:

    about sa games sa facebook? naglalag po ba sya?

  43. Lia Q. says:

    @chiidorisek – So far, a regular “hang moment” happens to any video played for a long time and this is same with moving games like cafe world, etc. But for still games like vampire wars, 311 works fine. Internet connection should also be considered because there will lags if low connection is used.

  44. Vance says:

    I’m also thinking of getting one but with 30K price tag, it is really a hard buy. for additional 5K you can get an Asus K10Ni or MSI eX460 with better processor and video card..

    This is the setup that I chose for my HP Mini 311 if ever I’m gonna buy one:
    1ntel N280
    3Gb memory
    320Gb 7200Rpms drive
    Intel Wireless N
    Windows Xp SP3
    all the rest are default
    No ODD
    the price falls under 700 USD…

  45. Vance says:

    I might pass on this.. I found a better netbook with better specs and lower price: MSI U230X or u210X.. both has the Turion Neo x2 processor, which is a dual core procie. for under 24K..

  46. Rush says:

    Also considering MSI U230x with Turion Neo X2 but then Intel N280 has Hyper-threading, which has native support on a Windows 7 PC.

    With that in mind, I still think HP Mini 311 is a good buy. Taking into account the included external DVD+RW ROM (a good 4k worth, bringing the actual netbook price to about 25k).

    Although (from what I’ve heard), only 1001TU (XP SP3) and 1002 (Win7 Starter) models are available in the Philippines. Anyone got luck finding a 1025TU model?

  47. law says:

    got my hp mini 311 for almost a week now.. so far im enjoying it. Graphics is indeed superb! HD.. and windows 7 is working well. When i got it last week i just had to update windows and took about 1 hour to update everything.. im loving it

  48. Jed says:

    Available pa ba to sa market? I checked kasi sa HP Philippines website, and discontinued na daw xa,,,

  49. law says:

    yes it is still available. i called up HP trinoma branch and they have two units left. i got mine from Abenson in shangrila..

  50. macafra says:


    yeah,.. kabibili ko lang last jan.
    sa huling kita ko, meron pa yta sa electroworld sa sm clark..

    by order yta iun.. ung akin kasi, inorder ko.. kaya aun. ^^ try mo mag-order..

  51. law says:

    yeah electroworld in megamall meron din. Go and get one.. you wont regret it :)

  52. chefyoji says:

    May available ba na white? Puro black lang meron sa Complink and Octagon.

  53. keiyoh says:

    Where can I buy ram for this one?

  54. thoni varias says:

    nice… just wanna ask, how do you activate or use its 3G capability? mine got a sim slot at the bottom….

  55. NineSwordz says:

    how come this machine is much MORE expensive than the Asus 1201n, which is cheaper and I think, has better performance (dual core).. This one has a single core right? Anyway, it has a nice looks though.. like a metal keyboard. ^_^

  56. Ariel says:

    Can anyone share on how can I back-up the file of my hp mini 311? The last time I bought this unit, complink didn’t teach me on how.

  57. chelC says:

    nice reviews and comments! I almost bought one yesterday but then i got another offer for sony w vaio series netbook! Almost same specs lang pero ung sony la ksama external dvd drive. Tsaka bkit gnun, same paren yung price ng hp311 now and since nov.. Windows 7 starter na yung hp311 n nkita ko..

    Pakhelp nmn po to decide kung anung best best buy netbook to date. Thanks!

  58. jim says:

    Im selling my HP mini311, kakabili ko lang last year November. Ginamit ko lang for thesis. Price P22,000. Running windows 7 ultimate.

    Reason for selling: Buy dSLR Camera

  59. liaquion says:

    this unit is P2,000 off from it’s launching price, as of june 14, 2010. from P29, 990 down to P27, 990. there are units with this price in trinoma and sm north edsa.

  60. Undaunted says:

    Guys help me out… I wanna buy this hp 311 however I went to the hp ph website, it’s no longer available. Is it still advisable to get this one?

  61. Undaunted says:

    or can you please suggest a good netbook that I can use? I’m not a gamer. It’s basically for surfing, watching videos, and ms office stuff.

  62. Protege says:

    i would suggest sa mga nawalan na ng stocks,mag asus 1201PN nlng kayo,d paq sure kung meron na sa market ne2 pero cguro before matapos e2ng yr. meron na yan.
    same processor intel atom pero ung difference nea lng nka nvidia ION2 xa, i think mas better yun.tapos mas lower pa price nea :)

  63. liaquion says:

    @Undaunted, where are you from? if you’re here in manila, have you gone to sm north? there are hp mini 311 there, in the cyberzone. my last post: this unit is P2,000 off from it’s launching price, as of june 14, 2010. from P29, 990 down to P27, 990. there are units with this price in trinoma and sm north edsa. hope you still fond one. :)

  64. chelC says:

    guys, im now selling my hp mini 311! see my previous post couple of months ago? i bought one and it’s really really a great buy! the resolution is so crisp and in high-definition, you wont even think it’s a mini note… got good compliments bout it! =)

    but just recently, my sister sent me a new hp laptop so i wont be able to use this anymore..
    so i’m selling it for only 24k, already preinstalled with ms office 2007, some movies and games! 99% scratch free! pm me if interested! =)

  65. MissD says:

    nice review! i’m looking for a netbook, and i think no.1 choice ko na ‘to.

    @chelC: available pa ba yung unit mo? im interested.

  66. chelC says:

    hi missD! yup still available po.. may nag-express na din ng interest, depends kung sino una mag seal ng deal sa inyo. =) im sure u wont regret this, if i didnt receive a new laptop i wont even give this up, really! comparing it to other netbooks, this has the most promising design without compromising quality, HP pa! Add me up and send me a pm in facebook ([email protected]). thanks dear!

  67. I’ve beeen using my HP 311 Mini for almost a year now since last November. I’ve managed to do the Windows 7 install and hack the processor to run at 1.9GHz and ION LE uprated to the faster ION spec thanks to the LE upgrade hack (needs BIOS hacking in order to work). The only gripe will be that once the hacks are made, expect the battery life to take a massive nosedive.

    The baby can handle Photoshop (retouch) processing of small images. As well as RAW conversion from my camera.

    If I didn’t see this one available last year, I might’ve bought a Macbook instead :P (at double the price)

    To those looking: I got mine at Villman Trinoma since they weren’t showing the model on the display back then. You’d have to inquire from the folks there if they have in stock.


    sir/mam how much this hp mini laptop i am living in philippines davao city i was a 10 years old and i am wanted to have hp mini laptop thank you

  69. Kyla Frymier says:

    Do I have your permission to reference a couple of sentences from your post? I’m researching for a paper for college. Thanks very much!

  70. Alvin says:

    Sir Yuga, ano po suggestion nyo na mas ok?
    Hp 311 o Acer Aspire One 721 ?
    im planning to buy early next month.

  71. rey says:

    mahal 28,990. 21,000 pesos lang yan converted d2 sa saudi. Grabe nmn ang mahal

  72. ariel says:

    my hpmini 311 encountered noisy fan motor but now it’s not working any more which make my unit heated up for few mimutes of use. can you give me an idea how much will it cost for the repair and replacement of part? I bought this last nov. 25, 2009. advice also where to bring this, I’m from bacoor cavite area.

  73. Kaye says:

    I’m selling my HP Mini 311 for sum of 21K since I rarely used it because I have one more laptop which is for school-work related. I got the HP Mini 311 for 27K but still good as a brand new, I installed MS Office 2007 incase you need it asap right. I still have the box and complete set pa rin. No scratches and defects! The sticky cover protector ang screen yung sa logo pag naka-close siya. Gets niyo naman ibig ko sabihin. It’s Window 7 Starter too. Email me: [email protected]

  74. For a Newbie, My business is always searching online for articles which will help me. Thanks a ton

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