After a week of taking the HP Mini Note 2140 for a spin, I’d say HP has finally made a comeback in the fight for netbook market share (and HP doesn’t even want to call the mini a netbook).
The HP Mini 2100 series is the only netbook line I’ve seen that’s wrapped in aluminum all around. This is what separates the HP Mini 2140 from the rest of the netbooks — a body that is made up of sleek aluminum in silver, brushed finish.This also protects the surface from smudges and greasy fingerprints.
Compared to the usual plastic construction of other netbooks, this gives the HP Mini 2140 a classic look that leaves a lasting impression.
The review unit I got has an Intel Atom N270 (1.6GHz), 1GB of RAM and 160GB hard disk drive. It also comes with Bluetooth and WiFi 802.11 b/g for connectivity plus a webcam to boot.
Another big plus point for the HP Mini is the upsized keyboard â€“ that’s a 92% full-sized keyboard of a regular notebook. HP did not spare a single centimeter in the keyboard and squeezed them into the 10-inch frame, an effort that attracted a lot of buyers even int he first generation Mini 2133. By far, the most comfortable keyboard especially when touch-typing and helps avoid that dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome.
On the other hand, the 10.1-inch display panel only has a resolution of 1024×578 pixels. That’s a couple dozen pixels short of the normal screen resolution of most netbooks (i.e. 1024×600 pixels) but not really a serious deal-breaker (apparently, there is a hig-res screen on a different model but hasn’t been seen in stores).
Another consequence of HP’s efforts to maximize on the Mini Note’s reduced size was the re-positioning of the left and right buttons of the trackpad. This odd orientation could turn off others but it is an issue that an external USB or Bluetooth mouse can remedy. The trackpad is a but narrow but the buttons works nicely.
The default configuration of the HP Mini only includes a 3-cell battery which lasts under 2 hours although you can upgrade to the higher-capacity 6-cell battery (sold separately and could set you back about 4 or 5 grand). That should help bump the battery life to around 5 hours but add a couple hundred grams to its weight.
There were some mixed reports that the netbook becomes too hot on prolonged use. My 24-hour burn-in test didn’t show that — the internal temperature hovered between 48 to 53 degrees centigrade.
With a retail price of Php23,990, HP Mini 2140 isn’t the cheapest in the 10-inch category but it makes up all that with a great build and design.