Thursday, October 30, 2008

HP Mini 1000 is for “information snacking”

I don’t want to even imagine how it feels for those who have purchased netbooks lately, because newer models are strutting down the runway and get reviewed faster than we can refill money in our little pocket. The latest one to enter the portable mini-laptop market a.k.a. netbook, is the successor of HP 2133 Mini-Note: Mini 1000.

When the news & pictures of Mini 1000 hit the net, I called up my friend who I told you before he bought 2133 Mini-Note when it first came out (here at my little country); and asked him if he’s going to upgrade to the newer model. He expressed big disappointment that he now own an almost obsolete device, which he once thought as the coolest netbook offered back then.

But he then wisely declined to enter the rat-race of owning the latest gadgets, which usually driven only by a bottomless pit of technology thirst. Besides, his 2133 Mini-Note has not even reach 1 year old; he bought it early this year. Nevertheless, his remarks got me thinking; is that the case? Is this Mini 1000 simply bested out its old sibling by design, and also by specs inside?

Just like when the 2133 Mini-Note was out in the market, it got plenty of attentions and reviews, and so is the new Mini 1000. This is very good, especially for us, who just want to know how well the new netbook really is. And for you who wish to buy it later when the Mini 1000 is finally out in the market, you can get an early preview and compare it with the other options you have for netbooks.

I’ve compiled the sources from three well known techie weblogs, which I believe you know them very well: Engadget, Gizmodo & jkOnTheRun. I just took the most interesting points, and left the rest for you to find them out for yourselves. Here we go:

Types, specs & build

There are three models of HP Mini 1000:
  • Piano-black finish that runs either on Windows XP or
  • HP’s Mobile Internet Experience (MIE) Linux-based OS,
  • and lastly is the Vivienne Tam Edition in vibrant red color with a peonyflower which runs Windows XP too.

Why the red color and the peonyflower you asked? Good question, here’s Tam answer: “The fashion-forward woman no longer has to sacrifice glamour when staying in touch with all her favorite digital content. And the flower and vibrant colors suggest good fortune, happiness and prosperity in the Chinese culture.”

So the Vivienne Tam Edition is definitely aimed for the ladies, while the boys will get the piano-black colored one. Let’s continue to take a look under the hood shall we? The basic specs are as follow, they are vary depending on the model:

  • N270 Atom 1.6 GHz
  • 512 MB/ 1 GB memory (2 GB on MIE model)
  • 8, 16 GB SSD; 60 GB hard drive (PATA)
  • 3-cell battery (25 WHr); 6-cell optional (52 WHr)
  • 2 USB ports
  • HP Mini Mobile Drive port (2/ 4/ 8 GB)
  • Ethernet
  • Combo headphone / mic jack
  • Expansion port (for optional dock)
  • 802.11 b/g; Bluetooth 2.1 optional
  • Webcam (0.3 MP/ VGA)
  • SD/ MMC slot
  • 8.9 or 10.2 inch screen (1024x600 pixels)

While Engadget stated the Mini 1000 weight at 2.4 pounds, Gizmodo says it comes in at under 2.5 pounds, and Mr. James Kendrick says it is 2.2 pounds; I’m going to go with the official statement: 2.25 lbs. If you wanted to know that in pounds, then it’s time to make use the conversion app in your Palm devices. *wink*

HP has changed the aluminum finish used in the 2133 Mini-Note with smooth black plastic casing, which personally I think is a major drawback on the physical design. For an instance, one of my friend’s reasons to bought the 2133 Mini-Note is because of the striking aluminum color that never seen before on typical netbooks .

Keyboard & mouse pad

Paul Miller from Engadget say they’re “…inspired by the edge-to-edge keyboard, which is easily the nicest we've used on a netbook…”, while Mr. James Kendrick impressed by the keyboard and says: “…it is tailor-made for touch typing like a banshee.” So that means the Mini 1000’s keyboard is the pick of choice for writers on the go.

But they both feel that the mouse pad, along with the mouse buttons located on the left & right side of it, are still need to be accustomed with before you can use them at ease. Thankfully, HP kept the trackpad on/off toggle button, just in case you want to use an external mouse.

The other thing that HP kept, is the glossy black colored display surrounding the screen. Although the screen resolution is now lower than previous model, the maximum is only 1024x600 pixels. Mr. James Kendrick noted that the screen’s lid is now retains the MacBook-like hinge, which is located behind the unit’s body thus making the display sits lower than most netbooks.

Another new thing added to the Mini 1000 is there’s a chrome speaker grill in the hinge, just above the keyboard. Nice, but no immediate improvement in the sound quality.

The Mobile Internet Experience (MIE) OS

We all know and familiar with Windows XP, but the new HP’s Linux-based OS is something new to talk about. (Uh, oh… I heard a cheering sound from the “hankering” Linux die-hard fans crowd there ;-p) HP is using Ubuntu version, and mixed it up with its own Touchsmart interface.

Adrian Covert from Gizmodo says about this MIE: “MIE streamlines the netbook experience by placing your most used apps into an efficient-looking homescreen. RSS Feeds, bookmarks, emails, music, photos and more are all available from this home screen. A click in any direction will take you deeper into the interface, which at times resembles Apple TV (and that's not a bad thing), but a quick tap of the Windows key will bring you right back to the home screen."

While Paul Miller (Engadget) praises the MIE too: “The OS starts up at a respectable pace, and once you've booted you're faced with a home screen that's actually preloaded your primary apps to save you the trouble.”

Mr. James Kendrick also says: “We played with the MIE for a good bit and we are impressed how decent the user experience is using it. … The MIE was extremely snappy and well done and it's easy to see how it is the way to go for novices."

Is this MIE all good, and no bad? Of course there are bad points about the MIE, but I’m afraid you’re gonna have to read on each respective weblogs to know more. Cuz I’m reaching my post limit here… ;-)


The Mini 1000 has better specs than its predecessor, the 2133 Mini-Note; so it'll be a nice upgrade. But not everyone will agree that it has better look which is primarily caused by the color combination used in the new models.

But netbook, is still a netbook. It has limited features compared to common laptop, so you’ll still have be satisfied with what you’ll get. Just don’t expect more, simply because it looks different than before, or from the rest of the bunch.

Maybe that’s why HP calls the Mini 1000 as for “information snacking”, not “meal” or “dinner”, just for “snack”. ~LOL~

Price & availability

The HP Mini 1000 is available today in the U.S. with a starting price of $399.99. The HP Mini 1000 with MIE is expected to be available in the U.S. in January at a starting price of $379.99. And The HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition is expected to be available in the U.S. in mid-December – plus with its designer sleeve and support offerings – is expected to be priced at a starting price of $699.99 U.S.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

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