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HP Mini 210-1012ea review

HP Mini 210-1012ea
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £300
inc VAT

Its red finish is certainly eye-catching, but it's strange that there's only 802.11g wireless networking and you can't upgrade the memory.


10.1 in 1,024×600 display, 1.3kg, 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450, 1.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows 7 Starter 32-bit

With its 10.1in Mini 210-1012ea, HP has decided to go all-out for style. The laptop has a gorgeous silky-feeling red finish to it that gives the netbook a sense of style and class. If you’re looking for a netbook that will stand out, this will certainly be of interest. It’s a little unfortunate, then, that the rest of the netbook is such a mixed bag.

The keyboard’s very good and one of the most comfortable netbook models that we’ve typed on. When placed on a desk, the keyboard falls at the right angle to be typed on comfortably. The chiclet-style keys are all a decent size with plenty of feedback, so we found that we could type quickly and accurately.

The touchpad is another matter: it’s horrible. HP insists on integrating the buttons into the pad. This means that resting your thumb on the buttons, as you would on any other laptop, has the nasty habit of jumping the cursor around the screen. It’s also too smooth for our liking with little feedback. It supports multi-touch gestures in Windows 7.

As with the vast majority of new netbooks the Mini 210 has a 1.66GHz Atom N450 processor in it. Combined with the 1GB of RAM this laptop managed to get an overall score of 15 in our benchmarks, which is what we’d expect. Sadly, there’s no way to upgrade the memory on this model, as the case is completely sealed. This is a real shame, as Windows 7 is much happier with 2GB of RAM. The processor’s integrated graphics chip can’t handle games, although it’s more than capable of making Windows 7 feel responsive. As you may expect from a modern netbook, there’s a decent-sized 250GB hard disk.

We find it very strange that only an 802.11b/g wireless network adaptor is fitted, when pretty much all netbooks are now fitted with 802.11n. If you’ve got an 802.11n network at home, the Mini 210 will be slow for sharing files.

We were pleased to see that Bluetooth is included, as this lets you connect to the internet through your mobile phone when you’re out and about. A dedicated keyboard button lets you control which wireless technologies you want on at any point.

It will come as no surprise that the 10.1in widescreen display has a resolution of 1,024×600. We find this just enough for web browsing and light office use, although some dialog boxes can drop off the bottom of the screen.

We found that this screen was a little dim, colours were a touch washed out and there’s a grainy appearance, particularly in lighter parts of an image. It’s not disastrous, but other netbooks have much better screens.

Battery life is very good at eight hours and 30 minutes, but it’s possible to get a netbook with more than 10 hours of battery life at this price. This is, in effect, the main problem with the Mini 210: it’s not particularly bad, but you can get much better netbooks for the same amount of money.

Unless you’re particularly taken with this netbook’s silky gloss exterior, the Toshiba NB300 or NB305 netbooks have better battery life, better displays, can be upgraded to 2GB of RAM and cost the same amount of money.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Atom N450
Processor clock speed 1.66GHz
Memory 1.00GB
Memory slots 1
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 2GB
Size 35x269x195mm
Weight 1.3kg
Sound IDT HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 10.1 in
Native resolution 1,024×600
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 3150
Graphics/video ports VGA
Graphics Memory 64MB


Total storage capacity 250GB
Optical drive model none
Optical drive type N/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g
PC Card slots none
Modem No
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other ports none


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Starter 32-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included CyberLink DVD Suite Essentials 7, Microsoft Works 9
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £300

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