HP Mini 210 review

Tom Morgan
25 Nov 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

Unbeatable battery life and a rock bottom price, but if you can afford more, there are much more powerful laptops available


HP’s Mini laptops are among the best-looking netbooks available. The bold, minimalist design hasn’t changed a lot over the years, but the internal components have: the 210 has a dual-core Intel Atom processor, which makes it considerably faster than the first netbooks.

HP Mini 210

Don’t be put off by the shocking pink exterior as HP also makes the Mini 210 in other, less offensive colours. Look past the paint job and the sleek design looks just as good as HP’s larger laptops. Build quality is almost as good, with no signs of flex in the keyboard tray or loose panels.

The keyboard itself is surprisingly easy to type on. Despite its small size, the QWERTY keys are almost all full-size and well-spaced apart from each other. The oddly-shaped rectangular touchpad takes some getting used to, but its textured finish creates minimal friction which makes navigating the desktop very smooth. The two touchpad buttons beneath it sit precariously close to the edge of the chassis, but they're large enough to be pleasant to use.

Like almost all netbooks, the 10.1in screen has a low 1,024x600 resolution. Although this is fine for working on a single document, you might have to scroll horizontally as well as vertically on some websites and you won’t be able to run multiple programs side-by-side. Image quality is about average, with fairly accurate colours and plenty of brightness. The glossy, reflective screen finish makes it difficult to use in bright conditions, but there’s 180 degrees of screen tilt to find the perfect viewing angle.

HP Mini 210 right side

Unsurprisingly, connectivity isn’t the Mini’s strong point, although three USB ports are respectable for a netbook of this size. A multiformat card reader and twin audio jacks are also welcome inclusions. The 250GB hard disk should be large enough for your music, photos and videos, but you might want an external hard disk for larger files or backups.

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