My Use – HP 5101

Finding the right netbook is always annoying these days since they are updating them consistently. I wanted a machine that I take around, very light but yet powerful and can handle a good amount of multi-tasking. The previous HP Mini was nicely designed but was really lacking punch, now they have done a great job with 5101 and the features of it. I have now used it for a few months and really put it through its paces, traveling with me for weeks on end, using it on planes, in cafes and carrying it in a small bang and taking a few bangs on the way. Overall I think it turned out to be a better laptop then I expected but the price and not being able to play 720p video crisply brought it down from 5 out of 5 to 4 out of 5, I think HP is taking the right steps.


Pros:

  • Fast Loading SSD
  • Very Long Lasting Battery 4 – 6.5 hours depending on Screen Brightness
  • Handle Most software
  • Excellent quality and Build, very nice exterior, clean cut and nice keyboard
  • Very Light
  • Perfect 11.1 Inch Screen
  • N280 Intel Atom Processor does the job
  • WWAN Card works with Viva, Wataniya, and Zain
  • Very nice feel to the keyboard
  • The fan isn’t loud when cooling
  • When running for long periods it doesn’t get too hot like previous models

Cons:

  • Doesn’t Play 720p videos as promised
  • Lacking CD Slot (As can be expected from a netbook)
  • Price a bit steep with the SSD option, just going over $1000

Rating:
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HP 5101 – Preliminary Review

I got in the box with a three day express DHL delivery which was perfectly on time. For 60 KD I got it the fastest way possible, and I got it out of the shipping box to find this nice HP Box inside. HP 5101 is a nicer then I expected, I think HP learned from their previous editions and improved on it. The laptop feels extremely well built and clean, the keyboard is spacious and the 10.1 inch screen is very nice. At low screen brightness I can get about 6 hours and 23 minutes out of the 6 cell battery and it doesn’t protrude out of the laptop. I went ahead and replaced the ram from a 1GB chip to a 2GB chip which was shipped separately, that was extremely simple with a small panel in the back and its easily replaceable. I currently have XP Home on this little machine, I installed the usual applications to start off with, my intent is to format it and install XP Pro which has a few extra networking features that I usually use but for now I’m going to use it as is and see how it goes.

I have the mobile broadband module installed in the 5101, and I inserted my MTC/Zain chip, I just have to see if it can work with it. I don’t have an Ego subscription and its asking me for a username and password which I do not have, so I’m going to take a sim card from my friend who has an ego subscription and try it out, if not Zain, then wataniya, and if not them then Viva to see if it works. Having a built-in broadband internet into the laptop with access to 3G services of one our providers in Kuwait would be fantastic so thats something I just have to work out. The quality of the laptop is great, a glossy black behind the screen looks very nice but pron to finger print smudges, and the whole laptop is built from a nice rubbery plastic which has a nice feeling to it when you have your hands on it or when your carrying it, just the right amount of friction. It has ports galore, 3 USB, VGA, and SD/MMC slot. Overall I think that HP has built a quality netbook laptop which is on the more powerful side of the netbooks, after using it for a few days now I managed to get a decent 6 hours and 35 minutes out of the laptop which is pretty good for a 6 cell battery that doesn’t protrude. My first impressions is that this is a very good netbook and I’m going to enjoy using it, but I’m going to it through its paces for a longer review.

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HP Mini 5101: The Highend Netbook

I have been a huge fan of netbooks but they do have their drawbacks, I picked up the HP 2133 but it had the Via chipset which was slow as hell but with the new Atom it worked better. There are a lot of drawbacks as well as advantages to the netbook phenomenom and one major point is they trade processor power for portability. This time around I think they struck middle ground with this HP unit, and I really liked the build and quality of the HP 2133. This time around it seems to have the same quality build with a lot of other extras that I am curious to try, it supposed to come out sometime in July and starting at $449 which isn’t bad. I’m assuming that will jump up with the SSD option, and most probably I will downgrade it to Windows XP SP3 instead of Vista because it would suck the life out of it and based on the screen details I’m assuming it can play HD movies without any real issue.

Specs that I am looking at:

  • Intel Atom N280 (1.66 GHz, 512 KB L2 cache, 533 MHz FSB)
  • Mobile Intel® 945GSE Express
  • 2 GB 533 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • 128 GB Solid State Drive
  • 10.1-inch diagonal LED-backlit HD anti-glare
  • Mobile Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950
  • Integrated 2 MP Webcam
  • Intel WIFI Link 802.11a/b/g draft-n;
  • optional HP Mobile Broadband powered by Gobi;
  • 6-cell (55 WHr) high capacity Lithium-Ion

Link: Gizmodo