You probably remember the Mini 210, one of HP’s first entries on the netbook market. It was a pretty successful line of mini laptops, even if (or maybe because) it had a very simple design and was, in a way, quite cute. It wasn’t glossy or anything similar and in comparison with some of the newer netbooks, like some of Samsung’s curvy NF310 or the wave patterned Asus 1015PW, it might look a little damp.
Newer version comes with a bunch of new features, including a revamped battery, different lid design, new sound system and more. Fortunately, the $299 starting price remains the same, making this one of the most affordable netbooks out there. If you remember the old Mini 210, you know that the lid was offered in a number of color versions, but the inside was usually black plastic. Now, the color of the lid is extended on the palm rest and around the keys, making the whole working area look better and more fluent when it comes to design.
Another difference in comparison with the older model is the different battery shape. Battery is now integrated in the design of the base, instead of just being plugged in like some sort of excrescence on the back. On the old model, if you remove the battery, the entire netbook becomes a little unbalanced and just looks awful, while on the new design the battery comes under a little mask, the netbook looking virtually the same with or without a battery. Anyway, this is not a life changing upgrade, as I think most users don’t give attention to this kind of difference, as it doesn’t really impact use over a long period of time.
Touch pad has also been redesigned. Touch area is not delimited from the rest of the palm rest area and it’s going to be a little guesstimate when it comes to moving the cursor or not. Mouse buttons get their own area underneath the touch sensitive area, while in the top left corner, just underneath the space bar, you get a button that lets you deactivate the touch pad altogether if you think you don’t need it.
As you might remember, upgrading the Mini 210 was kind of easy, as all you had to do was to remove the battery, push a button and the base would come off in order to access the RAM and HDD areas. On the new design, it’s even easier to upgrade. Basically, you have to do the same things, but now the base comes off even easier, without having to pull the plastics too much.
Finally, the last modification is the presence of Beats Audio, the new collaboration between HP and Dr Dre, trying to offer incredible sound on portable devices. Let’s see if the sound configuration on the Mini 210 can outmatch the setup on the Toshiba NB520, that comes with Harman Kardon speakers.
In terms on specs, the cheapest version comes with 1 GB of RAM and a single core, Atom N455 processor and a 1024 x 600 screen. There’s also the chance to configure the netbook, other options including a HD, 1366 x 768 screen, 2 GB of RAM and a N550 dual core processor.
The battery on all models is the same, a 6 cell juice maker, able to go for about 9 hours on a single charge, while color options include pink, blue, black, red and purple. The new 210 will be available in the US starting on June 15 and worldwide probably a couple of weeks/months later.