September 11, 2010

HP Mini 210-1012sa netbook

Yep. Got myself one of these second hand a week ago and I'm very pleased with it.

Let's get the boring bits out of the way:

* Intel Atom N450 processor (1.66 GHz)
* 1 GB DDR2 PC-6400 RAM
* 250 GB SATA hard disk
* Broadcomm 802.11b/g WiFi and Bluetooth
* 100 mbps fast Ethernet network port
* 3x USB 2.0 ports
* HC-compatible SD/MS-Pro/MMC/XD card reader
* 10.1" 1024x600 widescreen format display
* Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 display adapter
* 5225 mAh battery
* Windows 7 Starter

Having been a long-term user of GNU/Linux on all of my desktop/laptop machines for more than a decade, I hope fellow Tuxophiles don't feel betrayed at my switch to a Windows machine. I could get Ubuntu netbook edition, or even the full desktop edition, working on this machine but to be honest, it does what I want it to do. Not only that, it does it much better than earlier incarnations of Windows. We all use various versions of Windows in the workplace, and as one of the later arrivals, I'm lucky to have a Windows 7 Professional desktop, so I'm pretty used to it now.

One of the first things I did on this netbook was upgrade from Windows 7 Starter to Home Premium. I do like the Aero themes that you get with it and the graphics system on this machine is perfectly capable of supporting them with no noticeable slowdown. I then upgraded to 2 GB or RAM. For that, I certainly recommend Mr. Memory. I ordered the RAM on the Wednesday afternoon, and it was waiting for me on the doormat on the Thursday evening when I got home from work.

Even though the machine is pretty small (the size of the display sort of gives that away), the keyboard is perfectly usable. You have to be careful while typing because the keystroke sometimes doesn't register if you don't press square on the key.

There are two reasons why I bought this machine. Firstly, I wanted a convenient way to access the internet (e-mail, social networks etc.) when not at home in a way more practical than using my mobile phone. If I'm not within range of a WiFi hotspot that I can use, then I'll simply tether the phone to the netbook via a Bluetooth connection and use it as a modem.

Secondly, I wanted something powerful enough to enable me to get some work done of an evening during the week without having to turn on the main desktop computer, which makes a lot of noise with all the fans in it. This machine is not quite so powerful, and its screen resolution is certainly lower, but it does have the advantage of being almost silent, and the reasonably large capacity of the hard disk means that I can carry my entire media collection with me.

So, mission accomplished. I now have something powerful enough and with enough RAM for me to view the sites I look at most of the time, that has great battery life (about 8 hours), that is small enough to carry around and that has plenty of connectivity options.

1 comment:

boi said...

hi, blast from the past here! i used to help moderate {linux,redhat,linux-newbies}@yahoogroups once upon a long time ago!

ubuntu netbook is good, that's what i run on my acer aspire one, although i refuse to run the blasted netbook interface.. EVERYTHING is supported, even the sd/ms/mmc card readers, and it's smooth, and _just_works_...