The Bottom Line
- Very Durable Aluminum And Magnesiom Design
- Very Comfortable Keyboard
- Excellent Connectivity Features
- More Expensive
- Smaller Battery
- Intel Atom N450 Mobile Processor
- 1GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
- 160GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 10.1" WSVGA (1024x600) LED Backlit Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA 3150 Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, VGA, SD Card Slot
- 10.3" x 7.1" x .9" @ 2.7 lbs.
- Windows 7 Starter
Guide Review - HP Mini 5102 10.1-inch Netbook PC
Feb 23 2010 - HP's Mini 5101 was one of the standout netbooks in the marketplace. While it was targeted towards corporate users, it had a number of great features that made it a serious netbook to look at for consumers wanting more than just the average netbook. Chief among these features was the very well designed and durable aluminum and magnesium case. HP continues this design with the new HP Mini 5102.
The big difference between the previous Mini 5101 and the new 5102 is the internal netbook platform. It uses the new Intel PineTrail platform that includes the Atom N450 processor and GMA 3150 graphics. In terms of performance, these two items don't offer much of a performance boost of the previous N280 and GMA 950. There is a minor boost to the memory performance but most users will not be able to tell the difference between the two.
One of the best features to be carried over from the past model is the keyboard. At 95 percent size of the typical netbook keyboard, it is one of the largest and also one of the most comfortable to use. It uses the very popular isolated keyboard design and comes with full sized enter and right shift keys. The trackpad is a bit smaller than some of the others on the market but the dedicated buttons are well textured and a nice touch compared to the integrated models on the HP Mini 210.
While most of the new PineTrail based netbooks include support for the 802.11n wireless standard, they generally only include the 2.4GHz radio. HP has decided to use a more robust wireless adapter that includes support for the 5GHz 802.11a and 802.11n standards that can help in certain situations when the 2.4GHz spectrum is crowded. Bluetooth is also standard which is nice for external peripherals or using a wireless headset for video conferencing.
One advantage the new Intel netbook platform brings with it is battery efficiency. While the least expensive 5102 models come with a 4-cell battery, they still run for a fairly long time. With my video streaming test, it was able to run for roughly four and half hours. This is well below most 6-cell batteries but still quite long for most people. Those needing extra running time will want to look into a 6-cell version that is slightly heavier but can achieve near ten hours of general web usage.
The biggest disadvantage to the HP Mini 5102 though is its price. With a $400 starting price and models with extra features costing most, it is one of the more expensive netbooks on the market. This will turn off many potential buyers, but anyone looking for a very durable and comfortable to use computer while on the road will not regret the cost.