HP Mini 1000 Netbook Review

I purchased an HP Mini 1000 just before a recent trip to Disneyland, hoping to have enough computer to easily get work done while traveling, without weighing down my luggage with my HP Pavilion dv5. If what you need is a computer designed for checking email, surfing the Web, and looking up mapping information, the HP Mini 1000 does not disappoint. It also doubles nicely as a reliable way to watch movies on the plane, without feeling crowded by your neighbors in coach.

Key Strengths of HP Mini 1000

Keyboard Size: At 92% of a full-sized keyboard, The HP Mini 1000 comes closer than everything else in this class of computers in delivering nice usable keys.
Battery Life: I’m managing to get about 3 hours out of a single battery charge with my HP Mini 1000. I’m using the solid state drive version and I don’t max out brightness on the screen, but 3 hours is definitely good enough for most flights I take. Another key selling point here is the HP Mini 1000 draws so little power that it charges easily off of the cigarette adapter in my car, which is something my Pavilion dv5 simply won’t do.

Integrated Webcam: The webcam in the HP Mini 1000 does reasonably well in low light, making it a convenient solution for video conferencing on the go.

SD Card Slot: While you don’t get a ton of space from the solid state drive version of the Mini 1000 (a 60GB hard drive version is also available), you can extend capacity via the SD card slot, or simply use it as a way to upload photos from your digital camera.

Where HP Mini 1000 Needs Improvement

Screen Resolution: Microsoft Windows XP licensing restricts maximum screen resolution on current computer sales to 1024×600, which is the maximum resolution of the HP Mini 1000. This same shortcoming impacts the entire Netbook class of computers, so it’s not a disadvantage for HP, just something I wish offered more (like 1600×1200). I opted for the 8.9-inch screen in my own configuration, my theory being that less surface area to light up translates to longer battery life.

Expansion Slot: HP convinced me that all their computers work well together because they have a universal docking connector. The HP Mini 1000 line breaks this rule, with a completely different connector. As of this writing, there are no accessories for this port, which means there is no way to connect to an external monitor. So far I haven’t needed an external monitor, but that doesn’t mean the option shouldn’t exist.

While the HP Mini 1000 is by no means perfect, I’m finding it to be the one computer I don’t leave home without. It’s better for responding to email than my cell phone, it is great as a mapping solution on the go, and browsing the Web gets me to the information I need without lugging a full sized computer everywhere.

Upgrading RAM in HP Mini 1000

While memory is limited to 1GB by terms of Microsoft’s current Windows XP licensing, you can upgrade to 2GB of RAM for under $25. The video below shows you how.

HP Mini 1000 Specifications

Operating System
‐ Genuine Microsoft Windows XP Home Basic Service Pack 3 for ULCPC Program
‐ Mobile Internet Experience built on Linux
Processor Intel Atom N270 Processor (1.6 GHz)
Chipset Intel 945GSE + ICH7M, 533MHz FSB
DDR2 SDRAM, 533MHz, one DIMM slot
XP Home model: 512MB or 1 GB
HP MIE model: 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB
Internal Storage 60 GB 4200rpm P‐ATA hard drive, 8/16 GB solid state drive (SSD)
External Storage 2/4/8 GB HP Mini Mobile Drive (optional; Available with SSD model only)

8.9‐inch WSVGA BrightView Display (1024×600, 16:10 ratio)
10.2‐inch WSVGA Display with Infinity BrightView Display(1024 x 600, 16:10 ratio)
Graphics Intel GMA950 (UMA) with optional HD video decode accelerator mini‐card1
Audio HD Audio, stereo speakers, integrated mic
Webcam 0.3MP (VGA 640 x 480, up to 30 fps)
Wireless communications 802.11b/g wireless LAN, optional Bluetooth v2.1; Wireless signal on/off switch
Communications 10/100 Ethernet
Media slot Secure Digital (SD)/MMC
Ports and connectors 2x USB 2.0, RJ‐45/Ethernet, headphone/microphone combo jack, expansion port, AC Power
Input device 92% full‐sized keyboard, touchpad with scroll function, left and right clicks
Software on XP model: Microsoft Works, MS Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player
Software on HP MIE model: HP Custom Desktop, Open Office, Browser, E‐mail, Skype, Media Player
Security: Mini‐lanyard slot
Battery Standard 3‐cell Li‐polymer 26WHr; Optional 6‐cell Li‐polymer 52WHr
Dimensions (w x d x h)3 10.3 x 6.56 x 0.99 in / 261.6 x 166.6 x 25.13 mm
Weight: Starting at 2.25 lbs/1.01 kg (with 8.9″) or 2.4lbs/1.08 kg (10.2″)
Expansion Solutions Optional: VGA cable, External USB DVD+/‐RW ODD 2, 4 and 8GB Mini Mobile Drive
Warranty: Limited 1‐year and 90‐day warranty options available, depending on country; Extended warranty available