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HP Mini 210-1095tu

Jayesh Shinde 2010-05-03
80 Very Good
Price: Rs 23,000

Full Review

The new HP Mini 210-1095tu is a 10-inch netbook from HP based on the Intel Atom N450 processor. The Mini 210 offers mainstream netbook performance, along with a feature that lets you browse the Web within seconds after turning the netbook on.

Build & Design
The new HP Mini 210-1095tu is a bit like the HP Mini 110-1106vu on the exterior. It lacks the Mini 110-1106vu's 3D floral design on the glossy screen lid, but the Mini 210's screen lid is colored silver and it doesn't attract fingerprints. Like the Mini 110-1106vu, the new Mini 210-1095tu continues to look a lot classier and elegant than the Mini 110-1018tu. In fact, its bottom isn't black (like every other netbook) but similar to its screen lid on top -- a single silver plastic panel. The Mini 210's 10.1-inch screen (1200x600 resolution) isn't matte in nature--it's glossy, and pretty good for watching movies. Also unlike previous HP Mini netbooks, the new Mini 210 sports an edge-to-edge display -- the screen doesn't have an overlaying bezel, much like the 13-inch MacBook Pro -- it's just one smooth surface and looks elegant. Port placement is well looked after on the Mini 210-1095TU, they're all convenient and easy to reach and don't get in each other's way. The onboard speakers are situated on the front edge. The Mini 210 is well-built and weighs only 1.4-kg with its six-cell battery pack.

Working from within Instant Web is slightly sluggish, but it's a great way to instantly turn on the Mini 210 and start browsing the Web within seconds.


Usability

Like previous Minis, the HP Mini 210-1095tu has an interesting design element--owing to its six-cell battery bulge near the hinge, the Mini 210 is slight raised and inclined when kept on a table top. As a result its keyboard is slight raised and therefore better for typing. Unike the HP Pavilion dm1, the new Mini 210's keyboard doesn't sport 'scalloped' keys with a slight inward curve on them, but regular chiclet-styled isolated keys that are just as good to type on. They look similar to the keys we saw on the HP Pavilion dm3 or MSI Wind U135 but offer better feedback. The Mini 210's touchpad is another area that has seen an improvement -- there are no vertical mouse buttons to get used to; in fact there are no separate mouse buttons at all. The bottom part of the touchpad is where the mouse buttons are engraved -- both the touchpad and mouse buttons are good to work with, no complaints whatsoever -- but they take a little time getting used to.

HP Instant Web
The HP Mini 210-1095tu also comes with HP Instant Web, an 'instant on' pre-OS interface configured through Windows. Once enabled, the Mini 210-1095tu first boots into the Instant Web GUI (powered by SplashTop) where you can surf the Web, check email, and even access your photos and music folders. There's an IM tool, calendar app, Skype for voice messaging, and more. Working from within Instant Web is slightly sluggish, but it's a great way to instantly turn on the Mini 210 and start browsing the Web. At any instant, you can easily click a button to switch the netbook back to the full-fledged Windows 7 Starter operating system. We've seen this feature only on one other netbook apart from the three HP Minis, the 12-inch Asus Eee PC 1201T.


Hardware Features
In terms of internal hardware, the new HP Mini 210-1095tu is based on the new Intel Atom N450 1.6-GHz processor. There's also 2GB of DDR2 RAM, 320GB hard drive, three USB ports, multi-card reader, VGA-out and ethernet port. Like previous HP Minis, the Mini 210-1095tu doesn't come with Gigabit ethernet and Wi-Fi 802.11n, but manages to bundle in Bluetooth connectivity. It has a 1.3MP webcam recessed on its top screen bezel and comes with Windows 7 Starter edition operating system. All this is pretty average, and the things that differentiate the Mini 210-1095TU from others in our Top 5 Netbooks listing are the increased RAM and hard drive space, and also the instant-on Web OS.

The HP Mini 210 also comes with HP's proprietary syncing software (to sync photos, videos, and other files across PCs) and online storage tool, called CloudDrive.

Performance
The HP Mini 210-1095tu's performance isn't much different from other small screen netbooks we've reviewed. A WorldBench 6 score in the 30s is pretty much standard. We could multitask with three programs at the max, any more and the netbook couldn't handle it. Reading text, despite the glossy screen, and watching movies on the Mini 210's screen went well, and sound from its front-edge placed onboard speakers wasn't too bad. Like previous Minis, the HP Mini 210-1095tu still couldn't play stutter-free 720p HD. Its six-cell battery lasted a commendable 4 hours 15 mins in our benchmarks at high performance mode. Easily expect over 7 hours while browsing the Web over Wi-Fi on a conservative battery mode, which is very good.

Conclusion
The HP Mini 210-1095tu is definitely one of the better looking netbooks in the market with a silver screen lid. For Rs. 23,000, it offers more RAM and storage than any other netbook in its class. It also has a nifty instant-on Web browsing feature that you don't see on many netbooks. A good buy for the little extras that this netbook offers.


Bottom Line

The HP Mini 210's a nice 10-inch netbook that offers increased RAM and hard drive space compared to other netbooks. It also comes with a convenient Instant-on Web OS that lets you connect online within seconds of turning on the netbook.

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