HP Mini 5101 First Look

HP Mini 5101 First Look

by Jerry Jackson

HP just unveiled its top-of-the-line netbook, the HP Mini 5101 companion PC. This latest Mini features a rugged anodized aluminum display enclosure with a black, brushed metal finish and a magnesium alloy chassis. We recently spent some hands-on time with the newest addition to HP’s family of Mini PCs. Continue reading to find out our first impressions and to get a closer look at this impressive little laptop.

Overview of specs and features:

If you think the Mini 5101 is just another netbook then you be in for a pleasant surprise. Here’s a quick look at the highlights:

ProcessorsIntel Atom N280 (1.66GHz, 512 KB L2 cache, 533 MHz FSB)ChipsetMobile Intel 945GSE ExpressMemoryUp to 2GB 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM (limit 1GB with Windows XP)Storage160/250/320 GB 7200 rpm SATA with HP 3D DriveGuard (supported on Windows models only); 80 GB Solid State DriveOptical DrivesOptional HP External USB 2.0 CD/DVD R/RW DriveGraphicsIntel GMA 950Webcam and Microphone2MP integrated webcam and stereo microphonesDisplays10.1-inch diagonal LED-backlit WSVGA (1024 x 600)

10.1-inch diagonal LED-backlit HD (1366 x 768)Wired NetworkingIntegrated 10/100/1000 Ethernet LANWireless

Optional HP un2400 EV-DO/HSPA Mobile Broadband Module (requires mobile network operator service), optional Intel or Broadcom 802.11 a/b/g/draft-n, optional Bluetooth 2.0, HP Wireless AssistantMedia Card SlotSD/SDHC card readerI/O Ports(3) USB 2.0 ports (1 powered), VGA, power connector, RJ-45/Ethernet, stereo microphone in jack, stereo headphone/line out jackOperating SystemGenuine Windows XP Home

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

FreeDOSBattery4-cell (29 WHr) or 6-cell (55 WHr) Lithium-Ion battery, 65W Smart AC AdapterDimensions0.91 (at front) x 10.3 x 7.09 inches (HxWxD)Starting WeightStarting at 2.64 lbs / 1.2 kg (with hard drive, weight will vary by configuration)SecurityHP Disk Sanitizer, Kensington lock slotWarrantyLimited 1-year and 90-day warranty options available, depending on country, 1-year limited warranty on primary battery. Optional HP Care Pack Services are extended service contracts which go beyond your standard warranties.

Build and Design

The design of the Mini 5101 is an obvious departure from the rest of HP’s Mini line, and at first glance the new Mini looks more like a pint-sized HP ProBook than a typical netbook. Starting at just 2.6 pounds, the durable little HP Mini 5101 features a 10.1-inch diagonal LED display available in either WSVGA or high-definition resolutions. Customers can also choose either the four-cell battery for lighter weight or six-cell battery for longer battery life. When configured with the optional six-cell battery, HP claims the Mini 5101 delivers up to eight hours of battery life.

As previously mentioned, the Mini 5101 features a rugged anodized aluminum display enclosure with a black, brushed metal finish and a magnesium alloy chassis. The metal construction really gives the Mini 5101 the feeling of being a premium ultraportable notebook rather than a typical netbook. HP even offers a matching external optical drive for those road warriors who can’t live without CDs and DVDs.

Speaking of durable build quality, the HP Mini 5101 also features HP 3D DriveGuard, which offers a three-axis digital accelerometer chip that sends a signal to shut down the hard drive upon sudden movement or shock. The HP Panel Protection System also includes a scratch-resistant acrylic LCD cover and magnesium hinge bracket for added durability.

Continuing with the HP ProBook design elements, the HP Mini 5101 has a newly designed, spill-resistant keyboard that is 95 percent of a full-size QWERTY keyboard. The keys are nice and large with significant spacing in between each key to prevent typos. The individual keys have HP DuraKeys coating which HP claims makes the keyboard 50 times more resistant to visible wear than keyboards without it. In addition, the mouse buttons are located in the traditional space below the touchpad, making for a familiar user experience. Thank goodness! Someone at HP must have noticed the fact that EVERY review of the previous HP Mini netbooks complained about the location of the touchpad buttons. The touchpad was actually quite nice in the pre-production unit I tested.

Performance and Features

We didn’t have an opportunity to benchmark the pre-production unit of the Mini 5101, but it’s safe to assume that the performance of the Mini 5101 will be in line with other netbooks equipped with the Intel Atom processor and Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics. That being said, one advantage to the HP Mini 5101 is that HP will include a fast-performing 7,200 RPM hard drive standard with the unit. Alternatively, an optional Solid State Drive (SSD) is available in either 80GB or 128GB capacities.

An optional, integrated Gobi-powered HP Mobile Broadband module allows users to access the Internet around the world … assuming you have network coverage. Other wireless technologies include integrated Wi-Fi and optional Bluetooth 2.0. An integrated 2-megapixel webcam allows for still-image capture, web-conferencing or video-enhanced instant messaging.

HP QuickSync software, planned to be available as a web download in , allows quick synchronization of the HP Mini with notebooks or desktops so users can avoid maintaining multiple documents, media files and email. Information also can sync to portable storage devices.

One exceptionally nice little feature on the new Mini 5101 is the use of a tool-free RAM cover. Basically, all you have to do to access the RAM is remove the battery and slide a little switch over to release the cover for the RAM module. Very nice.

New accessories designed for use with the HP Mini include a USB 2.0 port replicator that adds a variety of audio, networking and USB ports when you’re working at your desk. Other accessories available for the HP Mini include a USB 2.0 docking station, external optical drive and USB-powered external speakers. The docking station is pretty neat because you can rotate the top of the dock to have some of the ports pointed forward and the rest pointed backward. Likewise, you can also mount the dock vertically or horizontally on your desk. Finally, a lightweight messenger bag designed specifically for the HP Mini or a neoprene slip case offer added protection for road warriors while on the go.

We will have a detailed review of the HP Mini 5101 coming soon, so stay tuned to NotebookReview.com for an in-depth review of this netbook.

Pricing and Availability:

The HP Mini 5101 starts at $449and is expected to be available in late .






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