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And the Winners Are...
Netbooks are quickly becoming more popular than laptops with the economy the way it currently is. These tiny powerhouses offer less computing power for at least half the cost of a regular, cheap laptop. Entering this field with a strong line-up is HP – they’ve managed to make a name for themselves making the Mini series of netbooks, which offer power at low cost and small size. That being said, let’s take a look at what the best HP netbooks are:
HP Mini 1000 Broadband Series
The Mini 1000 was HP’s first foray into the fire, but it proved to be a commercial success just like the Pavilion line of notebooks. The Mini 1000 Broadband edition offers something that the other two netbooks here on the list do not – and that is 3G access to the Internet. You can (thankfully) choose between either Verizon or AT&T and the service will cost you some money, but think about what this will mean for the future of netbooks.
With wireless 3G Internet access anywhere, the netbook has finally done what so many before it tried to do – create a truly un-tethered experience. The only thing missing is a wireless power supplier to truly make it your computer away from your desktop.
Getting back to the Mini 1000 though, the broadband is what is going to make this particular model about $100 more than any other model here on the list. The rest of the features are essentially the same, unless you choose to customize and add a lot of superfluous add-ons for the netbook.
HP Mini 2140 Netbook
The Mini 2140 doesn’t offer much to differentiate it from the Mini 1000 – packaged inside the 2140 is the exact same kind of processor that you’ll find in the 1000. The key difference here however, is the fact that at the base price, the Mini 1000 above doesn’t have a 160 Gb HDD, instead exchanging that for solid-state memory. Also, the RAM offered by the 2140 is a substantial increase – 2 times the amount of RAM that comes standard in the baseline broadband model.
The Mini 2140 also has one other thing going for it, and this is a matter of taste. The 2140 looks like the newer Pavilion dv4 and dv5 notebooks, a design aesthetic that I find much more pleasing than the Mini 1000’s all-black finish. Of course, that’s just opinion – thinking that the netbook LOOKS better has nothing to do with how it actually performs. The HDD and RAM however, set this model apart from its predecessor, the only thing that’s missing is that 3G antenna.
HP Mini 1110NR
Finally, we’re wrapping up with the 1110NR, a next-generation of the 1000 as opposed to a complete revision like the 2140.The 1110NR doesn’t do much to support its case however. Where the 1000 has broadband access and the 2140 comes with a built-in N-adapter for Wi-Fi, The 1110 comes with neither, just the standard 802.11 b/g antenna. This model has the same RAM as the 2140, but again, eschews the hard drive for a solid-state one, which can be either a good or bad thing depending on who you ask.
What does make the 1110NR different however, is the OS. Rather than running Windows XP (which is no longer supported by MS), they’ve decided to build a mobile internet platform running off of Linux. This idea of course, is nothing new, but the direct implementation of it into the standard OS is rather refreshing.
However, this is not enough reason to let the 2140 pass by. The 2140 is about $100 more expensive than the 1110NR, but you do get what you paid for in terms of the difference. If you need storage space, go for the 2140, if you need to spend less money, go for the 1110NR. Also, if Linux is important to you, you could always just install it yourself using Ubuntu, which might be an even better core of Linux than the HP installed one.
Much like selecting a notebook, only you can determine what you’re willing to pay for what features – trying to sit here and tell you otherwise would be foolish of me. With a little bit of research and a lot of patience, you’ll find the perfect HP netbook is waiting for you.