The HP Mini – Two Weeks Later

Now that I’ve had my HP Mini for a couple of weeks, here are a few more things I’ve noticed about it:

  • When people said in their reviews that the touchpad buttons on the side meant you have to use two hands, I thought they meant the right hand index finger using the touchpad and the left hand index finger using the button. In fact, it’s better to rest the left hand in normal keyboard position and then pop the left hand thumb down to press the button as needed.
  • The touchpad on/off button is stupid. Yes, I know I already said it in my initial review, but now I hate it even more, because it emits a very bright white light that is wholly unnecessary, impossible to turn off, and probably the reason the battery life on the HP Mini is so poor.
  • The speaker sound, while loud, is still kind of tinny. I have yet to see a non-Apple laptop (or netbook) have the same full sound that a Macbook or Powerbook internal speaker has. Of course, this isn’t intended to be a multimedia machine, but I do occasionally listen to music on it, and it’d be nice to have it sound less tinny.
  • The underside of the netbook gets very hot. Granted, it’s no hotter than the underside of my wife’s Macbook Pro, but it is considerably hotter than the Eee PC 701. Oddly enough, the heat is on the front part of the bottom (near the RAM) and nowhere near the back part of the bottom (near the battery).
  • I pretty much never use the webcam. I did try it out, though, just to see what it’s like, and it’s terrible. You need some serious lighting in order to get it to work. I’d say there are probably no conditions under which you could have an ideal video chat with someone on the HP Mini 1120nr with the 10″ screen. If it’s too bright out, you will see mainly your reflection in the screen and not what’s displayed on the screen. If it’s too dark out, the person you’re talking to won’t be able to see you through your webcam. Way to go, HP.

All the positives are still the same. It’s still light. It’s still cute and sleek. The keyboard still feels huge to me. The bootup times are quick. Resume from suspend works. Vanilla Ubuntu 9.04 runs like a champ on it.

Just thought I’d share a few more annoyances, in case anyone’s curious.

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