I have owned my HP Mini 1000 netbook for just over seven months now, and it seems like as good a time as any to discuss my experience so far.
WAS I A BETA TESTER?
It would appear that HP has corrected most, if not all, of the gripes that I had with my netbook. Newer models of the HP Mini 1000 now have three USB ports, a standard VGA output, and I believe the whole “Mobile Mini Drive” malarkey has been done away with as well. Big thumbs-up to HP for making those fixes, but they won’t be doing ME a whole lot of good anytime soon!
ITS SO SMALL AND KYOOT!
For all the press and hype, I don’t think Netbooks have become commonplace as of yet (not in San Antonio, anyway). I have personally only seen two other Netbooks “in the wild” myself, and my Mini garners the occasional stare when I am out and about with it. This usually leads into what has quickly become a prepared speech on the pros and cons of owning a Netbook.
Every so often I will get an “OMG ITS SO CUUUUTE!” from a woman, but I have yet to get any significant part of that attention thrown my way. *sigh*
CRASH BANG BOOM!
Its as inevitable as the tides; you WILL eventually drop your portable computer at some point in time. It happened to me in June, the Mini fell off of a countertop and the side smacked into a chair on the way down. Needless to say, I freaked out. Luckily, there appears to be no permanent damage, save for a nice dent in the speaker grille …so maybe NOW its not so cute! As a consequence, the battery now has a tendency to fall out at random times, but it wasn’t nothing a little electrical tape could’t fix!
WHAT A DIFFERENCE AN OS MAKES
I was intrigued by the thought of installing Windows Vista on my Netbook at first. Despite the optimizations and upgrades I had made to the Mini, Windows XP would still grunt and groan when running on the Mini’s modest hardware. I did some research and found a few reports saying that installing Windows Vista on a Netbook was an excercise in futility, and having had my own bad experiences running Vista on underpowered hardware, I decided not to try.
Meanwhile, the computing press was busy gushing over the Windows 7
beta, and I became intrigued again. On the surface, it sounded like madness: a newer version of a Microsoft operating system running better than the older one on underpowered hardware? Unpossible!
Actually it was VERY possible! I installed Windows 7 and the Mini felt much more responsive than it ever was under XP. The Aero effects work just fine despite Intel’s nearly-worthless graphics hardware, and tethering my smartphone to get on the Internet when I’m “off the grid” works without any intervention on my part. When Microsoft offered a discount on Windows 7 back in July, I jumped on it. I installed Home Premium and I have been very happy with it.
The Mini was pretty good with Windows XP, but it’s GREAT with Windows 7.
I have found my netbook to be a great portable computer; it has enough power to do everything I need it to do when on the road, and upgrading the RAM to 2GB made Windows happy. I wish the battery life could be a bit longer, but except for that little gripe, I consider my HP Mini 1000 to have been a good purchase.
I would encourage anyone who needs a ultra-portable computer for basic tasks to look into purchasing a Netbook. The price is right, the performance is good, and the portability is great…just be sure you test out the keyboard first!
NOTE: The author received no compensation for this review.