Gone is the Via C-7M processor; gone, too, is the pipe dream that any current netbook could handle Windows Vista. The Mini 1000 that we received for testing runs Windows XP, and packs Intel's 1.6-GHz Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 4200-rpm, 60GB PATA hard drive. With that configuration, it falls in with the rest of the current mini-notebook pack.
If anyone were to ask me what changes I'd want to make to the company's first netbook, the aforementioned HP 2133, I'd come up with a pretty cut-and-dried checklist: Add a more capable CPU, amp up the RAM, use XP instead of Vista (one version of the 2133 used Vista Business Edition, no less), change the touchpad's design (I grew to hate the mouse buttons that flanked the pad), and (if possible) drop the price a little. But I'd insist that they not mess with the keyboard, the speakers, or the sweet metallic shell.
This model incorporates many of those suggestions, but in spite of its Atom processor, the Mini 1000 slips toward the back of the pack performance-wise. Of course, I've learned to keep lower expectations for netbooks--the average WorldBench 6 score for the category hovers around 35. The Mini 1000 eked out a 30. While it isn't nearly as speedy as Lenovo's IdeaPad S10 (which earned a mark of 41), the Mini 1000 is notably faster than the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (which crawled across the finish line with a score of 25) and the HP 2133, which posted a poky 23.
With the Mini 1000, HP does a good job keeping most of the things that worked on the 2133, while upping the performance and managing to cut prices in the process (well, not counting the fashionista-oriented model). Is a Mini 1000 right for you? If you limit your outdoor use (the glare can be a pain), this is a good choice, but it isn't the swiftest netbook on the block.
For more on netbooks, see our ranked "Top 5 Netbooks" chart.
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