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We are a family of computer/internet addicts and a few years ago, we had a main PC and a laptop - this was between myself and my hubby - our two (then teenagers) still at home had their own laptops. The main PC was fast becoming redundant and hubby and I were finding ourselves having silent battles with each other, as to who would use the laptop. You couldn't say it belonged to one of us in particular, as it was part of a freebie deal from Carphone warehouse - we both wanted it! We had a holiday looming and this was to be the first time that we were leaving our "adult" children at home - I will be honest here and admit that I was concerned a little about wanting to keep in touch with them, knowing that phone calls from abroad cost an absolute fortune. When we realised that the hotel we were staying at offered Wi-fi for a small cost, we took the plunge and decided to buy a cheapie laptop to take away with us, The laptop needed to be small, portable and lightweight - if this had been now we would have probably opted for a cheap Tablet, but things have come on a lot in the last few years and this was not an option at the time. We bought a Hewlet Packard Netbook, (HP Mini) and I have to admit that my expectations for this little machine were not great - all we needed it to do was to go onto Internet Explorer and log into Facebook (where you find every teenager!) and also we wanted to download Skype onto it. At the time we paid around £210 for the Netbook, from Tesco - looking through my reviews a great deal of my electronic goods seem to be bought from Tesco, this is because I live in a rural area and Tesco is the nearest large Supermarket to me, and I am somewhat a Clubcard addict! We were pleasantly surprised to find that it came pre-loaded with Windows 7, Starter Edition - 250GB Hard Drive 1GB Ram It has 3 x USB ports, which is a good amount, we were able to charge our Ipods, and phones without debate and priority! It has a 10 inch screen, which although is obviously not a decent size for a laptop, it is perfectly good enough for checking emails and surfing through web pages The Battery life is stated as 4 hours and I have to say that for the first year or two four hours is probably quite accurate. Three years down the line the battery is now at a point where it needs replacing, as it only lasts about five minutes - but it still works fine when plugged into the mains. And - whilst mentioning being plugged into the mains - we are still on the original power supply! Which for a three year old lappy is not bad going at all! The Netbook is a gloss black and looks very nice - it weighs 1.2 kg so is totally portable. What started off as a little gadget that would be used on holiday etc, has ended up being my hubby's laptop of choice. He happily spends hours surfing the net on it, Ebay, Football forums etc - and it has absolutely no problems whatsoever. The build quality is better than average. It is black and plastic, but seems sturdy. A couple of the keys have come away and could do with replacing, but other than that, this laptop works as well as when we first bought it. Would I buy another? Yes actually - I am not the biggest fan of Tablets or touch screen phones, I prefer a keyboard and this Netbook has been good for three years now and I would replace it with an equivalent model when and if the need arises. I have had a search online this morning and this model can still be bought for around the £200 mark
As I spend a lot of time online I need to have a laptop that works all the time, and unfortunately with my emachine model that is the case. As I can't work if it breaks down, I need to have a back-up one and I decided that I would like a smaller one that I could also take away with me. When I went to Curries there was quite a good choice an while this was something I needed I did not want to spend a lot on this item so was pleased to see that the Hewlett Packard HP Mini 110 PC was on offer at £189 so decided that this was going to be the one to buy. There was the choice of pink or blue so I chose the blue one. Having been told that this was going to be easy to set up I made the purchase and took it home. Within about 10 minutes it was up and running and I was able to log on for the first time. The operating system is Windows 7 Starter. It is an attractive lightweight machine that I have been able to carry it around with me on occasions as it easily fits into quite a few of my handbags. It is only 3 cm thick and weighs just 1.23 kg. With a 10" screen it is not as easy to read as the bigger ones but it does do the job I want it to. The battery is supposed to last for 8 hours when fully charged but I have found that it is nearer to 6. By and large it has worked well although there was a problem with the hard drive and that had to be replaced. This was an inconvenience because I was without the machine for 8 days and also a lot of things were lost as they could not be retrieved. There was no charge for the replacement hard drive but as the machine does not get used a great deal I was annoyed that it failed after just 8 months. As I am not a teckie at all I will copy down some of the details and hope that it means more to you than it does to me. Processor Intel Atom Processor Speed 1.6 GHz Memory - RAM size 1GB Hard Drive - 329 GB Graphics Card - Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3600 At home I use the machine through a wireless connection, but when I travel I often use a dongle to connect and there is no problem doing this. I have never used another wireless connector so don't know how well that would work. There are 3 USB ports and thee have come in handy, but at times I miss the fact that there is not the facility to use discs on it. Although I did not know at the time it is Energy Star registered meaning that it is supposed to be environmentally friendly and cost me less to run. There is an integrated media card reader but am not sure if that is supposed to allow me to download pictures without my own reader and if so I have not used it but downloaded the pictures the way I always do.
I ordered this netbook a few years ago for my son who at the time was a freshman in High School. He didn't need some fancy computer that cost well over $1000, so I found him this one. For only $300, This computer has been able to last him throughout High School and still runs as if it were brand new. This computer is great for everyday computing like internet, e-mail, listening to music, etc., but will not be able to handle anything heavy duty. This little netbook is great for people on the go since it is so small and light. The battery life is surprisingly good too. I ordered the netbook with a 6-cell battery which lasts my son around 8 hours and only takes a little over an hour to recharge. The only things I wish I had ordered for the netbook would be a better processor and more RAM. It comes with a cheap processor that you can upgrade for $35, and 1GB of RAM which can be upgraded to 2GB of RAM for just $30. This netbook also comes with a 320GB Hard Drive, which should be plenty of space for whatever you plan to do with this netboook. One other slight disadvantage is that this netbook does not include Microsoft Office, or Anti-Virus software, which should be a must have for this netbook.
Shortly before Christmas my husband came home from work with a shiny netbook for our oldest son, having bought it second-hand from a colleague. This HP Mini 110-3107sa -catchy title- is an attractive 10 inch netbook, part of a whole series of HP Mini netbooks. I must admit, when I first saw this shiny little metallic blue netbook, I was tempted to keep it for myself! Compared to my bulky old laptop, this is incredibly petite and lightweight. ===Setting Up=== Despite purchasing this netbook second hand, the previous owner had restored this to its original factory settings. The initial set up was incredibly straightforward and foolproof, with a simple step-by-step process. This was surprisingly quick to do. In all honesty, the most difficult aspect of setting this up was actually switching it on! The power switch is quite well hidden as a slider on the right hand side of the base and isn't in the most obvious of places to access. Even now, when I borrow my son's netbook, I find myself scrabbling about trying to find the switch. The benefit of this design is that it couldn't be switched on or off accidentally. We don't have an instruction manual for this product and have not yet needed to refer to anything for advice. This is probably fortunate as there does not appear to be a help guide installed on the netbook. If there is, it certainly isn't easy to locate! There is, however, a HP Support Assistant programme pre-installed. As with most netbooks of this size, this doesn't have a DVD drive but I was able to download McAfee (with a little guidance from o2 Broadband) to secure the wireless internet connection. There are three USB drives included so it is possible to connect an external DVD drive or other devices, as needed. ===Ongoing Use=== My son was obviously delighted with his netbook and has used it for short periods of time, most days. The netbook loads fairly quickly but there can be a delay in shutting it down as this model seems to install a large number of Windows updates on a regular basis, which can be a little inconvenient and annoying. My nine year old is able to navigate around without needing any assistance from adults although his usage is predominantly limited to playing games online. The netbook has Windows 7 Starter installed and this has proven to be easy to use and hasn't thrown up any issues as yet. There is also Word Pad pre-installed so this can be used to save word documents, which will be handy for homework projects and written assignments as my son moves up to Middle School. Whilst is might seem a little churlish to buy a netbook with a small screen and then criticise the size of the screen, it is a potential issue. Certainly, on some sites and particular games, the need to scroll up and down constantly to access all parts of the screen can be more than a little frustrating. This is the main reason why I decided not to adopt this as my own netbook. Realistically, this isn't likely to be practical to be used as the main computer in most households, particularly if the internet is used regularly. I tend to go online and read and write reviews and the ten inch screen size is a little too limited for that purpose. I also find that the keys are much smaller than those I am used to, which doesn't feel comfortable for my style of touch typing. The keyboard is supposedly only marginally smaller than a standard sized keyboard but feels much smaller in use. The layout is also slightly different which takes some getting used to. My biggest issue is the lack of a simple 'Home' button, to take me quickly back to the top of the screen. This is something that I use frequently and miss even more on this netbook particularly as I need to scroll up and down so often due to the size of the screen. The keyboard does offer a range of function keys which are all fairly logically positioned and labelled. I particularly like how easy it is to switch the speakers on and off and adjust the volume, without having to mess about adjusting the settings.The keypad also has a light to indicate that the wireless internet is connected and when CAPS lock is on, which is always useful to have (and something that is missing on my main laptop.) The mouse pad is small but big enough for its purpose and the layout itself seems to have made good use of the space available overall. The netbook is ideal for basic internet surfing but the screen size wouldn't lend itself to other activities such as watching films, other than quick videos on YouTube. That said, the quality of the graphics is pretty high (for a casual user) and the sound quality is also more than satisfactory, being relatively loud and clear at its highest setting. ===Durability and Portability=== The size of the netbook makes this ideal for a child to use independently or for an adult to use as a second computer or when out and about. The netbook is comfortable to use, with its weight making it easy to rest on a lap, even for a child. I particularly appreciate that this model never seems to over heat either. The machine is very lightweight and portable, but also feels reassuring solid - which is always a must when used in a household with several boistorous boys! The lid doesn't lock into position when closed, however, but the hinges and the lid itself all feel solid and robust enough to withstand regular use, even by a child. The only vulnerable part is the shiny metallic lid which does show some slight scratches and also shows up fingerprints and marks easily. ===Battery Life=== One of the major advantages that this netbook offers over much larger products, is its impressive battery life. This is used sporadically with longer use over the weekend but very rarely needs charging up, so my son is free to use this all over the house without needing to be close to a socket. I would estimate that the battery lasts at least six hours, if not more, between charges. Moreover, a full charge takes just over an hour, which is pretty impressive based on my experiences with my own laptop. This battery life makes this a strong contender for somebody needing a small machine to use whilst commuting or out and about for any reason. ===Overall Recommendation=== As a netbook intended for use on the move or as a second machine in the home, this lightweight option is ideal, particularly considering the impressive battery life. There are too many little niggles for me to feel comfortable using this as my main method of accessing the internet, with the small screen size being the obvious trade off for such a portable machine. The netbook itself is comfortable and fairly intuitive to navigate around and use for basic functions. Certainly, if a small and reliable machine is required, I see no reason not to recommend this model. This was originally purchased in 2010 and is not widely available although refurbished models were available at Curry's a couple of weeks ago selling for £200. Having purchased ours second hand, I see no reason why a second hand or refurbished model shouldn't be equally as reliable so would advise checking eBay or other sites for used models. We paid £100 through a private sale and feel that we have got excellent value for money. ===Product Specifications=== (Taken from the HP website) Microprocessor 1.66 GHz Intel Atom Processor N455 Microprocessor Cache Level 2 cache 512 KB Memory 1 GB DDR2 (1 x 1024 MB) Memory Max Supports up to 2 GB DDR2 memory Video Graphics Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 Video Memory up to 256 MB total available graphics memory Display 25.6 cm (10.1") diagonal WSVGA LED HP Anti-glare Display (1024 x 600) Hard Drive 250 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 5400 rpm Network Card Integrated 10/100BASE-T Ethernet LAN Wireless Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Sound Generic, mono Keyboard 92% Full size keyboard Pointing Device Touch Pad with dedicated vertical Scroll Up/Down PC Card Slots 2-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader for Secure Digital cards and MultiMedia cards External Ports 1 VGA port 3 USB 2.0 ports 1 RJ45 ethernet port Dimensions 26.8 cm (L) x 19.4 cm (W) x 2.35 cm (min H) / 3.21 cm (max H) Weight Starting at 1.34 kg Power 30 W AC Power Adapter 6-cell Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery