On May 17, Verizon Wireless unleashed the HP Mini 1151NR netbook on its network. At only 2.4 pounds, the HP Mini 1151NR offers Wireless Mobile Broadband from Verizon Wiress built into the device. The HP Mini has some pretty impressive specs: 802.11b/g WLAN, Bluetooth, a 10.1 flush glass LED BrightView Infinity display, a three-cell battery,1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB of RAM, 80GB hard drive, and Windows XP Home Edition. In the box consumers will get the netbook, the wall charger, a setup guide, a cleaning cloth, computer instruction booklet, and a Verizon tips booklet. Notice that there is no case so we would suggest buying one before bringing it on the go.
The HP Mini 1151NR is a very lightweight and thin device that has a great design. The netbook is only one inch tall, 10.3 inches long, and 6.6 inches wide. These dimensions make it very easy for consumers who are going to be traveling and need it to not take up too much room.
HP was able to package many important features into such a small device. The HP Mini has two USB 2.0 ports, one on the left side and one on the right side. Because of its small size, if you use a lot of USB devices you will need to buy a hub to gain more USB ports. On the left side there is a VGA out port that requires an additional accessory to be used. If you get this, you can put use an external monitor to have a bigger monitor if the 10.1 inch display is too small. Right above the screen there is a built-in webcam and a built in microphone which is great to stay in touch with people if you are going to be traveling. The speakers sounded good for such a small computer. The sound was not as loud as our MacBook, but it went loud enough to clearly hear any music.
The display is very impressive and looks great to the eye. The HP Mini has a 10.1″ (1024 x 576) display which is necessary to make the netbook so small. That being said, it is a small display and can sometimes be hard to do some tasks that require a bigger screen. But for such a small device, we figured that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. The netbook has a glossy flush screen, which in the sunlight will not be very visible. When using the netbook outside, we often had trouble seeing anything on the display. The graphics are impressive with an LED BrightView Infinity display and a Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 video card. We have absolutely no complaints about the graphics on this netbook.
Additionally there is a SD/MMC card reader on the right side of the netbook. We found this useful because even our MacBook does not have this feature. Also on the right side you can see the second USB port that the device has.
The keyboard on this netbook is tight, but that is only to be expected when the device itself is so small. The keys are pretty close to each other, but we did not find it too hard to get used to. We typed this entire review using the netbook and we didn’t have any problems with it. HP has done a great job at making the keyboard fit the small size of the device. In terms of netbooks, this is one of the best keyboard we have used. The mousepad also took some getting used to because the right and left click buttons are not on the bottom of the mousepad like our MacBook, the buttons are on the left and right of the mousepad.
The HP Mini comes with built-in capability to be used on the Verizon Network. We used the mobile broadband connection the entire time we tested the device so we could judge if it is useable. Our results were stunning. The Verizon internet connection was very fast and almost never disconnected while in use. The entire time we used the netbook we were on EV-DO, so you will not get these speeds unless you are in a EV-DO area. We tested the netbook in a few different places around town and found that we had three or more bars almost all the time. We did four different speed tests and found that our average download speed was right around 1.45Mb/s and our average upload speed was around 0.70Mb/s
Verizon Wireless offers two Mobile Broadband plans with either a 250MB or 5GB monthly allowance. For $39.99 a month, customers get a 250 MB monthly allowance and a 10 cents per megabyte overage. For $59.99 a month, customers get a 5 GB monthly allowance and a 5 cents per megabyte overage. This netbook’s wireless data will also work in more than 175 destinations around the world. International plans, which Verizon calls “GlobalAccess”, starts at $129.99 a month and includes a 100 MB allowance in more than 30 international destinations and 5GB in the United States and Canada. There is also a Pay Per Use GlobalAccess plan that must be purchased with a $59.99 Mobile Broadband plan in the United States.
We have used this netbook as our only computer for the past few days. We mainly use the computer for internet browsing, editting articles, and email. That being said, we were pleased with how the HP Mini ran during our testing. With 1 GB of RAM, the HP Mini usually was able to keep up with our browsing and typing. There were times when Internet Explorer would run out of memory or our typing would lag, but that would only be when we had a lot of tabs open.
When using the HP Mini we found that the bottom of the netbook would get pretty hot. The majority of the time the internal fan was on trying to cool down the netbook. We are assuming that this is normal for such a thin and small netbook.
The HP Mini from Verizon Wireless comes with most of the standard software that comes with a Windows XP computer. We have Internet Explorer 7, Adobe Reader and Flash, Microsoft Works, Windows Media Player 11, HP Wireless Assistant, Nortan Internet Security with 60-days of complimentary updates, AIM, and VZ Access Manager.
VZ Access Manager comes pre-installed on the netbook and is the software that is used to connect to the Verizon network. We found this program to be really useful and important during our usage. Using this program customers can check their usage, as to make sure to not go over their monthly allowance. Customers can also see how long they have been using the network, send text messages, and many other important tasks.
We have thoroughly tested the battery and found that it lasted an average of 2 hours and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes. The way we tested the battery was to leave the default display settings the same as when it was unboxed. We loaded up a few tabs on Internet Explorer and did not run anything but VZAccess Manager in the backround. We were connected to the Verizon network the entire time and browsed different websites casually. For such a small battery, we were fairly impressed with the results of our tests.
The HP Mini 1151NR from Verizon Wireless is a great netbook at a low price. With a two-year contract, consumers can get this device for a low $199.99, if you are going to go month to month you will be paying a steep $519.99. The HP Mini has some great specs that will make you glad you bought the device. The keyboard and display are fantastic and fit the size well. Having built in EV-DO to connect to the Verizon Wireless network is much easier than carrying around an aircard all the time. The device is small enough to bring almost anywhere you would need it, and light enough to not weigh you down. This netbook is great for consumers who want a larger screen than a smartphone to view email and browse the internet.