Product Type: Hewlett-Packard Netbook
Newest Review: ... 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 t... more
Small but (Almost) Perfectly Formed
HP Mini 110-3107sa
Member Name: jo1976
HP Mini 110-3107sa
Date: 03/06/12, updated on 22/09/13 (95 review reads)
Advantages: Long battery life, lightweight, portable, does not overheat
Disadvantages: Smaller screen size, no 'Home' key
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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
Summary: A reliable and easy to use netbook