Sunday, July 3, 2011

HP Mini 5103 Multitouch

The new HP Mini 5103 is an update to the previous 5102 netbook, adding the newest dual-core Intel Atom N455 to the spec-sheet. This 10.1-inch netbook can be configured with an optional multi-touch display and has a starting price of $399.99. Check out our review to see our verdict on this small system.

Our HP Mini 5103 has the following specifications:
  • Windows 7 Professional (32-bit)
  • Processor: Intel Atom N550 Processor 1.5GHz (1MB cache)
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage: 160GB 7200rpm SATA HDD
  • Display: 10.1-inch multitouch LED-backlit display (1366x678, matte finish)
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics
  • Wireless: Broadcom 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR
  • Expansion: 4-in-1 media card slot
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 10.30 x 7.09 x 0.98 in
  • Weight: 3.01 lb with 6-cell battery (not including weight of AC adapter).
  • Power: Standard 4-cell (28WHr)Lithium-ion battery or 6-cell (66WHr) extended-life battery
  • Warranty: One-year standard warranty
  • Price: $399.99 Starting
Build and Design
The HP Mini 5103 has a very business-like appearance with a squared-off chassis and rugged-looking brushed metal finish. The design hasn't changed much over the years, first seen with the Mini 5101 and the 5102 earlier this year. The appearance is almost as if the small and medium-business ProBook 4520s was hit with a shrinkray and this was the result. The brushed metal finish holds up well to daily abuse, but it seemed to attract a few fingerprints without much effort. The inside has a rubbery dark paint covering the palmrest with a glossy black touchpad recessed slightly below the surface. On top of the keyboard HP throws in two quick-launch buttons to launch an internet browser and default email client ... probably the two most used applications on a business notebook.

Build quality is a step above most consumer netbooks with a very sturdy chassis and durable finishes inside and out. The brushed metal screen cover held up well against everything except fingerprints-easier to wipe off than scratches -- and also added some extra protection for the LCD. When closed, the netbook had very little flex, which is just what you would expect from a business-grade system. The only aspect that seemed to clash with the business-theme was an abundance of glossy finishes, including the touchpad, keyboard bezel, and screen bezel that increase reflection and attract fingerprints more compared to matte or rough finishes.

The HP Mini 5103 wasn't as easy to upgrade as most business notebooks. The designers only included access for the system memory, although that is still a step up from the ProBook 4520s which needed to be fully dismantled to access the RAM. A few added perks to the design included battery charge-indicators on the 4 and 6-cell batteries which give an instant readout of capacity without having to turn the system on. The Mini 5103 also made use of the larger full-size notebook AC-adapter plug, which looks and feels more solid than your average netbook power connector.

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