It appears that HP has been quietly releasing netbooks with 1024 x 600 pixel displays. That wouldn’t be so surprising (that’s the resolution pretty much everybody uses) if it weren’t for the fact that most HP Mini-Notes have higher resolution 1280 x 768 pixel screens.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the high resolution screen may be overkill on an 8.9 inch display. I found myself constantly tweaking font sizes and the default DPI when I had an HP 2133. But for folks with better eyesight than me, there’s no doubt that the sharp 1280 x 768 display is one of the major selling points for this netbook. You can certainly fit a lot more on the screen than you can with the lower resolution displays on Acer, Asus, MSI, Dell, or Lenovo netbooks.

I’m holding out hope that HP will keep the 1280 x 768 resolution if and when the company launches a netbook with a larger 10.2 inch display. But in the meantime, I have a word of warning for anyone ordering a current generation HP Mini-Note. Check the product description carefully before clicking the buy button.

Here’s what to look out for. HP describes the 1280 x 768 pixel display as WXVGA, while the 1024 x 600 pixel version is listed as WSVGA. As far as I can tell, three pre-configured models come with the WSVGA screen:

 

  • KS103UT – $599 with a 1.6GHz VIA C7-M CPU, 2GB of RAM, 120GB 5400rpm HDD, 802.11b/g WiFi, and Windows Vista Home Basic
  • KS106UT – $649 with a 1.6GHz VIA C7-M CPU, 2GB of RAM, 120GB 7200rpm HDD, 802.11a/b/g/draft-n WiFi, Bluetooth, SUSE Linuse Enterprise Desktop
  • KS105UT – $679 with a 1.6GHz VIA C7-M CPU, 2G of RAM, 120GB 5400rpm HDD, 802.11a/b/g WiFi, Bluetooth, Windows Vista Business with optional Windows XP downgrade
All the other models appear to come with 1280 x 768 pixel displays. If you see any that I missed, please let us know in the comments.
thanks Mikez and the MiniNote User forums!

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13 replies on “HP starts sneaking lower res displays into Mini-Notes”

  1. The whole point of lowering the resolution is so that people can see the screen easier. While 1280×768 is nice, on an 8.9 inch screen it is, as said in the article, overkill. I have almost perfect eyesight and on my 2133 I still have to zoom to 150% on web pages to avoid eye strain.

    Also, if you look at a lot of 2133 reviews, one of the main gripes is the resolution size relevant to the screen size. They are still offering the higher resolution though, as an option to the lower res. So really, HP are just listening to their customers and taking the criticisms on board.

  2. Another 1024 x 600 model is the FT268UA. Same specs as the KS103UT except it has the slower 1.2GHz VIA CPU. I bought one from Fry’s last month and was told that another configuration had never passed through there before. The guy I talked to didn’t know when they first got the units, but it sounded like they had them for a while.

  3. The Vivienne Tam model i think has a 10″. Although that’s not really publicized now, when it first debuted back in early September that’s what was being banded around.

    1. Even in September it was just a rumor. If memory serves, HP wouldn’t let anyone actually open up the netbook and look at the display. While we all kind of *expect* it to have a 10 inch screen I don’t know anyone who’s actually looked at it and lived to tell the tale… publicly.

  4. In speaking with our HP Education rep, the plan is to reduce screen resolution due to negative feedback from users about difficulties in viewing, change the chip set to Intel (Atom), and increase the screen size to 10.2″. We’re expecting to pilot the new machines in January. Sounds like they’re embarking on their roadmap….

    1. This will be quite a disappointment to some of us myopic netbook fans who have no problem with high resolution.

  5. I think a 10-inch or 10.2-inch display with 1280 x 768 resolution would be a great new step-up for HP to add to their netbooks to set them apart from the rest of the pack, even if it causes MS to keep them from using XP. I would certainly be willing to give up some other features to get the better resolution.

    But, worse yet, here’s another senario: HP brought out the Mini-Note, with its superior metal construction and good keyboard design early, without knowing everybody else would jump on the 1024 x 600 bandwagon. Now that lower resolution and cheap plastic construction are standard, they could just downgrade and use their name and marketing capability to sell more of same 🙁

    Obviously I think this woud be terrible and hope they will not dilute the quality they have going with the Mini-Note.

    1. I added a comment to your post about the table on the forum;
      a 10-inch, 1280×768 would fall in the midst of the table at 0.17mm
      a 10.2-inch, 1280×822 would be both 0.17mm and 14:9 aspect ratio.

      I personally like my 0.15mm pitch (the original) mini-note, but the
      10.2, 14:9, 1280×822 HD compatible display might be a market maker.

    2. Well, it could make the market with me. I’m not crazy about all the vertical scrolling required with WSVGA. If my calculations are correct, that would require only 7.14% more vertical space in the Mini-note lid or 9.75% more in the lid of a 1024 x 600 device….

      But, looking at Michael Evans’s post below, it appears these dreams may be flyng out the window.

      If the Nano can really just be plugged into the current Mini-Note, now might be a good time to buy one (of course you already have one 😉

      1. Nope you won’t be able to just plug in a Nano chip unfortunately. It’s soldered to the board in a special way called Ball Grid Array and would be a huge pain to change.

        1. Well, so much for the drop-in-the-chip idea. But I suppose you could still run Suse pretty well, or substitute Ubuntu or the distro of your choice, or maybe lighten up the Vista.

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