I’m hoping to get my hands on an HP Mini 5101 review unit in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, Laptop Magazine and PC Magazine have each published detailed reviews of this business class mini-laptop. The Mini 5101 is HP’s follow-up to the popular HP Mini 2140. Like its predecessor, the Mini 5101 has a few special features like an aluminum lid, magnesium-alloy chassis, DuraKey finish on the keyboard, and an accelerometer that shuts down the hard drive in the event of a fall. HP also plans to offer a higher resolution, 1366 x 768 pixel screen option.
But the Mini 5101 also has a few new features for an HP laptop, including a touchpad with two buttons below the pad. It may also be the only netbook around that ships with a 7200rpm hard drive. According to Laptop Magazine, the netbook achieved above average scores in graphics, video transcoding, and wireless range tests. It also got nearly 8 hours of battery life, which may not make it a champion among netbooks, but it’s still a pretty respectable result.
PC Magazine liked the netbook’s build quality and keyboard, but wasn’t that impressed with the faster-than-average hard drive. While it does give the computer a slight performance boost, it also runs hotter than a slower hard drive would, which means that the netbook’s fan spends more time whirring away.
The netbook ran for 5 hours, 15 minutes in PC Magazine’s test, but it’s worth keeping in mind that PC Mag ran MobileMark 2007 while Laptop Magazine runs their own test which simulates real world conditions by cycling through web pages over a WiFi connection and performing similar tasks until the battery dies.
The HP Mini 5101 is available for $399 from the HP store. It’s worth pointing out that HP has removed the $525 model that had been previously listed, and the $399 model comes with a 4 cell, 29WHr battery, while the units reviewed by Laptop and PC Magazines had 6 cell, 55WHr batteries.