7I got my first look at the HP Mini 311 last night, and it’s a slick looking mini-laptop. Under the hood the laptop has a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, NVIDIA ION graphics, 1GB of RAM, and a 160GB hard drive. But it’s the NVIDIA graphics that really make this 11.6 inch laptop shine. It can display 1080p video on the high resolution 1366 x 768 piel display or an external screen using the HDMI output.

The folks at the NVIDIA booth were showing off the laptop’s capabilities by upscaling a standard DVD to play on an HD display, while the folks at the HP booth were playing back Bee Movie on a demo unit. Both looked great.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the keyboard on the HP Mini 311 is almost identical to the one on the HP Mini 110 series of netbooks. In other words, even though the Mini 311 has a large enough chassis for a full sized keyboard, it has a 92% full sized keyboard. HP says that’s because the keyboard used on the company’s netbooks has received such positive feedback that the company didn’t want to change it.

You can check out some more photos of the HP Mini 311 in action, as well as a shot of the laptop side by side with an HP Mini 110 with a smaller 10 inch display, after the break.

Update: The HP Mini 311 is now available for order for $399.99.

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12 replies on “Up close with the HP Mini 311”

  1. The bezel is really ugly and with out a matte screen it’s a no buy. So close though. BTW Nvidia LE mean no Direct-X 10.

    1. Not impressed. Its basically the size of a 12″ laptop, with that huge bezel around the screen. If I’m going to buy an 11″ netbook rather than a 12″ laptop I expect it to be SMALLER. If its going to be the same size, I’d rather have the larger screen. Ditto the keyboard. Stupid design decision to keep the same keyboard design when there’s all that room for a full sized keyboard.

  2. Netbooks need backlighting for night use (on dark airplane), need HD dual mode direct sunlight readable screen (pixel Qi stuff), long battery use (18-20 hours) and AA battery setup like the Gecko Edubook. The first one to do all that will WIN.

    WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, and MeshNetworking optoins off course are needed too.

    RunCore SSDs (or other SSD make & model with same speed as RunCore) … etc.

    1. Oops – Keyboard backlighting with a switch to turn it on and off to save power when you don’t need it…

      1. I completely agree. While I don’t think it is exactly feasible to expect battery life like that and a Qi screen at an affordable price, a backlit keyboard shouldn’t be very hard. I use my netbook all over the place and very often in low light situations.

  3. The small keyboard is really a downer, I can’t understand this way of thinking by HP. The smaller keyboard was stellar for the 10″ notebook, no doubt about it, but it’s still pretty cramped compared to the full-size keyboard. And it’s virtually identical to the one on the larger dv2, and I can’t type on that thing without constantly thinking how stupid that keyboard looks and feels on a larger chassis.

    1. It can play 1080p video smoothly even though it will be downscaled to
      run on the lower resolution display. Most netbooks can’t do that. You
      can also plug in an external display via the VGA or HDMI ports and
      watch full 1080p video on a 1080p screen.

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