The HP Mini 5101 was one of the best netbooks I tested in 2009. It had an excellent keyboard, great battery life, and incredibly sturdy build quality. While it did cost a bit more than a typical netbook, the HP Mini 5101 was designed for business users who might have an easier time justifying the premium price tag. And it’s still pretty cheap when you compare it with an old school thin and light laptop.
The HP Mini 5102 is the updated version of the Mini 5101. As you can probably guess from the minor bump in the model number, the new version is a lot like the old one. It looks pretty much the same. But it replaces the Intel Atom N280 CPU with a new Atom N450 Pine Trail processor. There are also new optional components including a touchscreen display or an integrated handle.
CNET has posted a detailed reviews of the HP Mini 5102. Overall, they found it to be much the same as the Mini 5101, which is to say it’s an excellent mini-laptop. But aside from the new processor, there’s not really much setting the HP Mini 5102 apart from its predecessor. If you want to shell out the extra cash for an optional touchscreen or other premium features, then the Mini 5102 looks like the way to go. But if you’re just looking for a netbook with good build quality and a low price tag, you might be better off looking for a deal on a refurbished or overstock Mini 5101.
Oh yeah, CNet says the netbook lasted for 3 hours, 19 minutes on a video playback battery drain test. I can only assume CNET picked up the model with a 3 cell battery, since earlier this month Laptop Magazine reported that the netbook can run for up to 10 hours on a charge.