I’ve been using my HP Mini-Note for a bit over a week now, and while there are a few areas where the Asus Eee PC still excels, for the most part, I think its fair to say that the Mini-Note has become my portable computer of choice. It’s the PC I’d rather throw in my bag when leaving the house. It’s not perfect by any means, and you can also check out my list of gripes with the Mini-Note. But here are the top 5 areas where the Mini-Note shines when you compare it to the Eee PC 701. Yes, I know this isn’t entirely a fair comparison because the Mini-Note costs at least $100 more than the Eee PC 701, and because Asus is now bringing the upgraded Eee PC 900 to market. But since the two computers I’ve had a chance to spend some time with are the 701 and the Mini-Note, please bear with me.

  1. Let’s start with the obvious. The HP Mini-Note screen blows away the Eee PC 701 screen, and the Eee PC 900 screen for that matter. It’s amazing how crisp, clear, and well lit the Mini-Note display is. In fact, it’s so sharp that at first I was worried it would drive me crazy. But after spending some time tweaking the display settings, I’m amazed at how much easier it is to produce documents and read web pages on the Mini-Note.
  2. The keyboard is much, much larger. HP describes the Mini-Note keyboard as being 92% full keyboard sized. The interesting thing is that I haven’t really decided if it’s easier to type on the Mini-Note keyboard. I was pretty fast on the Eee PC keyboard, partly because my fingers had less distance to travel. But my fingers definitely got tired more quickly on the Eee PC.
  3. The battery works like a typical laptop battery. This is a blessing and a curse, but mostly a blessing. The Eee PC 701 is designed to be ultraportable more than efficient. The battery charger looks more like a cellphone battery charger than a computer power brick, and fits easily into any bag. But it takes a really long time to fully charge an Eee PC 701, especially if the unit is powered up. Asus has reportedly addressed this by using a larger, higher voltage power brick for the Eee PC 900. But HP skipped this headache by releasing a standard battery and charger. While the 3 cell Mini-Note battery will only last about 2 hours (compared with 2.5-3 for the Eee PC battery), you can fully charge the battery in about 1 hour, even if you’re using the computer. And unlike Asus, HP made a high capacity 6-cell battery available immediately so you could get a 4-5 hour battery the day you buy your computer. The Mini-Note also does a better job of tracking how much battery capacity you have remaining. While the Eee PC power meter counts down in increments of 10, the Mini-Note wil let you know if you have 92%, 27%, or some other odd bit of your battery power left.
  4. While the Eee PC 900 includes a large, multi-touch touchpad, the Eee PC 701 touchpad is incredibly tiny and has a difficult to master rocker button instead of separate right and left click keys. While I found it didn’t take that long to get used to the touchpad, many users have complained that it’s just too tiny. HP has a nearly full-sized trackpad, with the unusual design decision to include the left and right click buttons on the sides of the touchpad rather than below it. I thought this would be horribly inconvenient, but it turns out it’s not. You use the left click key far more often than the right, and it’s easy to hit. But it also takes just a fraction of a second to hit the right key if you need it.
  5. Finally, let’s face it. The HP Mini-Note is far more professional looking than the Eee PC. Sure, they’re both made of cheap plastic, but the Mini-Note has a sleek metallic look, The Mini-Note case is made of aluminum, not the cheap plastic you’ll find on the Eee PC. And the Mini-Note’s keys don’t look like they were designed for toddlers, and a glossy, high resolution display. While not everyone likes a glossy screen, I think the shiny display in the pretty black frame makes the HP look a lot more attractive than the Eee PC.

Again, the Mini-Note is far from perfect. Like the Eee PC, it has a sluggish processor. Unlike the Eee PC, the Mini-Note doesn’t come with a restore disc, slip cover, or anything but a warranty and user guide. But in a lot of ways, HP shows that they learned from Asus, and then improved upon the Eee PC concept.

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10 replies on “Mini-Note top 5: Ways it kicks the Eee PC’s butt”

  1. Ouch, lets not make a list of how the Eee 900 kicks the mininote’s butt. It would just. never. end.
    Hopefully MSI or Acer will bring something better to the table.

    Also, the keyboard comes at the cost of a huge footprint, not something I would want to brag about to people looking for UMPC’s.
    Maybe some people should and get that 17″ laptop they’ve always actually dreamt about 😉

  2. “Sure, they’re both made of cheap plastic,…” Doesn’t the Mini-Note have an aluminum case?

    And I’m really looking forward to a comparison like this between the Mini-Note and the 900. I really can’t make up my mind on which to go with.

    1. You know, I’m not 100% certain on this one, but I’m 90% sure it’s plastic. It’s the kind of plastic that’s designed to look like metal.

      1. Just fyi, this is from the HP site:
        ” Built to last:
        The simple, refined design and all-aluminum case make it sleek, sturdy and lightweight. Features such as HP DuraKeys, magnesium alloy support structure, and HP 3D DriveGuard make a durable mini-note PC that can go the distance.”

        That may just push me over to the Mini-Note in my EeePC 900 vs Mini-Note decision battle.

          1. >>>magnesium alloy support structure

            That doesn’t necessarily mean the OUTSIDE. “Support structure” sounds like the stuff the casing is *attached* to.

  3. I was waiting for someone to do a post like this. Now all I need to do is fondle the Mini for myself when J&R gets it. And the e900 too. And the Lenovo u110.

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