HP Mini 110-1036NR Review

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Over the weekend, I tested the HP Mini 110-1036NR netbook out in the wild. I packed the Mini laptop and three of my kids in a big Timbuk2 backpack and went on 2.5 mile hike. Because my youngest child is only three, we had to cross a scary troll bridge, walk through an enchanted pink forest, and climb up a hot chocolate volcano to get to the rainbow waterfall (we also encountered a fox that tried to swipe my netbook). By the time we hiked from the bottom of the waterfall to the top (620 feet vertically), the kids were exhausted. While my kids rested, drank water, and ate bugs, I took the opportunity to play with the netbook. Below are my initial thoughts on the HP Mini 110-1036NR.

HP Mini 110-1036NR netbook

The HP Mini 110-1036NR is a netbook (Internet notebook), which is essentially a teeny weeny laptop designed primarily for wireless communication and access to the Internet. With a netbook, size is more important than bells and whistles. The HP Mini, as expected, is light (less than three pounds) and small (smaller than my kids’ Barbie and Spiderman laptops). It measures about 10″ (L) by 7″ (D) and is about 1″ in height. The screen is only 10.1″ (1024 x 576 resolution). HP could have made the screen bigger, but then the mini-notebook would also be bigger and people don’t want to lug around a suitcase like they did in the dark ages (back then, a portable computer was the size of a chubby tween).

The HP Mini 110-1036NR, like all netbooks, is not a high end computer. It is loaded with Windows XP Home Edition instead of the more resource intensive Microsoft Vista operating system. The Mini does not include a CD or DVD drive (you will have to install software from the Internet, a network drive, or an optional external drive). The built-in speakers are so-so (no bass) and it’s hard to hear the audio when you’re near a waterfall (yeah I know, only a geek would want to listen to music instead of simply enjoying the waterfall). The audio in/out jack is shared (might be a problem for people who use Skype with a non-USB headset). The hard drive on the HP Mini is only 160GB and the pc supports a maximum of 1 gig of memory. [Side note: are there any geek dads and moms out there who remember the era of MS DOS? Back in the old days, you had to walk ten miles in the snow to buy a pc that only had a 40MB hard drive and 1 meg of RAM (for you non-geeks out there, that’s about a thousand times smaller than the memory of the HP Mini).]

The HP netbook comes with a nearly full size keyboard (92% of standard size) and a touch pad with a built-in scroll bar (how did we live without a scroll wheel in the old days?). I found the touch pad easier to use than other laptops I’ve tested. Unlike most laptops, the mouse buttons on the Mini are located to the left and right of the touch pad instead of below it. Obviously, HP designed it this way to reduce the size of the netbook. For me, it would have been more convenient if both buttons were located next to the scroll bar. That would make it easier for right handed people to scroll and click (sorry lefties).

The HP Mini 110-1036NR features a 6-Cell Lithium-Ion battery (lasted about six hours in my test run), wireless networking (did you know Wi-Fi hotspots don’t exist in the wilderness?), and a built-in webcam. I wasn’t able to use the webcam out in the wild because I couldn’t find a link to it on the netbook. I did find the webcam link when I got home (located in the My Computer folder). It would be more helpful if users could launch the webcam from the Start menu or the desktop screen. Below are some photos taken with the webcam:

HP Mini 110-1036NR laptop webcamHP Mini 110-1036NR netbook webcamHP Mini 110-1036NR notebook webcam

The Mini comes with Microsoft Works 9.0, Syncables, Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Edition (60 day trial), and Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 (60 day trial). The list price of the HP Mini 110-1036NR is $370 and it comes with a one year warranty.

After using the HP Mini 110-1036NR for several days, I think the Mini would make an excellent notebook for people who are looking for an extremely small laptop. Even though the netbook doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a high-end pc, it has more than enough power for most bloggers, moms, dads, and students. However, the netbook won’t suit everyone’s needs. For instance, the netbook probably won’t work as the primary computer for hard core gamers or graphics artists. For power users, the HP Mini would make a good campion pc for their main system — especially with the included Syncables software for syncing files across multiple computers.

HP Mini 110-1036NR Specs

  • Intel Atom Processor N270
  • Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 3
  • 10.1″ Diagonal SD LED Anti-glare Widescreen Display (1024 x 576)
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 (shared) with up to 128MB total available graphics memory
  • 1024MB DDR2 System Memory (1 Dimm)
  • 160GB (5400RPM) Hard Drive (SATA)
  • HP Webcam
  • 802.11b/g WLAN
  • 6-Cell Lithium-Ion battery
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21 thoughts on “HP Mini 110-1036NR Review

  1. My daughter keeps thinking she wants/needs her own “mini” laptop. I’m not so sure, but it’s nice to know some of the options. My hubby took the plunge last week and got his long awaited Macbook. He’s on cloud 10. Every day he pulls me up to show me something else!

    Hugs,
    Holly
    .-= Holly Schwendiman´s last blog ..Thermal Fun =-.

  2. What is that little scroll bar thing that pops up on the screen every once in a while…It doesn’t hang long enough for me to grab it. AND, where is the dang microphone?

  3. Hello! I’m from Brasil and I found your review on a Google search. I would like to ask your opinion about netbooks. What is the best choice between so many options avaiable? I’ll probably use it for internet surfing, word, powerpoint presentations and playing some videos (can netbooks run videos at a 720p resolution?) Looking forward at your answers! Sorry for the confused english! Thanks!

    1. I like as big a screen as possible for my netbook. So I wouldn’t go lower than 10 inches. The Mini doesn’t support it, but wireless-n would be nice. I also wouldn’t go with less than 1G of memory. The hard drive isn’t as important to me since most of my apps will be installed on my main computer. Battery life is important. The Mini ran for about six hours (including the time when the pc powered down because I wasn’t doing anything). I don’t remember if the Mini supported videos at 720p.

  4. hi, i just purchased one of these hp mini 1036nr. I was wondering if there was any possible way to upgrade the ram from 1gig o 2 gigs? thanks and very pretty pictures of the kids

  5. My HP mini is about 2 weeks old.I have used it only to surf the net- no downloads. Yet everytime I leave it and go- even for a minute-it hangs.Cntrl alt del doesn’t work.I need to switch it off completely.Could you help me understand why this happens?

    1. It sounds like the Mini is in sleep mode. If you can’t wake it via the keyboard, try using the power switch. You shloud also try contacting Tech Support in case there’s something wrong with it.

  6. Hi, I recently purchased a HP mini and I have been having some difficulty finding the webcam. I know you said in the My Computer folder but I just can’t seem to find it. So if you could please email me the directions you use to get to it, it would be very muchly appreciated. My email is joshv_19@hotmail.com. Thankyou

      1. Hi I was also looking for the webcam in the computer folder, and I also looked in the scanners and cameras thing. But I can’t seem to find the webcam. I would very much appreciate it if you relply to this!
        Thank You!

        1. It sounds like HP moved the link to another location. My netbook is almost three years old so I have no idea where it is on newer systems. Sorry. Have you tried contacting HP?

  7. HI-I am looking into a netbook for documents, internet and chat. I noticed that in the comments you say that the hp mini has a webcam but no microphone? how is that possible to have a webcam that does not have microphone in it?
    Thanks

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