Notebookcheck

Review HP Mini 210-1021EG Netbook

by Sebastian Jentsch 04/13/2010

Pretty boy.

It is not the first Pinetrail netbook, but a particularly pretty one. The 10 inch netbook brings top-notch looks and a long battery life together. You will learn in the full review whether the Bordeaux-red Mini puts us in the Champagne mood .

HP Mini 210-1021EG Netbook
HP Mini 210-1021EG Netbook

If Hewlett Packard does not use Compaq in a notebook's name, the customers can expect HP quality. We take a detailed look at the 10.1 inch Mini 210-1021eg, which belongs to the 210-1000 mini series. Inside it houses Intel's Pinetrail platform. That is, the latest netbook technology and typically the lowest performance level. But, the fast hard drive leads to a couple of extra points in the application performance on the one hand, though it also brings about some disadvantages on the other.

Case

Handy and portable
Handy and portable
Removable base cover
Removable base cover
Free mini PCI Express slot
Free mini PCI Express slot

HP sells its 210 mini also in black. Boring - we said, and ordered the red variation of the 10.1 incher. The manufacturer joins the current trend of matte surfaces, and and we particularly interested whether they are resistant to greasy fingers. The optics of the slightly shimmering metallic paint makes an excellent impression. You will like the matte surfaces which feel nice to the touch. Fingerprints are not very visible and can be wiped off easily.

The case of the Mini 210 is only partly stable. If we hold the base unit with both hands, we can deflect the base unit without using much force. Without battery, this is just easier. The torsional stiffness of the lid is better. A plastic plate in front of the display ensures a good stiffness of the lid. But, this does not apply lid, which is not very pressure resistant. The stability of the underside is acceptable, although it too partly gives.

The hinges are firm and keep the lid tightly in place. However, their connection seems a bit spongy. Applying pressure on them lets the case give in. Users only need one hand to open the lid but the maximum opening angle is just enough for working in the car or on the train.

At the first glance, you could think that the Mini is hard to maintain. Indeed, there is not a single screw on its underside. Two orange levers beneath the battery release allow to release the bottom and lift it. Once done, upgraders will be pleased: HDD, RAM (1 slot) and wireless module (Mini PCI Express) are accessible. In addition they also find a full sized and unoccupied Mini PCI Express slot. Resourceful netbook upgraders could insert a Broadcom Crystal HD chip there, which supports the weak Atom N450 during HD video decoding.

Connectivity

Card reader - even for xD
Card reader - even for xD
Ethernet RJ45 rear flap
Ethernet RJ45 rear flap

You can't compare the netbook's connectivity to a multimedia notebook. On the right side, adjacent two USB ports, we find the RJ45 for the network cable. The same side also offers a card reader, which can also handle xD cards, near the front. The USB ports do not have a charging function if the netbook is inactive (Sleep & charge). Those who fear theft, can connect their 210 Mini per Kensington cable.

The left side of the case houses a VGA port and a USB port. The power connector is rather inconspicuous and has a small disadvantage. The straight connector sticks outwards, which does at least not look too good. The port alignment is generally good. There are no ports rearsides, but this is not necessary for a netbook.

Unfortunately the manufacturer has a lot of trial software installed. Therefore, users must first get rid of Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 - or buy it. HP CloudDrive and Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 are also available only in test versions. We don’t want to hold a grudge against the manufacturer that the reasonable price of the netbook is partly refinanced by the installation of such bloatware. Therefore, we rather mention the full version of CyberLink DVD Suite Essentials, which can be used to play DVDs or movies from the HDD, but also for data backups with an external USB-DVD drive.

Front Side: No Ports
Front Page: No Ports
Left side: power, VGA, USB, headphone mic combination
Left side: power, VGA, USB, headphone mic combination
Rear: No Ports
Rear: No Ports
Right Side: CardReader, 2 x USB, RJ45
Right Side: CardReader, 2 x USB, RJ45

Input Devices

Keyboard

Stroke and feedback of the keys are clear and the stop alright. The whole input area is firm and rigid. The keys have a big distance from each other and are relatively handy, therefore we could type accurately. The neat layout with big Enter and Shift keys, and the clearly perceptible marks on F and J ease touch typing. Compared to other netbooks the cursor keys are tiny, which is a clear disadvantage in our opinion. While the size of the left and right keys is still acceptable, the up and down keys are very small and difficult to use with large hands. In short: Those you type a lot, will like the typing comfort of the keyboard.

Touchpad

The navigation area of the Synaptics ClickPad V7.4 is huge, as the whole sunk area including the optically marked buttons is touch-sensitive. It works precise, but the surface a bit too slippery too our opinion.

The buttons have a short stroke and click quietly. In use, the mouse pointer sometimes jumps, if one finger moves and another holds the mouse button clicked. It seems that the click is interpreted as a movement too. However this problem is not crucial. Many options allow to personalize the mouse settings. Sensitivity, speed, and the width/activity of the scroll bars can be modified. In addition multi-touch-gestures are supported.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Arrow Keys
Arrow Keys
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

FramelessTFT
FramelessTFT

The native resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels of the 10.1-inch display (WSVGA) is  netbook standard. The most striking feature of the display is the frameless design. A pane of plastic is placed homogeneously on the entire front of the cover. This brings about good stability, protects the underlying sensitive display panel and looks fashionable. The display is therefore resistant to light pressure. But, it also has disadvantage, as we will see soon.

160
cd/m²
154
cd/m²
149
cd/m²
166
cd/m²
163
cd/m²
152
cd/m²
171
cd/m²
162
cd/m²
159
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 171 cd/m²
Average: 159.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 163 cd/m²
Black: 0.91 cd/m²
Contrast: 179:1

The brightness of the TFTs is reasonable for indoor use but compared to the mass of the tested notebooks turns out as bad. On average, we measure only 159.6 cd/m² and the calculated illumination (87%) is quite even. The brightest area is just 171 candela bright. Good netbook-TFT displays, which can be used under sunlight, have 230 to 250 cd / m² on average. The battery life benefits from the low brightness, as we shall see later.

Outdoors
Outdoors

The long battery life and the nice look invite to work on the patio. However, checking your e-mails while drinking a coffee outside is not a pleasure. Reflections and low brightness are annoying. The plastic plate in front of the TFT makes it even worse. Especially the reflections might let you wish the display brightness exceeds 250 cd/m². But, the way it is, use in the sun is no fun.

The viewing angles of the Mini 210-1021EG are relatively narrow, just alike on most netbook displays. Wide viewing angles are an advantage when several people look at the display or the user looks at it from a certain distance. The viewing angles of the HP Mini 210 are horizontally about 45 degrees which is acceptable. If the ambient light is not too bright (indoors), the display remains legible and font and colours distorts only slightly. However, the already poor brightness falls even further at about 25 degrees.

Viewing angle HP Mini 210-1021EG
Viewing angle HP Mini 210-1021EG

Performance

The 10.1-inch Netbook HP Mini 210 is based on the Intel Atom N450 processor (1.66GHz) with integrated GMA 3150 graphics. The in the CPU based graphics core (IGP) has no own memory. The processor has a small L2 cache of 512 KB. The Front-side bus is 667 MHz. The complete package is known as Intel's Pinetrail platform and used in netbooks of all brands.

Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology (HT) provides a second, virtual core for the applications. The Atom N270/N280 CPUs already used this technology. So, the weak single core CPU can handle a Multi-tasking OS.  Windows 7 Starter, the version with lowest hardware requirements, was pre-installed. It does not use the Aero effects for example. The CPU is assisted by 1024 MB DDR2-RAM and a 250 GB hard disk drive from Seagate (7200 rpm).

 

The graphic performance of the Intel IGP is basically non-existent. The GMA3150, which supports DirectX9, is integrated in the processor and provides as little 3D performance for games as a GMA 950 or a GMA500. It achieved 147 points in the 3DMark2006 test. Current entry-level gaming notebooks with dedicated GPUs can accomplish 5000 to 6500 points without any problems. Depending on the CPU, even Nvidia ION reaches about 1400 points in the 3DMarks06 benchmark.

System info CPUZ CPU
System info CPUZ Cache
System info CPUZ Mainboard
System info CPUZ RAM
System info CPUZ RAM SPD
System info GPUZ
System info HDTune
DPC Latenceis
System information HP Mini 210-1021EG

Those who like to watch movies will not be always happy with the Mini 210. Even 720p encoded videos (H.264 Codec), which would look good on the 1024 x 600 pixel display are stuttering most of the time. The weak Atom N450 is often overburdened with the decoding, because the system lacks a dedicated GPU that could help. Other manufacturers have already found a solution for the HD problem. For example, they add a Broadcom Crystal HD (H.264 decoder)  chip to the Pinetrail platform. With this additional chip also 1080p videos are playable, even on battery. In case you like to install such, the mini 210, offers free Mini PCI Express slot (full sized) on the bottom.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
560
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
839
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
284
Help
2.4
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
2.4
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
4.5
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
3.1
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
3
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9

Our classic processor-benchmarks prove poor performance of the the Intel Atom N450 with 1.66 GHz. WPrime did its 1.024m test in 3724 seconds (62:00 minutes). For comparison, a recent entry-level processor from Intel, the i3-330M Core (2.16GHz), needed only 750 seconds (12:30 minutes).

The perceived application performance on Windows 7 Starter is in this sense clearly visible. Folders, files, or new programs will only open after a small delay. These get even more apparent if we run a couple programs simultaneously. Running the Media Player and having five tabs open in the browser is possible, but will lead to significant delays.

Whether the potential buyer will get used to the low performance, depends on his demands. The netbook is designed for mobile internet and e-mails. For sure the HP Mini 210 is not a notebook replacement.

3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE2758 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
147 points
Help
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 ST9250410AS
Transfer Rate Minimum: 49 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 107.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 81.3 MB/s
Access Time: 15.8 ms
Burst Rate: 72.9 MB/s
CPU Usage: 7.2 %

The fast 7200 rpm hard drive by Seagate (ST9250410AS) 250 GB gross capacity makes itself known as a real performer of the system. The HDD achieves a read rate ofs81.3 MB/s in sequential Read Data and an unsually high throughput. This is about the level of 2.5-inch notebook HDDs. Fast 5400 RPM 2.5-inch HDDs typically used in laptops have a throughput of around 65 MByte/s.

The HDD is constantly noticeable by its background noise. Because of the high rotation speed of 7200 rpm it might come to a slight roar of the tablet.  We already experienced this effect in the HP ProBook 6540b. This noise can be eliminated by using soft cushion.

Emissions

Louver
Louver

System noise

We can keep this part short. However, not because the Mini 210 is especially good here. But, it knows only one constant noise level: 33 dB(A), which was measured in 15 cm distance.

Although we can always hear the Hitachi hard drive rustle, the 33 dB are caused by the fan, which has no speed control. So, regardless of the load, the noise stays constant. Competitors like the Samsung N220 or Dell's fanless Mini 1012 do much better. So, why is the fan always loud in this case? It is connected with the aluminium heat pipe of the processor and thus cools down the metal. It is not just a case fan, which can be safely disabled.

The gentle clacking of the HDD can only be heard with the ears close to the case.

Noise Level

Idle 33 / 33 / 33.2 dB(A)
HDD 33.6 dB(A)
Load 33.2 / 33.2 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Despite the fan, the chassis warms significantly up under load. We record 38.1 degrees Celsius (base unit) and 33.5 degrees Celsius (touchpad). These are not dangerously high, but, perceptible. During a processor stress test, the work areas reached an average of 30 degrees Celsius.

The waste heat stays in a very pleasant range during normal usage with many idle periods. We measured a maximum temperature of 33.7 degrees Celsius (bottom).

Max. Load
 30.9 °C28.8 °C28.1 °C 
 31.6 °C32.1 °C29.3 °C 
 32.2 °C33.5 °C29.8 °C 
Maximum: 33.5 °C
Average: 30.7 °C
31.3 °C32.9 °C37.3 °C
31.5 °C34.2 °C38.1 °C
29.2 °C34.5 °C33.8 °C
Maximum: 38.1 °C
Average: 33.6 °C
Power Supply (max.)  40.2 °C | Room Temperature 20.6 °C

Speakers

The small stereo loudspeakers of the Mini 210 are located under the wrist rests and sound against the table. The treble is too dominant and not suitable for long-term music listening. At high volume the sound doesn't crackle. Nevertheless, we would recommend headphones to demanding users.

The 3.5 mm sound outlet provides clear, i.e., noise-free and loud sound level. Those who want to listen to music, should definitely use external speakers or headphones.

Battery Life

Even in the netbook class the HP Mini 210 netbook can impress with its long battery life. With maximum energy saving options enabled our test device achieves above 10 hours. During those 621 minutes the PC was run with deactivated wireless modules and dimmed down display. But, this value is not realistic. Who would like to sit in front of a relatively dark computer for 10 hours doing nothing?

 

The actual battery life can be roughly estimated in our WLAN test, during which we browse the Internet via Wi-Fi-Hotspot. It took 6:24 hours (384 minutes) to completely empty the battery. The brightness of the display was chosen quite high (about 150 cd/m²). Our battery life tests usually also include watching a DVD. As the Mini 210 does not have a built-in optical drive, we used a USB DVD drive. The DVD test ended after about 8 hours (471 minutes).

The minimum battery life can be achieved by putting the processor under constant load and through adjusting the brightness to maximum. We recorded 5:10 hours (310 minutes). Such a long battery life is possible by using a strong 62 Wh Lithium-Ion battery. Compared to the battery life, it is very quickly charged. The charging electronics of the 10.1-inch netbook requires 2:50 hours.

Readers test including charging
Readers test including charging
DVD Test
DVD Test
WLAN Test
WLAN Test
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 21min
WiFi Surfing
6h 24min
DVD
7h 51min
Load (maximum brightness)
5h 10min

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.5 / 0.4 Watt
Idle 7.4 / 10.2 / 11.3 Watt
Load 13.2 / 15.1 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

The HP Mini 210 is characterized by low power consumption. For a netbook the measured values are not exceptionally low. 7 to 11 watts in Idle are Netbook average. With HDD and CPU load, the energy requirement reach 15.1 watts.  Charging requires 44 watts. Together, this gives a maximum of 69 Watt and the 40 watt power supply is overloaded in theory. No wonder, it can get quite warm (stress test: 40.2 degrees). In standby and turned off the power consumption is low: Our multi-meter measures 0.4 watts (standby) and 0.5 watts (switched off).

 

Verdict

HP Mini 210-1021EG in red
HP Mini 210-1021EG in red

The Mini 210 is a 10.1 incher with nice haptics and scores points by a good workmanship. An Atom N450 is built-in and, so, the CPU-performance is accordingly. But, a 7200 rpm hard drive is a surprise and pushes the total  application performance a little. Nevertheless, the Mini 210 can not compete with a notebook.

The Mini 210 belongs to the top in terms of actual battery life. During the WLAN test we recored 6:24 hours. Because of the clearly structured keyboard and  good minimum battery life, the netbook would give a perfect companion on-the-move. That is, if it was not equipped with a heavily reflecting display, which spoils the joy of working or having a bit of entertainment in the park or in the café.

The HP Mini 210 is ideal for internet surfing, chatting and e-mails. True fan's of mobility should better opt for a netbook with brighter and matte display.

HP Mini 210-1021EG - gute Laufzeiten aber schlechte Sicht in der Sonne
HP Mini 210-1021EG - gute Laufzeiten aber schlechte Sicht in der Sonne
In Review HP Mini 210-1021EG
In Review HP Mini 210-1021EG

Specifications

HP Mini 210-1021EG

:: Processor
Intel Atom N450 1.66 GHz
:: Mainboard
Intel NM10
:: Memory
1024 MB, PC2-6400 DDR2
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
10.1 inch 16:9, 1024x600 pixel, Framless Design, AUOB101AW03 V1, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 ST9250410AS, 250 GB 7200 rpm Seagate Momentus 7200 rpm
:: Soundcard
Intel 82801GBM ICH7-M - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
3 USB 2.0, 1 VGA, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combine mic-headphones, Card Reader: SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro/xD,
:: Networking
Broadcom 440x (10/100MBit), Broadcom 802.11a/b/g/n (a b g n )
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.9 x 268 x 178
:: Weight
1.322 kg Power Supply: 0.281 kg
:: Battery
62 Wh Lithium-Ion, 11.1V HSTNN-UB0O
:: Price
299 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Starter 32 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 1.3MP, 12 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The HP Mini 210-1021EG is a classic netbook
The HP Mini 210-1021EG is a classic netbook
It has a capacity of 63 Wh
It has a capacity of 63 Wh
The Mini's battery life is 6 to 10 hours.
The Mini's battery life is 6 to 10 hours.
Under the battery there is
Under the battery there is
a lock of the base cover.
a lock of the base cover.
Removing it leads to a hole above the keyboard.
Removing it leads to a hole above the keyboard.
Nice lighting effects are very attractive (the power-on switch)
Nice lighting effects are very attractive (the power-on switch)
WLAN and Mute switch
WLAN and Mute switch
Despite the long battery life there is a problem when you are outdoors.
Despite the long battery life there is a problem when you are outdoors.
The display is highly reflective
The display is highly reflective
and spoils the fun in the sun.
and spoils the fun in the sun.
The small power supply needed nearly three hours to charge the battery.
The small power supply needed nearly three hours to charge the battery.
The power plug is a bit bulky.
The power plug is a bit bulky.
The battery projects much case and has its own feet.
The battery projects much case and has its own feet.
but keeps the lid tightly in place.
but keeps the lid tightly in place.
without much else.
without much else.
The matte finish looks attractive.
The matte finish looks attractive.
The work area is also matte.
The work area is also matte.
Only the display reflects
Only the display reflects
Lid and bottom
Lid and bottom
have a metallic finish.
have a metallic finish.
The case is not very stable but sufficiently.
The case is not very stable but sufficiently.
It can be opened that far for use on the lap
It can be opened that far for use on the lap
A webcam is also on board as well as
A webcam is also on board as well as
Stereo speakers (behind those grilles).
Stereo speakers (behind those grilles).
On the bottom there are no screws, only a few feet.
On the bottom there are no screws, only a few feet.
The hinge springs slightly,
The hinge springs slightly,
The power supply provides 40 watts. But, Charging the battery requires 44 watts.
The power supply provides 40 watts. But, Charging the battery requires 44 watts.

Devices with the same GPU and/or Screen Size

» Review Asus Eee PC R051PX Netbook
Atom N570, 1.198 kg
» Review Asus Eee PC 1015PX Netbook
Atom N570, 1.178 kg
» Review Toshiba NB520-108 Netbook
Atom N550, 1.278 kg

Similar laptops

Links

Preisvergleich

Pro

+Best battery life
+Good keyboard
+Fast 7200 RPM hard drive
+Low weight
+Low temperature emissions
 

Cons

-Twistable base unit
-High-gloss TFT
-Inaccurate Touchpad
-Always active fan

Shortcut

What we liked

It's fully upgradeable. Even a Mini PCI Express (full sized) is available.

What we missed

An Atom netbook without constantly active fan. The competition shows how to do it.

What amazed us

The inside is well hidden under an easily removable base.

The competition

The N220 from Samsung with significantly better brightness on a matte display.The Asus 1008P Karim Rashid with even more extravagance. And the Asus 1005PE with significantly more luminance (new BIOS!).

HP Mini 210-1021EG
04/12/2010
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
85%
Keyboard
88%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
70%
Weight
92%
Battery
100%
Display
73%
Games Performance
30%
Application Performance
65%
Temperature
89%
Noise
85%
Add Points
94%
Average
79%
86%
Netbook *
Weighted Average

Rating

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review HP Mini 210-1021EG Netbook
Author: Sebastian Jentsch, 2010-04-22 (Update: 2013-06- 6)