Mobility

Review: HP Mini 2140 Notebook PC

The HP Mini 2140 Notebook PC is designed for the user who needs a computer that is powerful enough to handle normal light productivity tasks but also needs that computer to be small and lightweight. Mark Kaelin explains where this design has some shortcomings.

The netbook category of portable personal computers continues to grow and evolve. Vendors continue to try to find that sweet spot between power, size, and weight. The HP Mini 2140 Notebook PC is Hewlett-Packard's attempt to find that balance. And while the Mini 2140 is a valiant attempt, it falls short in some key areas.

Specifications

  • CPU : Intel Atom N270 Processor
  • Chipset: Mobile Intel 945GSE Express
  • Graphics: Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
  • Display: 10.1-inch diagonal, 16:9 HP Illumi-Lite LED SD display with 1024 x 576 resolution
  • RAM: 2GB
  • WiFi: 802.11a, b, g, n draft, Bluetooth
  • Expansion Card Slots: ExpressCard/54 slot Supports ExpressCard/54 and ExpressCard/34 and Secure Digital slot Supports HCSD (Secure Digital), MMC (MultiMedia Card)
  • Storage: 160GB 5400 rpm SATA hard drive
  • Interface: VGA out, headphone and microphone jacks, 2 USB connections, and Ethernet RJ-45 port, VGA Webcam, touch pad, keyboard
  • Battery: 6 cell Li-On battery with a battery life of about 8 hours
  • Additional information

Who is it for?

The HP Mini 2140 Notebook PC is designed for the user who needs a computer that is powerful enough to handle normal light productivity tasks but also needs that computer to be small and lightweight.

What problem does it solve?

The HP Mini 2140 Notebook PC fits into the netbook category when the consideration is physical size, but with the Intel Atom processor standard, the Mini 2140 can still fulfill the needs of the business traveler.

Standout features

  • Keyboard: Of all the netbook PCs we have reviewed over the past few months, the HP Mini 2140 Notebook has the keyboard that most closely resembles a standard keyboard. The keys are large and well-spaced and keys like the Shift are where the pinky finger is likely to find it the first time.
  • WiFi: One of the ways netbooks can increase their value is though ease of connection. With both WiFi and Bluetooth, the HP Mini 2140 can more easily connect to the wider LAN and to peripherals like Bluetooth-enabled mice and printers.

What's wrong?

  • Screen resolution: Despite whatever positives can be said about the HP Mini 2140 Notebook PC, the odd and very short screen resolution of 1024 X 576 trumps them all. With the short 576 pixel length, the screen resolution cuts off Web pages in strange spots. This may be tolerable with the ability to scroll, but when you are dealing with Java applications or even worse Windows configuration screens, the resolution will cut off just above key response buttons. In other words, you often cannot click OK on a dialog screen, because that button is not visible and will never be visible on the 1024 X 576 resolution.
  • 6 Cell battery pack: An extra three cells is an important feature on any netbook. Those cells bump the battery life to eight hours between charges. Unfortunately, for the HP Mini 2140, Hewlett Packard went with a battery pack that sits at a perpendicular angle to rest of the netbook. This means that the HP 2140 always sits at tilted angle, back higher than the front, with the battery pack acting as raised legs. There are times when you want your notebook PC to lay flat, but that is not possible in this configuration.

Competition

Bottom line of business

The HP Mini 2140 Notebook PC is a capable netbook for the user who needs a powerful yet lightweight PC. However, with the smallest screen resolution we have seen in a netbook yet, the Mini 2140 doesn't measure up to many of the other netbooks we have reviewed recently. The odd, small screen resolution trumps any positives to found in the HP Mini 2140 and relegates it to a place behind the competition when it comes to best value.

User rating

Have you encountered or used an HP Mini 2140 Notebook PC? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of the HP Mini 2140 Notebook PC in the TechRepublic Community Forums.

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About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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