Networking

Review: Verizon HP Mini 1151NR netbook with wireless 3G

If you not only need to be always connected, but also need computing power that is always connected, the Verizon HP Mini 1151NR netbook with wireless 3G built in may just be the device you are seeking.

When it comes to doing business, we are living in a connected and networked world. For many, continuous wireless connection is just another necessary tool of commerce. One way to always be connected is through access to a 3G broadband network. And if you not only need to be always connected, but also need computing power that is always connected, the Verizon HP Mini 1151NR netbook with wireless 3G built in may just be the device you are seeking.

Specifications

  • Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition
  • Display: 10.1" Flush Glass (1024 x 576)
  • Peripherals: Integrated Webcam VGA (640 x 480 x 30 fps), Combo SD / MMC Reader
  • Power: 3-cell Battery, 30 W AC Adapter
  • Connectivity: Mobile Broadband Built-In (EVDO Rev. A), Gobi-enabled, 802.11b/g, Ethernet, Bluetooth
  • Processor: Intel Atom N270, 1.6 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB of RAM
  • Storage: 80 GB Hard Drive
  • Dimensions: 10.3" (depth) x 6.6" (width) x 1" (height)
  • Weight: 2.4 lb
  • Price: $199 with 2-year plan (Verizon mobile broadband, $39.99/month under 250MB)
  • Additional information

Who is it for?

The Verizon HP Mini 1151NR netbook with wireless 3G built in is designed for any user who simply must be able to access the Internet or VPN to the office anytime and anywhere.

What problem does it solve?

The HP Mini with Verizon 3G wireless gives users choices when it comes to making wireless connections. With built-in WiFi, 3G, and Bluetooth, you should always be able to make a connection no matter where you are.

Standout features

  • Wireless: The Verizon connection software coupled with the radio chips from Broadcom mean that you can indeed stay connected to the Internet on a continuous basis.
  • Size: The HP Mini is light and small enough to carry with you just about anywhere.
  • Keyboard: By virtue of some positive design decisions, the HP Mini netbooks have nearly full-sized keyboards, which means typing is much more fluid than it is on many of the other netbooks we have reviewed.

What's wrong?

  • Connection speed: While it is true that the 3G network means that you can stay connected, and while it is equally true the 3G network is a broadband technology, it is stretching the truth to say that the 3G network is fast. When they can, users are going to opt for WiFi for a connection that is truly fast.
  • Battery life: One of the drawbacks to wireless technology is that having all those radios on (3G, WiFi, Bluetooth) drains the battery much faster than offline activity.
  • Screen size: A problem with all first generation netbooks is the small screen resolution. Soon manufacturers will produce netbooks with 1024 X 768 resolution screens and the usefulness of this form factor will increase 10 fold.
  • Heat: The heat generated by this version of the HP Mini is significant. Working with this device on your lap is out of the question without an additional barrier.
  • No business software: Ships with Microsoft Works instead of Microsoft Office.
  • Windows XP Home: At the very least the operating system should be Windows XP Professional.
  • Cost: The cost structure is very steep at $199 with a two year contract. Assuming you go with the basic package, after two-years, you will pay a total of $1039 for an HP Mini with 3G capability.

Bottom line for business

The bottom line when it comes to the Verizon HP Mini 1151NR netbook with wireless 3G built in is how much continuous connectivity is worth to you and your enterprise. You are going to pay a premium for all that access, so your reasoning and ROI better be sound. For most small businesses, the cost is going to be prohibitive, but for certain niche situation the 3G netbook may be the most economical solution.

User rating

Have you encountered the Verizon HP Mini 1151NR netbook with wireless 3G? If so, what do you think? Rate the unit and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review of the HP Mini 1151NR in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review above.

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

5 comments
telman999
telman999

I agree these are niche market items and the cost is high. I am in a job where connectivity is king. I can get text messages and other things via a smartphone but have you ever tried to manage a server that way. I am in telecommunications and if a server malfunctions I need to be able to bring up a backup system if L1 or L2 support can not fix it quickly. For me this is the perfect solution. I can vpn to my office and take control of a real desktop and get the job done from the beach which is the best way to work.

john3347
john3347

This machine is VERY expensive for what capabilities it has. Only 1 GB ram, "Home" operating system, no optical drive, no "business" capabilities, $40/mo for only 250 MB air time is E-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e !!!! --- as well as too limited for most business use. p.s. The author of this report wants 1024x768 screen resolution on a widescreen monitor???? On a 16/10 or 16/9 aspect ratio of all new monitors (including laptops) this resolution makes circles become ovals and 98 pound models become - well, much more than 98 pounds. What computers need first is a screen aspect ratio that is compatible with 1024x768 like we had when 1024x768 was standard (4x3 aspect ratio), then 1024x768 would be wonderful. This popular panoramic movie screen ratio on a computer monitor is not practical from a usability standpoint.

LarryD4
LarryD4

Mini's need one specific ability. IBM has this for one of its laptop models and it is a must have for me to buy one. Which is a screen that can swivel and it can become a tablet. I started using tablets about 4 years ago and like them alot. The only major draw back was the size of the item, which is roughtly 10x12.5. A mini size device that can become a tablet as quickly as it can become a Mini laptop, would be perfect.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

To me, a 3G netbook is a niche market - one I am not in. However, I can see how it might have a place. Do you have a 3G netbook? What do you use it for? Why notebook and not smartphone?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

I think we agree more than disagree - I don't think a netbook needs a widescreen display. I would prefer the older standard aspect ratio with a native resolution of 1024 X 768. That resolution should accommodate any Web page you may come across.

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