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HP Compaq Mini 110c - 10.1in Netbook - HP Compaq Mini 110c
On the hardware side of things the 110c is about as ordinary as they come. Naturally there's a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive - this much you should know already. You also get 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a webcam.
The same goes for connectivity, too, though this model does share the Mini 700's lack of a second audio jack, with just one port serving both headphones and microphones. Aside from this, it's the usual trio of USB ports, a VGA output, multi-format card reader and Ethernet port.
It would have been nice if some of the benefits found on the recent Toshiba NB200 were here, like the sleep and charge USB ports, but the HP costs less than even the basic NB200, which goes some way to appeasing the disappointment.
Indeed, of all things, the 110c's strength lies in its price. While most manufacturers seem intent on pushing all new netbooks above the £300 mark, prices for the 110c start at £249 for the three-cell battery version, rising to a reasonable £279 for the six-cell version. Of course, as we've counselled many times before, we'd definitely recommend the six-cell version for its better battery life, especially given the meagre results provided by the three-cell one we have.
In our testing we managed just less than two and a half hours of video playback, which is fine if you're using a netbook when commuting, but isn't going to cut it elsewhere. Since the six-cell 110c doubles the capacity from the 28 Watt-hours of our unit, the extra £30 seems pretty trivial considering the benefits it will bring.
On the audio visual side of things, the 110c is much like most netbooks. While bright and sharp, the display is merely passable where colour production is concerned, while the speakers barely pass muster. As such, a good set of headphones is a must.
Finally, it's worth noting that Windows XP is the operating system of choice, as has been the case with netbooks for a while now. It's a shame, however, that HP doesn't offer its Mobile Internet Experience (MIE) Linux shell as an option in the UK. Of course, you could install this yourself, but it does mean you're paying for a Windows license you might not want.
HP has produced a good netbook in the Compaq Mini 110c, but not a great deal more than that. While its keyboard is among the best around and it's reasonably priced, it doesn't offer anything a dozen other netbooks don't and there are alternatives that offer better battery life for similar money.
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