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HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook review

Andy Vandervell



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HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook
  • HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook
  • HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook
  • HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook
  • HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook
  • HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook
  • HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook
  • HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook
  • HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook
  • HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook
  • HP Compaq Mini 700 - 10.2in Netbook


Our Score:


There's an interesting sub-plot to the netbook craze that 99.9 per cent of consumers have no idea about. It all concerns market share and a battle between what we can now consider the big three of PC manufacturing: Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Acer. Acer, the challenger to HP and Dell's hegemony, has gone into netbooks in a big way, leading the market as a result. And, though Dell and HP have made a lot of noise, they actually hold a relatively small part of this market. This is partly deliberate, large manufacturers have been wary of cannibalising sales of more profitable mainstream notebooks, but with netbooks seemingly here to stay, both have started to treat the segment a little more seriously.

HP's answer, in the UK at least, is the HP Compaq Mini 700. Anyone familiar with HP 2133 Mini-Note PC will recognise its influence on the Mini 700, but while the former was inadvisedly targeted at business users, the Mini 700 is aimed squarely at the large swathes of netbook buying consumers - as evidenced by the use of Windows XP instead of impenetrable SUSE Linux Enterprise OS. This isn't to say that the familiar DNA isn't without relevance, though, with the Mini 700 inheriting the 2133's most redeeming feature: its excellent keyboard.

We'll get onto that a little later, but first a few words about the Mini 700's design. Indeed, it's worth more than a few words, because the Mini 700 is easily the most attractive netbook going these days. We love the subtle imprint pattern on the lid, the slim and elegantly tapered chassis, the "frameless" edge-to-edge display, the funky and innovative hinge section that houses the speakers and the classiness of the silver sliding switches on the front for power and wireless radios. It's all very simple, elegant and cohesive - words that get applied to HP products more and more these days.

Inside, though, the Mini 700 is as steadfastly unoriginal as any other netbook. Powering it all, if that's an apt statement, is a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 and though the likes of the new Asus Eee PC 1000HE and Acer Aspire One D150 boast the newer 1.66GHz N280, the difference is so small as makes no difference. For RAM there's the usual 1GB DDR2 module, while Wireless-G Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 also make the journey. Despite its name, the Mini 700 is based on the now prerequisite 10.2in display, but its 4,200rpm 60GB hard drive is somewhat sub-par given the £300 or so asking price.

This alone might put off the hardcore netbook buyer, but we dare say that many prospective netbook buyers have no real need for a 160GB hard drive in a machine meant for occasional use. As such it comes down to a case of priorities. If you do want to store every item of media you own, music, photos, high-definition video and more, then the Mini 700 probably isn't for you, If, however, if you intend to use your netbook as it is largely intended, as a secondary machine, then you'll probably be okay here.


March 6, 2009, 5:25 am

You know, on the right hand side of TR we have smart phones with WM on them. And on the left hand side we have netbooks with 3 cell batteries. When the hell will either of them learn?


March 6, 2009, 5:25 pm

I'm not quite sure what you meant when you said the trackpad buttons impeded typing but there is a button to switch them off directly above the pad if you found yourself pressing them accidently.

James Morris

March 6, 2009, 6:03 pm

@<A88> It's pretty clear in the video how the base of your thumb could easily press these accidentally when typing, which wouldn't have been a problem if the buttons were above the trackpad instead.

Andy Vandervell

March 6, 2009, 6:28 pm

@<A88>: It's a good point, you can indeed turn the touchpad off using the button, but I don't see why one should have to do that when typing. If one had to switch it off and on every time you can't to use the cursor, it would get pretty tedious.


March 6, 2009, 6:51 pm

Conversely, I didn't find my hands were anywhere near the touchpad when I typed on this machine so I found it a non-issue. Likewise the screen seemed no worse than any other glossy type. Then again, bar the battery life, I thought this was the best netbook we've seen so I suppose it's horses for courses.

Tim 8

April 7, 2009, 6:26 pm

I'm seriously tempted to get this Netbook, I've used it a couple of times and the thing I like most about it is the build quality and design. it is by about a million miles, the best looking netbook, agreed. However I disagree with you're opinion on the touchpad; 1. it is much better than the touchpad on the Aspire One, also with side mounted clicks which didn't stop that selling (I thought as a whole, the One was a horrible machine btw) 2. You seem to have completely missed the point, even forgetting to mention it in fact, I'm referring to the touchpad on/off switch of course. This is a great feature I don't think I've seen on any other netbooks and means that when you sit down with your mini notebook mouse, in a coffee shop or on a train, you can turn off the trackpad and avoid hitting it at all never mind a bit! Fair review otherwise, maybe a little harsh on the marks though, I mean does its design really not meet that of the Sammy NC10!?


May 5, 2009, 7:52 pm

Picked this up over the weekend and it's a marvel. I wouldn't say I have particularly fat fingers but I just couldn't adapt to writing on the NC10 (my first choice and still, in my opinion, a better netbook in terms of pure performance). It you're all about the typing then this is the netbook for you. I have no idea how the reviewer managed to click on the mousebuttons when typing by the way. Must have MASSIVE hands! :)

And you can turn off the mousepad with the little switch so, if this *is* an issue for you, you can correct it. Sure, the HDD is a tad small (60GB) but who puts that much stuff on a netbook these days? The whole concept is portability. If you need to store your music library on your netbook, you've got serious problems.

Definitely worth an 8/10 on the aesthetic alone (easily the most attractive netbook I've used)- I'd probably give it a 9/10 due to its ease of use. Knock a point off due to the HDD size and it would be nice if the lid opened a fraction more. Other than that - perfect.


March 27, 2013, 9:15 pm

I have this laptop for a while now and was wondering how to fix the audio as it does not work and didn't bother to bring it to the shop as it costs too much. What sites or suggestions should I use apart from fixing it in the shops.Thank you

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