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

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


Having teased you earlier, it's probably about time we talk about the one thing many people will be interested in: the keyboard. On the whole it has returned entirely unscathed. Its keys, which are 92 per cent full-size, are large and aren't tapered, so there's a large and flat surface area for you to hit. This helps reduce errors immeasurably and the basic layout is without peer. With the keyboard stretching right to the edges of the machine, there's plenty of space for a large Enter key as well as a huge and unimpeded right-Shift key, while the cursor keys are effectively tucked away so cause no harm.

However, though the layout remains blissfully unchanged, the keys aren't so. This isn't a great cause for concern, though, since they remain crisp and positive, even if they lack the truly solid feel of those found on the 2133. If HP has cut costs a little, it has done so sparingly enough to not affect things too badly, making this probably the easiest netbook type on.

More shared design can be seen in the touchpad, though in this instance the likeness is less desirable since it means the touchpad buttons sit either side of the touchpad itself. This does take a little getting used to, as it did on the 2133, but there's a larger issue here because we found the buttons impeded typing - particularly when sitting at a desk with your palms resting on the machine. This means you're better off hovering above the keyboard and while this is largely preferable when using a small machine such as this, we'd sooner see HP design its way around the issue.

As for the touchpad itself it has a smooth, soft-touch finish that feels very luxurious; though it does have a propensity to pick up grease from your fingers, creating an ugly looking smear mark at its centre. It's hardly a deal breaker, but if you're sensitive to such eyesores then it's worth bearing in mind.

Most of the above complaints are pretty trivial, but of more gravitas is the screen and its glossy finish. Fine, the frameless design is very attractive and it certainly gives the Mini 700 something other netbooks don't have, but it's arguably even more reflective than most other glossy displays. So much so, in fact, that in bright light it acts as a highly effective mirror. Great for picking spinach out of your teeth; not so helpful when trying to work or watch a video.

Married to this is a slight wateriness to the screen that we can only attribute to the glossy covering. It's bright enough when turned up all the way, but colours are lacking and black levels are very washed out too. Ultimately, while it's not dramatically worse than any other netbook display, we'd sooner see an anti-glare finish that's more compatible with the machine's mobile nature.


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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