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

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Another area where the Mini 700 splits from the norm among netbooks is its connectivity, though this is largely due to what it doesn't have than what it adds. You only get two USB ports, rather than the usual three, while the VGA port has been replaced with a proprietary output that requires a separately sold adapter.

There's also only a single audio port that doubles as both the microphone input and headphone output. Most of these concessions, it would appear, have been made to help maintain the machine's slim physique and while this probably won't bother many regular users, like the small hard drive, others are bound to disagree.

HP has also taken the common move of using a relatively low capacity three-cell, 26Watt-hour battery. It's unusually integrated, too, with the slim battery slice being housed directly underneath the machine, not at the back. Despite this HP does make and sell, in the US at least, a six-cell battery for the Mini 1000 (essentially the same machine), so you can upgrade, but we've yet to see any on sale in the UK.

As for the supplied three-cell battery, it produces predictably mediocre results. Playing back a video at 50 per cent brightness with all wireless radios turned off returned two and a half hours of use; a figure that's bound to decrease if browsing the Internet regularly. Of course, if you're not using the Internet, you could probably squeeze out three hours - enough for most train commutes - but with the six-cell battery equipped Samsung NC10 costing around the same it's hard to argue in favour of this HP.

This pretty much sums up the Mini 700's problem, really. While we'd dearly love to fall head over heels for it, the excellent design and class leading keyboard (as well as the excellent build quality) come at the cost of a few too many practicalities. It will serve less demanding users very well, but then so would other netbooks costing £50 or so less, while more fully featured and considered efforts like the Samsung NC10, or the Asus Eee PC 1000HE if you need the ultimate in battery life, make a more persuasive case above the £300 mark.

This doesn't make the HP Compaq Mini 700 a bad netbook, but you'll have to accept its limitations before you can enjoy its other enviable qualities.

Verdict

An attractive netbook with an outstanding keyboard, the HP Compaq Mini 700 is only let down by compromises that aren't present in similarly priced and better featured competitors. It is fine for casual use, but more demanding users will find it a little half-baked.

Ohmz

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?

public:tr:72a694d54fcfe2d41c3e

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.

Ed

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!?

Brodiesan

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.

edy

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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