The Redeye Complex

Thursday, June 12, 2008
This note's no good?

I've been keeping my eye on the new mini laptop form factors making their way onto the market. Saw a ASUS Eeeeeeeeee at Staples the other day. I can handle the small screen and tiny keys. Didn't seem to be put together that well however. The point clicker was sticking.

HP has some new mini laptops, called the Mini-Note. Like the Asus these new HPs look alright on paper. Get your hands on it however like Rob Pegoraro of the Washington Post did and you are left wondering if these things are ready for market.
Hewlett Packard's $499-and-up 2133 Mini-Note comes from the same basic template as the Eee but falls woefully short in some aspects.

That's a shame, considering the details HP got right with the Mini-Note. Its screen, at 8.9 inches, leaves enough room to read any Web page without scrolling from left to right, and its tightly packed keyboard permits touch-typing, unlike the Eee's dainty keys. (HP's cramped touchpad, however, deserves an F: With mouse buttons on its sides instead of in front of it, you can't drag things with the usual thumb-and-forefinger gesture.)
My standard test for a laptop is typing a note using Notepad ("the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog") and to play solitare. If I can do both comfortably then its okay. If the store has the device connected to the net, another test is to surf around to some favourite pages to see how the pages fit on the screen.


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