HP Mini 5102 – HP’s ProBook in a Netbook

HP’s ProBook laptops are all going for a flat, ultra-thin boxy look and feel which is both stylish as well as functional. The HP Mini 5102 looks just like a HP ProBook laptop complete with a flat-brushed black gun-metal cover with rounded corners. The only difference is its size with its 10.1-inch LED back-lit screen and ultra-portable chassis. Lifting up the cover reveals a very nice corporate black bezel with glossy surface finish. HP have also somehow transported its raised-island or chiclet style keyboard into the HP Mini 5102 which is both comfortable to use and very accurate. The track-pad is simple and standard though with no multi-gesture support. Build-quality is quite solid with very little flex thanks to the metal chassis but it feels heavier than the netbook’s actual 2.64 pounds.

Featuring an Intel Atom N450 processor and 1GB of DDR2 memory the HP Mini 5102 offers the same performance as most netbooks. A 7200RPM 160GB hard disk drive and 10.1-inch LED back-lit screen round-up the other components. The netbook offers an Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics solution while the 10.1-inch screen delivers 1024 x 600 pixel resolutions. The netbook connects via 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi and also supports Bluetooth 2.1. It offers a choice between a 4-cell battery which keeps the netbook slim and trim and a 6-cell battery which juts out a little at the back. Other connections include three USB 2.0 ports, one VGA port, one Ethernet LAN port and a multi card reader.

Performance for the HP Mini 5102 is to be expected of an Intel Atom N450 powered netbook as it can handle most office applications, write emails and surf the Internet. You can playback movies and music quite well but it cannot handle anything more than 480p HD movies. Audio quality on the integrated speakers is tinny at best so get a pair of headphones to go with the netbook and you should be fine. When using the 6-cell battery the netbook gets an awesome eight hours and 50 minutes on a single charge, offering a full working day’s worth of performance.

HP has included a number of nice extra features for the HP Mini 5102 including an external battery meter. While it isn’t as accurate as the software based meter, it does show if you need to charge the netbook even when the netbook hasn’t been turned on, saving you time to wait for the operating system to load. HP has also made upgrading the netbook’s RAM a whole lot easier. Rather than unscrew the memory panel, a second press on the battery’s removal switch pops open the panel for easy access.

Overall, the HP Mini 5102 is an awesome looking netbook which offers standard performance, awesome battery life and a number of useful features like an external battery meter and easy access to the memory panel. These features make it ideal for the busy executive on the move who needs something that looks good, handles well and lasts a long time unplugged.