The new HP Mini 5103 is an update to the previous 5102 netbook, adding the newest dual-core Intel Atom N455 to the spec-sheet. This 10.1-inch netbook can be configured with an optional multi-touch display and has a starting price of $399.99. Check out our review to see our verdict on this small system.
Our HP Mini 5103 has the following specifications:
The HP Mini 5103 has a very business-like appearance with a squared-off chassis and rugged-looking brushed metal finish. The design hasn't changed much over the years, first seen with the Mini 5101 and the 5102 earlier this year. The appearance is almost as if the small and medium-business ProBook 4520s was hit with a shrinkray and this was the result. The brushed metal finish holds up well to daily abuse, but it seemed to attract a few fingerprints without much effort. The inside has a rubbery dark paint covering the palmrest with a glossy black touchpad recessed slightly below the surface. On top of the keyboard HP throws in two quick-launch buttons to launch an internet browser and default email client ... probably the two most used applications on a business notebook.
Screen and Speakers
The HP Mini 5103 offers an optional multitouch display with a WXGA resolution. For average day to day usage the screen is great for browsing the internet or writing documents without excessive scrolling. For accurate finger-input the smaller details can be troublesome, but with practice it gets easier to hit the smaller icons. The screen has a matte finish which is great when it comes to reducing screen glare. The added layer for the touch-sensitive screen didn't seem to add that much haze, keeping images and text crisp and clear. We measured peak brightness at 225nit and the contrast level at the center of the screen as 151:1, which is about average in terms of netbook or notebook displays.
Viewing angles were above-average with colors starting to invert with the screen tilted forward or back 25-30 degrees. Horizontal viewing angles were better, staying visible to about 80 degrees before glare off the screen prevented you from viewing what was being displayed.
The multitouch display was responsive in our testing, but the small screen size combined with the higher resolution display did present some problems with the user interface. Aiming for small buttons, especially when located near the corners resulted in many tries before you could close a window or hit the back button in a web browser. With scaling increased some of this could be elevated, but then you take away any benefits of even having the higher resolution panel to increase screen real-estate.
The stereo speakers are front-firing, located on the front edge of the palmrest. Compared to other netbooks the speakers rank about average, with moderate volume levels, but weak bass and midrange. For listening to streaming video or audio, or using Skype they should suffice, but headphones would be a good idea.
The keyboard on the Mini 5103 is easy to type on with its Chiclet-style design. Spacing between keys was wide enough to help reduce mistakes while typing, and the design was very comfortable to type on for hours at a time. The slightly-smaller than full-size design did take some adjustment to get used to, since some of the outer perimeter keys are condensed compared to keys around the center of the keyboard. The tab, `, and 1 buttons were smaller than average to help make room for other keys. Typing pressure needed to activate each key was minimal, with each key only needing a soft touch to engage. Key noise was minimal, allowing me to type without annoying others in meetings or coffee shops.
Ports and Features
The HP Mini 5103 had a rather standard port layout, including three USB 2.0 ports, VGA-out, headphone and microphone jacks, LAN, and a SDHC-card slot. The system also featured a handy wireless on/off switch to quickly disable any radios.
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