This 10-inch netbook features built-in Verizon 4G LTE wireless and is available exclusively from Verizon for $149.99 with a two-year contract. Our review looks at the netbook itself and the Verizon wireless network to help you find out if this is a good deal for your budget.
Build and Design
The Compaq Mini has an unassuming black plastic exterior. The anti-glare chassis is nice however the glossy screen lid gets fingerprinted up immediately and looks unclean. There's little to say about the design overall; it's utilitarian with no extras and similiar to the design of HP Mini line of netbooks.
The netbook feels relatively solid and is easy to carry around thanks to its weight of 3.1 lbs and small footprint. It should stand up to the rigors of everyday travel assuming it isn't tossed around; I highly recommend a protective sleeve or bag even though it's tempting to toss such a small laptop in a backpack or purse.
The Compaq Mini wasn't designed to be upgraded; there are no user-accessible panels on the bottom of the chassis. The battery is the only component that can be removed and replaced easily.
Ports and Features
This netbook includes a respectable number of ports including three USB 2.0 ports and a media card reader. It has a VGA port for connecting to projectors but lacks HDMI and DisplayPort. All picture descriptions are left to right.
Back: Battery pack
Left: AC power, VGA out, cooling exhaust vent, hard drive status light, USB 2.0 port, headphone/microphone combo jack
Right: media card reader, on/off switch, 2x USB 2.0 ports, Kensington lock slot
Keyboard and Touchpad
This netbook includes a 90% full-size keyboard. It’s excellent. It feels rock solid and has plenty of tactile feedback; this keyboard is better than all of those found on the new Ultrabook class computers we’ve tested (the ASUS Zenbook and the Toshiba Portege Z835). There is no backlighting. This keyboard more than suffices for casual use.
The touchpad is small but functional. The anti-glare surface is easy to track on. The touchpad buttons could be a bit quieter but offer good feedback.
Screen and Speakers
The 10-inch screen is small and just average in picture quality. The 1024x600 screen resolution is far too low to use for extended periods; too much scrolling is required in web pages and using two windows side by side is about impossible. The screen has some positive aspects such as its practical anti-glare coating (this means no reflections in well-lit areas).
The two stereo speakers located under the palm rest are better than expected though don't get particularly loud. They’re satisfactory for casual listening.
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