Thomas James Just a geek.

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HP Mini 210-1036VU Impressions and Thoughts

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In other news I’ve bought a HP Mini Note 210 (1036VU) with a JB HiFi gift voucher I’ve needed to spend. I’ve figured it would made the most useful gadget addition to my home given the available options from JB.

Initial thoughts

The box and other packaging was minimal with the standard cardboard holding the netbook in place. Included was a quick-start sheet explaining that to “get started” you would need to “unpack the box”, no really? Didnt I need to do that just to read the guide?

It came pre-installed with Windows XP Home SP3, which I had no intention of using for any length of time, but i did let the oem installation process complete. Something that took more than 30 minutes before the XP install was useable. HP FAIL.

Linux Choices

I had two choices in mind. Ubuntu Netbook Remix and Moblin 2.1.

Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04

This was the first distro I tried. I was impressed, the UI was polished and easy to use. All the power of the ubuntu distro was available but the desktop was replaced with an application launcher that was powerful and just plain simple. Getting on my home WiFi was a breeze in just two steps and no issues with the WPA2 network. The only downside was the ubuntu keychain app prompting me for my password after the [configurable] automatic login, but i suspect i just need to find the right preference/setting panel.

Moblin 2.1

This linux distro was meant to be “the one” for netbooks, designed for the small screen side to be easy to use. The user experience was enjoyable and probably easier for a non-linux user to get a handle of. Application opened into a “zone”, think virtual desktop and the home/app launcher/status area was always available by moving the mouse cursor to the top of the screen. The only major downside for me was on the mini the wifi connection would drop out very regularly (possibly due to power saving mode).

The Winner: Ubuntu

The UI experience of both was pleasing but for me the main reason for me was the WiFi issue. Stability of the network connection is rather important.

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