AT&T HP Mini 110 (1050NR)

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Click for an short interactive video on the AT&T HP Mini 110. Pops up in a new window

Let’s make no bones about it.

The name of this site is mobile-broadband-reviews.com. As such, the focus has been more on mobile broadband services rather than actual devices that you and I used to access them.

That’s changing.

With the entry of mobile broadband netbooks such as the AT&T HP Mini 110, we’ll be taking a look at mobile broadband from a built-in perspective.

However, before we delve into the specifics of the HP Mini, let’s run through some basics about netbooks.

The term netbook, coined by Intel, conveys little useful information about this category of machines. Sure, they all have wireless networking, but so does every other laptop.

What the term originally helped to identify was a class of small, ultra lightweight, cheap-as-dirt mobile PCs.

Netbooks are tiny–usually between half and two-thirds the size of a garden-variety laptop–and they typically weigh around 2.5 pounds. With their cool, slim designs, they outclass some fancy ultraportables. And best of all, these diminutive laptops start at around $200 (in some cases $100, when purchased as part of a mobile broadband promotional deal).

But that doesn’t mean a netbook is for everyone. These are basic computing devices that will meet only basic computing needs.

If you’re looking to do a little bit of word processing, maybe edit a few simple spreadsheets, and want to surf the Web, a netbook will suffice. But if you’re looking to edit high-resolution photos or work with video, a netbook isn’t for you: These systems have seriously limited processing power. You can listen to some tunes, but don’t expect first-rate sound. And you might be able to watch a few online videos, but you’ll be looking at a relatively tiny screen.

PCWorld.com

The guys over at PCWorld.com have a really good article on how to buy a netbook. The above quotations were taken from it. You can take a look at the full article here.

If you’re considering built-in mobile broadband in a netbook, you’ll have some special considerations. For instance, you’ll most likely be on the go, maybe working in sunlight, all while functionality & portability will be important. Naturally, since you’re reading this article on a site about mobile broadband it’s pretty safe to assume that you want to get online.

Based on that, here’s what we’re going to cover regarding the AT&T HP Mini:

  1. Design and Build
  2. Keyboard Size and Layout
  3. Screen size, Resolution and Coating
  4. Operating system
  5. Hard drive, Processor and Installed Memory
  6. Mobile Broadband Options
  7. Where To Get It Super-Cheap

 

Design and Build

HP Mini 110 Design

HP is one netbook manufacturer that ties together functionality alongside attractive aesthetic design quite well

Nowadays HP pumps out new laptop models like a cell phone company.

This is good and bad for a number of reasons. New models mean they’re constantly looking at feedback and making improvements based on previous ones. However, it could also mean they didn’t take the time to get it right.

Keeping that in mind, it could shake a consumer’s confidence that they purchased the latest and greatest laptop if the upgrade is coming out next month.

With that being said, the HP Mini 110 is the successor to the HP Mini 1000 series. When it comes to mobile broadband, that makes the AT&T HP Mini 110 the new hotness while the Verizon HP Mini 1151NR slowly becomes a fading memory. While the 1151NR is by no means down for the count, the new HP Mini 110-1050NR makes some significant improvements based on the previous model.

The HP Mini 110 is a bit heavier and thicker than the 1151NR (2.6 lbs. vs. 2.4 lbs. and 1.3" vs. 1.0"), while keeping the now familiar hard plastic exterior.

HP Mini 110 SilverHP Mini 110 Pink

Instead of just being available in black on black with swirl designs, the HP Mini 110 is now available in pink and silver for the fashion gurus out there.

For those big on appearance, you’ll be pleased to know that the design actually hides your fingerprints as opposed to previous glossy models.

 

Keyboard Size & Layout

Not much has changed since the HP Mini 1000 with regards to the keyboard and touchpad. The only minor difference is a resin that makes the keyboard a little bit rougher and look somewhat more plastic like and cheap.

HP Mini Keyboard

Just as before, the HP Mini 110 has a 92% sized keyboard which makes for great typing considering how tiny this mobile broadband laptop is.

Unfortunately, they decided to keep the touchpad and it’s strangely flanked buttons.  The fact that it’s so short makes vertical scrolling somewhat difficult. Fortunately, users report adjusting to it quickly enough.

Thankfully, HP took the hint and put in a full-sized VGA port which allows you to easily hook up the Mini to an external monitor, projector, or HDTV.

HP Mini 110 Ports

HP Mini 110 VGA Port

They also made improvements in the number of USB ports available (now 3 as opposed to the original 2 seen in the 1151NR). Among other standard ports are the 5-in-1 memory card reader as well as Ethernet port.

There is also an integrated 0.3 megapixel Webcam & microphone which is only good for about Skype or Google voice but not much else. You most certainly will not be uploading any High Definition videos to YouTube.

 

Screen Size, Resolution & Coating

After what seems like an eternity in computer years, HP has finally decided to include a standard anti-glare screen. While the regular glossy screens that they included for years look nice in stores, they are downright crappy for everyday use thanks to their incredible ability to double as portable mirrors.

It was terrible.

The HP Mini 110 packs a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 576 resolution, anti-glare LCD. 1X to $30, a high definition (1366 x 768) version is available.

Below is a juxtaposition of the shiny screen in the previous model (1151NR by Verizon) and the newer anti-glare screen present in the HP Mini 110.

HP Mini 1151NR by Verizon

Above you can see the reflective surface of the HP Mini 1151NR by Verizon. Just below is the anti-glare screen of the HP Mini 110. Notice the stark difference in the reflection of light. This is very critical if you work outdoors or in bright light.

HP Mini 110 Matte Screen

 

Operating System

Like the 1151NR, the 110-1050NR sports Windows XP Home Edition for a predictably reliable experience.

 

Hard Drive, Processor & Installed Memory

When I said this is the successor to the HP Mini 1000, I wasn’t joking. Among other things, the hard drive space has doubled. Check the specs (or better yet, see the CNET comparison video below):

  • 160 Gigabyte Hard Drive (5400 RPM – SATA)
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor (1.6GHz/533Mhz FSB/512K cache)
  • 1 Gigabyte of RAM
  • Genuine Windows XP Home Edition with Service Pack 3
  • 10.1" Diagonal SD LED Anti-glare Widescreen Display (1024 x 576)
  • 802.11 b/g Wireless LAN Radio
  • HD Audio stereo speakers
  • Wirelessly sync your PC with your Mini so the latest updates of any file are saved in both places with Syncables™ software.
  • Ports: 3 USB Ports, standard VGA, split Headphone/Mic, 5-in-1 Digital Media Slot, Ethernet
  • AT&T Built-In Mobile Broadband

 

CNET compares and contrasts the newer HP Mini 110 with its predecessor the HP Mini 1000 in this short 2 minute video.

 

While it’s not your work horse, it will get you stuff done while you’re on the go. To help in doing that, they’ve included the quite nifty Syncables software.

The idea behind it is to enable automatic synchronization of music, pictures, videos, and other files between the HP Mini and a primary PC via a wireless network.

I can see it now. You walk up into your house looking all dapper and your laptops/PCs just start talking to each other. How snazzy and convenient is that?

Awesome.

Now if you really want to get into the nitty gritty of the AT&T HP Mini 110, watch this lengthier 10 minute unboxing video. You’ll get more of a hands-on feel for what it’s like and learn valuable details an educated buyer should know.

 

Detailed 10 minute unboxing video covering everything from the ports to little known facts such as the ability to upgrade this netbook (a feature not available in most other netbooks).

 

Mobile Broadband Options

Since the HP Mini 110-1050NR has built-in mobile broadband by AT&T, here’s what you can expect in the way of plans, pricing, speed and coverage:

 

AT&T Broadband Prices & Plans

AT&T Broadband Prices

AT&T has the highest overage charge of all carriers.While AT&T divides their mobile broadband plans into 3 categories (Blackberries, Laptops & Smartphones), most people interested in mobile broadband will end up with the Laptop Connect plan.

While their Laptop connect plan is $60 for 5 Gigabytes, AT&T has the highest overage charge of all carriers.

Read on to see a chart of how AT&T overage charges can wreck your bank account.

 

AT&T Wireless Broadband Speed

AT&T Mobile Broadband Speed

AT&T has ‘the nation’s fastest 3G network. They also seem to have the most data outages.AT&T Wireless broadband speed is advertised as "the nation’s fastest 3G network" with "typical download speeds of 700 Kbps – 1.7 Mbps" and "typical upload speeds of 500 Kbps – 1.2 Mbps".

On paper, that’s faster than the average speeds Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile provide on their respective 3G networks. Not bad at all.

Unfortunately, a recent Gartner research report shows that AT&T users get half of advertised speeds. Read on for the full details on AT&T mobile broadband speed.

 

AT&T Coverage & Reliability

AT&T 3G Coverage

While AT&T doesn’t have the best 3G coverage, they do offer the use of WiFi hotspots for free.AT&T’s Coverage & Reliability is quite the ironic case.

While it’s quite undisputed that AT&T has the best mobile broadband global coverage, their coverage in the United States may leave you wanting more…especially with the multiple data outages.

What’s the point of the ‘fastest 3G network’ if you can’t use it?

Read on to get to the bottom of it.

While AT&T is often advertised as the nation’s fastest 3G network, they also have the Achilles heel of network overload thanks to iPhones and other 3G devices. It won’t be the first or last time we hear of network failures as well as slower than advertised speeds.

Naturally, a full review on AT&T Mobile Broadband is available for your educational pleasure. Be sure to know what you’re getting into before signing on the dotted line. For that reason I encourageWireless Broadband Exposed Readerseveryone to sign up for Mobile Broadband Buyer’s Guide. It’ll explain what you need to know about mobile broadband, before, during and after you buy.

 

Get The AT&T HP Mini 110 Super Cheap

If you’re a regular mobile broadband reviews.com reader then it will be no surprise to you where I’m about to send you.

At the time of this review, HP sells the Mini line for anywhere from $350 to $450. If you get the HP Mini through our partner LetsTalk, you can snag yourself an AT&T HP Mini 110 for $149.99 on the spot.

HP Mini 110-1050NR (AT&T)
You can snag yourself an AT&T HP Mini 110 for $149.99 on the spot. That my friend, is an excellent price for a laptop.

 

But Mobile Broadband Netbooks Are A Terrible Deal Right?

A lot of people around the blogosphere keep crying about how netbooks are a terrible deal based on the following math:

5 GB per month for $60 over two years = $1440

They then state how $1440 for a netbook is a terrible deal.

You know something?

They’re right.

If you were just gonna buy a netbook without mobile broadband and it cost $1440, then you would be getting ripped off in a mini Bernie Madoff kind of way. Here’s the problem with that thinking though:

If you were going to buy a broadband card anyway, then you’d have been paying that amount over two years anyway.

And since you were gonna spend the money anyway, you might as well get a free or super-cheap laptop out the deal.

That right there is why this is a sweet deal for mobile-broadband-reviews.com readers like yourself.

You’re already thinking of mobile broadband and a netbook out the deal is bonus to sweeten the deal. Instead of just getting a broadband card for free, you could get a laptop for near free and get a whole lot more mileage out of it.

HP Mini 110After all, you can do a whole lot more with a netbook that you can with a broadband card (even if it is the super slick Sprint or Verizon MiFi).

So, for the last time, here’s where you can pick up the Mini 110configured for AT&T mobile broadband on the cheap.

Happy interneting!

If you like the HP Mini 110, then you might also be interested in the or the Compaq Mini 110c or the 1151NR.

Need more info? Check out the rest of the mobile broadband reviews.

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