HP Mini 2140 Review

By soumitra, Gaea News Network
Monday, June 1, 2009

hp-2140The netbook market is starting to explode and every manufacturer is ready to take the advantage with their exclusive lineup of netbooks. After the success of Mini 1000, HP is quickly shifting its attention to a netbook with a bit more impressive specs. Built after Mini 2133, the Mini 2140 has good and large 10.1 inch screen and a remarkably large keyboard. Can it become the business traveler’s choice? We have made a review to find the answer. In this review you’ll find :

ARTICLE CONTINUED BELOW

Performance : Average

With Intel’s power efficient 1.6 GHz Atom N270 processor, 1GB RAM, the Mini 2140 has the performance you’d expect from a netbook of this configuration. Applications open quickly, surfing web with multiple tabs open doesn’t create problem. The Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics with 64 MB of memory is good for watching movies but you can’t expect to play good graphics games with this underrated GPU.
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Design : Compact and Sturdy, Ready to be taken on road

Though HP claims that the Mini 2140 is designed for the student who have to carry their netbook always with them, it also may be an ideal choice for the traveling business people. The structure is sturdy with all-aluminum lid and solid magnesium alloy chasis like the Mini 2133 Mini-Note. The metal alloy hinges looks good and durable. At a 10.3X6.5X1.1 inch dimension, mini 2140 looks more compact than other netbooks of its category. However the weight of 3.0 pounds with its six cell batteries feels a bit heavier than other netbooks like MSI wind (2.6 pound) or Samsung NC10 (2.8 pound). But the weight is not on the heavier side or unbearable by any means.

Hard Drive Performance : Good

The base model has 160GB, 5400 rpm Hitachi SATA hard drive. The disk head is protected by HP’s 3D Drive Guard Accelerometer Technology. The hard drive speed is good to boot Windows XP Home in less than 1 minute. The model is also available with a more speedy SSD option or a 7400 rpm HDD option.
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Keyboard : One of the best found in netbooks

The keyboard size is 96% of full sized keyboards and is also water resistant. Typing on the keyboard feels easy without any strain. The keys have good travel and shift keys are full sized. HP puts a special coating to the keys which makes it 50 times more resistant to visible wear than a standard keyboard.
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TouchPad : Narrow one with Awkward button placing

The touchpad had to sacrifice to make space for the full sized keyboard. The touchpad is very narrow. To move the pointer from one corner to the other corner of the screen requires finger to backtrack and move again a few times. The vertical mouse buttons placing is awkward and some may feel it irritating to use. The dedicated scrolling scrolling bar was useful for reading long documents.
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Ports : Every necessary port plus an Express Card Slot

It has an SD Card Reader, Mic and headphone Jack, VGA Port, Ethernet Jack. It has 2 USB Ports while most netbooks these days have 3 USB ports. Don’t panic, the space is utilized for an Express Card/54 slot.
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Display : Decent Glossy Display but less number of pixel

The screen is good and large 10.1 inch one with 1024 X 576 pixel resolution. The size of the screen is good but resolution seems below the standard resolution found in other netbooks. However HP also offers an upgrade of 1366X768 display which will better fit the screen. The screen is glossy and bright. But personally I like matte screens as they does not produce unwanted glares. The horizontal and vertical viewing angles were not great but decent for sharing the screen with another person.

Battery Life : Best in Class

When it comes to battery, HP Mini 2140 outperforms every other netbook. With its six cell battery, the laptop can run about seven hours in normal usage and more than five hours in heavy workload situation which is nearly double of the standard of this category. It has a smaller three cell battery option which is also capable to run the netbook more than 3 hours. The charging of the batteries is also fast. The battery can be charged upto 90% level in just one and a half hour while the system is powered down.

Wireless : Very Good

The HP Mini 2140’s 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi card has top of the notch performance. Music or video streaming is smooth and fluid.

WebCam : Average

Resolution of the camera is 0.3 MP. The image quality is good but a bit blurriness incurred due to its VGA resolution.

Audio : Loud and Clear

A dual stereo microphone is embedded in the bezel above the display and the speaker are also hidden below the screen. The sound quality is loud and clear perfect for voice chats but audiophiles would want a set of external speakers or a good headphone.

Ambient Heat and Noise : Tolerable

The keyboard and touchpad remained at room temperature even during heavy usage but the bottom gets slightly warmer. The cooling fan doesn’t create annoying sound.

Price

Starting at a Base price of $499, the standard configured ones have a price of $529 and $575 if you opt for the 80 GB SSD.

Pros

  • Great Battery Life
  • Excellent build quality
  • Great keyboard
  • ExpressCard slot offers fantastic expansion possibilities
  • Multiple configuration options

Cons

  • Base configuration has low-resolution screen
  • Awkwardly positioned Touchpad Buttons with very narrow touchpad
  • Screen is too reflective due to second glossy protective layer

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Conclusion

If you are satisfied with the low resolution screen and screen glare doesn’t bother you, the HP Mini 2140 may be the ideal choice both for the business professionals and students for its nearly full sized keyboard, outstanding battery life, sturdy design. It isn’t the cheapest netbook available in the market but you get what you pay for.
Share your thoughts with us.

Discussion

Dennis Wong
June 13, 2009: 7:20 pm

I have bought one. I am living in HK. The price is HK$4880 (US1= HK$7.8, so, it’s U$625. No need to pay VAT in HK. It comes with:

a/. 2GB ram
b/. 80 GB SSD
c/. XP home in the SSD and with CDs for recovery
d/. A 6-cell battery that makes the LT a bit tilted at the back and very good for typing (not like the one above, that is not tilted)
e/. A carrying case (grey and with design pattern of HP, quite nice looking)
f/. Free cover protector
g/. Power supply and relevant manuals

I especially like the design of its mouse pad disabling switch. With a bluetooth mouse linked to the built-in BT function, I can free one USB port as well. I do not need to worry touching the mouse pad accidentally when typing. This is a great design.

The resolution is good- 1366 x 768. Just open a normal Excel sheet and you will see the difference. Those with 1024 x 600 or lower can only display columns from A to M or so. With 1366 x 768, you can see the columns up to R. So, don’t ever buy any LT with less resolution espcially thos Eee PC or similar ones. Also those heavier than 1.8 kg should be thrown into the dust bin.

I also have bought an Acer 3810-T. 13.3 inchese of 1366 x 768 with 1.6kg. That is good. The only draw back is that its bluetooth needs to be powered on manually.

You can go to the Fortress retail shops in HK for buying the HP 2140 SSD model. I understand Fortress is selling this machine in HK exclusively. Of course, I mean in HK only. There may be sellers in other countries. Its website is http://www.fortress.com.hk

Any more queries, please don’t hesitate to send me email at denniswong820@gadgetophilia.com

Best wishes in your purchase.

Dennis Wong from HK (14/6/2009)

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