HP Mini 1030NR

Today I am writing on my new Hewlett Packard netbook, an HP Mini 1030NR, with a 16GB SSD (i.e. flash memory, not hard disk) drive, 1 GB RAM and a 10.2 inch screen.  This follows a week of struggling with an Asus Eee PC 900A, which I finally returned to Best Buy last night, after the mouse button key on the trackpad failed, and the machine itself had to be re-set to its factory settings 3 times during the course of the week.  And the tiny keyboard was driving me nuts.

The new HP machine was about a hundred bucks more, but it was money well-spent.  This new little machine is much more satisfactory.  The keyboard is comfortable (except for the odd placement of the mouse buttons at the left and right edges of the trackpad), and the screen is brilliant and clear.  As a long time Mac user, I’m not thrilled with the Windows XP Home edition installed on it, but I deleted the MS Works that came pre-installed, downloaded Firefox, changed my default search engine to Google, downloaded and installed Open Office, and my friend Robert turned me on to Avast, a free virus protection software, so I won’t be continually extorted money by Symantec.  He is very particular about such things, and he is running Avast on several of his own machines (as well as, tellingly, on his mother’s PC), so if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.  I was up and running on my home wireless network in fewer than five minutes.

While I was away this past week, I had the Asus machine with me, using it to check email and take notes at the conference I was attending.  I really got sold the idea of being able to slip the netbook into my small messenger bag. The SSD drive starts up much faster than a typical hard drive.  For doing email, taking notes, surfing, writing blog posts, this new HP machine is great.  I would not want to write a dissertation on it, but it feels much more “real” than the Asus did.

(About the Asus: all the reading I did about it said, “Get rid of the Xandros Linux OS that it comes with and install Ubuntu.”  Doesn’t there seem to be something flawed in that thinking?  Why should it be necessary to replace the manufacturer’s operating system with another, because the OEM system doesn’t work?  I guess I’m naive in thinking–as a Mac user–that it should “just work.”)

28 thoughts on “HP Mini 1030NR

  1. Greetings,

    I just picked up the 1030NR yesterday. I avoided the ASUS in spite of the more attractive OS (anything but Windows has been a motto of mine since I switched to Mac). I did the same things you’ve done–nixed Works, installed Firefox and OpenOffice, and doing my best to make it work for me. I want to start that long-overdue book and the ultraportable is to be incentive to do that.

    Cheers!

  2. Good luck on the book! I find that the HP works best with a USB mouse plugged in–I really don’t like the mouse button on the track pad. But so far it’s a thumbs up!

  3. Picked up 1030NR yesterday, before even reading your brief review, Farmboy. I’ll be using it for school research and paper writing. I love the keyboard, which was a big factor in my decision to purchase this one. It’s got the best key placement in my opinion. Turns out the whole device just looks great and operates well, too. My only disappointment: can only open the display to about a 45 degree angle, preventing you from using it while standing high above it, looking down.

  4. I love the notbook, but I having an issue connecting to my wireless. I have a linksys router and 128 bit encryption…but for some reason it will not connect to the internet. The computer recognizes the network and connects, but no inter net…any ideas?

  5. Sorry, I can’t help you. As a Mac user, I’m no good at Windows settings. I also use an Apple Airport Extreme router, and like most Apple products, “it just works.” My little HP just asked me for the password for my network (WPA) and then locked right in.

  6. g-nius,

    If you don’t have any security setup on your wireless router, it’s probably a good idea to just reset it to factory defaults. If you are experienced enough to know how to setup wireless security in your router, you may want to check for other security features, i.e. mac address filters. I spent a good 15 minutes tinkering w/ my hp mini 1030nr before remembering that I had mac address filtering enabled on the router.

    Hope that helps!

  7. Never mind, finally figured out what the problem was. There was a static IP stuck on..even after I cleared it. Finally cleared the thing and it coinnected. So I am good now! Love this little thing

  8. I got this laptop the other day as well. I immediately scrapped windows xp and replaced it with ubuntu. I have a been a long-time user of ubuntu. Best OS i’ve ever used. It definitely tops both windows and mac os. I agree with Motorboater, the fact that the screen doesn’t open all the way is rather annoying. The mouse buttons are in an odd placement, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it.

  9. It’s been a month now and I still love it. Garrett, Re: Ubuntu: would I still be able to run all of my programs? I’ll research it but I thought I’d ask anyway. I consider myself a moderately experienced computer user but I’ve never partitioned a hard drive or used an OS other than Windows. I’ve got to do that kind of stuff.

    BTW, with a wireless keyboard/mouse combo and good, quick zoom features (on firefox and mouse software), this little bad boy functions well as my primary PC

  10. I just bought the HP Mini 1030nr. i havent installed many programs in it. I’m waiting on a couple things to come in the mail – 2gb memory and a 8gb mini usb thing that goes in the proprietary slot on the right side. I’m planning on adding ms office and maybe one more program in it. we’ll see how it works out.

  11. Trust me, it will work out. If it doesn’t, you’ve done something wrong. That mini flash drive you spoke of that fits flush with the computer on the right….it’s awesome. It ensures that you’ll always have a quick transfer option.

  12. I bought this piece of artwork in December and still have no cons to say other than the webcam, which is a litlle shadowed in my MSN.

    I am trying now to install Ubuntu UNR on a 16GB MicroSDHC card I got so I can have dual-boot ^^

    Wish me luck.

  13. So can you upgrade the memory to 2gb? Everything I’ve read even on the HP site states 1gb max size. Pls help plan on buying it this week just went on sale for 349. Also if you could upgrade anything else on it what would it be?

    Thanks

  14. I just got my HP 1030NR Saturday I totally love it. I have not really been a gadget person, but I got my iphone in August and between the iphone and this little netbook I am sooooo connected it’s sinful and sinfully fun! I have loved Apple products and this is the closest thing to Appleese without being an Apple. Was up and runnin g right away, but I had some Microsoft fan boys that help me turn on many of the installed programs so they did not boot when I restarted. Made booting up alot quicker for those who are sticking with XP home.

  15. open the run box (windows + r, or start->run)
    type in msconfig
    hit enter
    go to the Startup tab
    check or uncheck the boxes for the programs you want to run at startup

    i don’t know if thats how the ms boys messed with the above computer, but that’s how i’ve messed with mine in the past… makes a huge difference.

  16. I bought a Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu installed. Could nto get on the internet after talking to 3 different tech reps, including Ubuntu tecs. The conclusion is that Ubuntu is not able to be access all routers that are out there at this time. Could be a problem.

  17. Picked up my HP mini 1030NR this week at Best Buy for $349. Great little gadget. Did anyone succesfully install 2GB memory?

  18. I just ordered this from buy.com as a refurb for $280. Also downloaded iDeneb so that I can install Leopard on this. Looking forward to dual booting XP and Leopard!

  19. I love the HP Mini 1030NR. Just picked mine up last week and have been using it since. I’m not much of a fan for windows so I decided to try the other OS choice this netbook has which is basically a remix HP has donw of Ubuntu. Ever since switching I love the death out of it. It’s super fast and very clean. Weight is a big thing for me. It’s the main reason I put off buying a laptop for so long but it’s only about 2 lbs which is perfect and it fits right in my little messenger bag from work. I was actually able to play a couple demanding games on it as well which was pretty exciting although I doubt I will ever have the time to play. I also did not like the touchpad button layout so I bought a wireless mouse for it. After reading many reviews I did upgrade it to 2 GB of ram but running linux I never see my usage climb over 700 MB so it wasn’t necessary for linux though when I ran XP it did need almost oll of the 2GB.

  20. On my 2nd week of using my new HP1030NR and still love it. Windows XP, RAM upgrade to 2GB, 8GB SD, all for $500 out the door from Best Buy. TV capture works great, WIFI works great, plays HD movies off my flash drive great, even runs Quake 3 in Open GL at 26FPS! I have since updated the audio drivers as I understand that the machine comes with Microsoft drivers that limit the volume and cause the card to sound tinny even through the headphone jack, have been replaced with drivers downloaded directly from the HP website with a great improvement in audio. While on the HP website I updated all the drivers and was suprised to find how outdated most of my drivers were.

    Because of the expense of this machine, I cannot complain of its short-comings as others have. Given price, features, size and weight, I don’t see that this machine leaves anything to be desired.

    I’d be happy to answer any questions y’all got.

  21. I bought one today (Best Buy) and seesm everyone does the same thing after turning it on; uninstalling MS Works….I installed Lotus Symphony and have been playing with it for about two hours:

    I don’t really have much to add…great solid (and attractive) design. The keyboard size works, and that was the big selling point. I don’t plan to do much beyond e-mail, web surfing and writing lesson plans, so I am going to stay with 1 GB for a while and see how that works.

    I am trying out Avast AV to see how that works. I think this machine may push me to simply go to the cloud with G-Mail and Google Docs. I have a Verizon USB modem, and setting it up took no time at all. Clearing out MSConfig is really going to help, as it is turning off a lot of services (they had CD-Burning COM service running, for example)

    All in all I am really pleased…..

  22. Pros: I love the 96% full size keyboard.
    Nice Screen resolution and size 10.2 inch
    Fast computing with Ubuntu 9.04 installed
    Small light and thiner then another netbook out there.
    Good graphics, I ran Counter Strike 1.6 on 56 FPS

    Cons: SSD 16 GB is not enough space and I don’t care much for Solid state.
    Screen is overly glossy, cant use it in the normal daytime without lots of glare.
    Slow Computing with XP OS.
    Bad mouse click and track pad position on board.
    Bad 3 hour battery life more like 1 hour life. (its dyeing as I type this)
    Head phone and Mic in one port, all in one Mic and headphone Jack??? what’s this
    On-Board Mic sucks
    On-board Cam is like worse then the first cams that came out of cellphones.
    Speakers are not that loud
    Ethernet port is in bad position
    B/G wireless, while everyone else has B/G/N get with the times(add a phone jack)
    2 USB’s and one hidden one deep in the PC for the 2GB stick.

    Over all this Computer could be way better i give it a 4-10 Look at some of the new Asus EEPC’s with the 7hour battery and 3 USB ports and N network and standard head phone and mic jacks they are like the same price 345.00 375.00 with tax.

  23. Thanks for this post! I’m a 100% mac user (well I guess not anymore) and I’ve been trying to make my 1030nr mini as mac as possible and all these suggestions have helped. Will be picking up 2GB of ram after work.

    I even stuck an apple logo on mine lol.

  24. Has the vga graphics chip in the HP Mini or similar netbboks basic 3D support?

    I do not want do play 3D games of course, but I’d like to use KeyJNote on it and that requires 3D support.

    Thanks!

    Robin

  25. I just bought the Lenovo S10-2 but thanks for the replys. So far most stuff works. It definitely has enough 3D capabilities to run KeyJNote. I guess the webcam will be a bit tricky. WLAN works after compiling a half-non-free driver from Broadcom.

    Robin

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