HP Mini 311 w/ Nvidia ION: Best Netbook on the Market?

Laptop Magazine has started putting the HP Mini 311 through its paces – and the early results impress.  As the first netbook based on Nvidia’s ION LE graphics chip paired with an Intel Atom N270/280 processor, the diminutive Mini garnered a PCMark05 score of 1,917- nearly 500pts above the average netbook.  What’s more, the older “Diamondville” N-series processor in a recent report outperformed the newer “Poulsbo” Z-series clock for clock.

The HP Mini 311’s 3DMark06 scores were even more impressive at 1,386 which is a full 1,200 points over the average. That’s not a typo.

Battery life is still being run through its paces, however I went ahead and purchased the 311 based on early feedback (Note to FTC– I bought it with my own money thanks ). I really wish the configurator gave me the option of 2GB of RAM however there is puzzlingly an option for a 2nd battery at half-price.  Hopefully this isn’t a statement about the overall power consumption of a device with graphics that reportedly performs about as well as the MacBook Air at a fraction the cost.  Of course the processor is rather diminutive in stature but despite this, the unit will reportedly do Blu-ray with an external drive. I will be testing it with the optional 802.11n against an HD Homerun network HDTV tuner and Windows Media Center wirelessly among other scenarios. 

Speaking of which, one has to wonder with an Acer Ferrari laptop, when is the MINI car company going to get in with all these “Mini”s running around?  No mind. I’ll report back here once I have the 311 in my hands and load Windows 7 Ultimate on it for review.

2 responses to “HP Mini 311 w/ Nvidia ION: Best Netbook on the Market?”

  1. with an 11.6" screen is it really still a netbook? though at that price who’s going to quibble about semantics.

    love the fact that the screen is 768px high… the 600px efforts are just not good enough (though why they didn’t go the whole 800 is beyond me … for Sunday Night Football – http://snfextra.nbcsports.com – I still need room for the browser chrome!)

    Totally agree on the need for 2GB RAM. I have older machines with 1GB and while Win7 does a great job I suspect it would scream on something like this with an extra GB of RAM. Also wonder why there is no SSD option (I guess cost or battery concerns)

    Glad to see it doesn’t appear to have a modem. That and DVDs are so 20th century for portable computing devices…. wish the HP tx2 tablet (for instance) would catch up to that fact (and maybe get a better processor while it’s at it!)

  2. With these features consisting of the Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor, 11.6" 1366×768 LED-backlit display, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard drive space, 5400 rpm SATA hard drive, 802.11g wireless, HDMI output, three USB ports, 6-cell battery, and the Microsoft Windows XP Home as its OS and the kind of price this is being sold for it surely seems like the best bargain.