Summary: HP's Mini 311 adds a larger, high-definition display and advanced graphics to a basic Netbook, while keeping the price very appealing. Once it starts shipping with Windows 7, this could become our favorite Netbook.
Pros: Nvidia Ion graphics adds HD video and basic gaming functionality; reasonably priced; high-def display.
Cons: Annoying touch pad; streaming Flash video support for new Nvidia Ion graphics is spotty; $20 extra for a white lid, seriously?
Conclusion: Another enjoyable feature, though not a plus-sized one, is the Mini's keyboard. A fraction smaller than desktop size -- the A through apostrophe keys span 7.5 instead of 8 inches -- it offers an intuitive layout (with Ctrl and Delete keys in their respective proper places at bottom left and top right); a comfortable typing feel; and a smooth-gliding touchpad.
Excerpt: The latest round of netbooks are the best yet, with faster processors, larger screens, and even better video cards for gaming. Manufacturers are now closing the gap between standard notebooks and netbooks. You’ll see why with the new HP Mini 311 netbook after the break.
Pros: Enhanced Nvidia graphics., Plays up to 1080p video., HDMI output., Large, high-resolution screen.
Excerpt: The HP Mini 311 is Hewlett-Packardsâ€™ latest and largest iteration of the Atom-powered netbook. At the same time, this is the only netbook in the local market today that sports an NVidia ION LE chipset.
Excerpt: To say that netbooks have historically been hobbled by Intel’s integrated graphics is to unfairly ignore their slow single-core CPUs, 1GB RAM maximum, miniscule keyboards, and awkward screen resolutions. It’s an unfair assertion, of course—netbooks came into existence to be cheap, portable, low-powered machines.
Pros: Current-gen graphics; great screen; HDMI out; 1366x768 res; good build; supports up to 3GB DDR3.
Cons: Mushy keyboard; still stuck with single-core Atom processor.
Conclusion: The HP Mini 311 alone could be looked at as a stylish and high quality netbook, but the infusion of Nvidia ION, and the performance that it provides, really pushes the Mini 311 beyond just good netbook , and in to the realm of great value . Adding to this value is a high resolution screen, good battery life, HDMI output, optional 3G cellular internet, and probably most importantly, a reasonable price.
Summary: The HP Mini 311 is an attractive, affordable, and portable computer. If you’re looking for a low cost system that can play modern video games with 3D graphics, this may be your best bet at the moment. But while the HP Mini 311 is strong in the graphics department, it’s weaker than the average netbook in most other areas.
The keyboard is smaller than it should be given the size of the computer. The touchpad is finicky.
Conclusion: In our SiSoftware Sandra tests, the Mini 311 did well in comparison to the reference systems in the CPU benchmarks, and it matched up well against rival components in other areas too. Bootup was a painful experience (particularly with Norton's anti-virus hogging all of the resources right from the get-go in an attempt to get you to register), and until applications were loaded into memory, multitasking was also a bit sluggish.
Pros: NVIDIA Ion makes HD playback possible, Fantastic Keyboard, Spacious 11.6" Display, Three USB 2.0 Ports + HDMI, Windows 7 Onboard, Stays Rather Cool
Cons: 1.6GHz Atom N270 Is Aged, 5400RPM HDD Is Sluggish, Preinstalled Bloatware, Lackluster Trackpad, Very Glossy Display, Pricey
Excerpt: It shouldn’t surprise anyone that HP’s Mini 311 is an excellent netbook. For this model HP took what they learned with the very good Mini 1000/110, translated it to an 11-inch platform, and then dropped in Nvidia’s ION. ION provides the netbook with a major boost in graphics power, allowing for the 1366×768 display, the playback of HD video, output of video through the netbook’s HDMI port, and the ability to handle mainstream gaming.