Review: HP Mini 5103 Dual-core-powered Netbook

Engadget: Review – HP Mini 5103 Dual-core-powered Netbook

Engadget was impressed, but points out that some recent competitors, including the Dell Inspiron M101z, are faster on speed tests.

“We realize keeping up with HP’s model numbers can be as hard as keeping tabs on say, Lindsay Lohan’s run-ins with the law, but the 5103 is notable in one major way — it’s one of the first netbooks to ship with Intel’s dual-core Atom N550 processor. Like the 5102, the 5103 is still primarily aimed at business professionals. In fact, HP hardly messed with the look and feel of the aluminum dressed laptop — the chassis and features are pretty much the exact same, although HP did ditch the black lid for an “Espresso” color and preload some new “Day Starter” instant-on OS. Obviously, the big deal here is the new processor and seeing as how we’ve been waiting on Intel to release a dual-core Atom CPU for netbooks since well, the first netbook we were eager to see how much power that extra core adds and if it impacts battery life. Hit the break to see some of the results.
HP Mini 5103 review

Overall performance

The Mini 5103 HP sent us packs the new 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 processor, 2GB of RAM, Broadcom’s Crystal HD accelerator, and runs Windows 7 Professional. Now we’d like to say we felt the performance improvements over single-core netbooks almost instantaneously, but that’s not the case thanks to an abundant amount of software preloaded up on the 5103. In fact, just like the 5102, the whole system was rather sluggish until we went and disabled two of the three McAfee security applications. When all is said and done, the 5103 definitely felt snappy for a netbook. We’re not talking Core i3 power here, of course. Our typical netbook routine — writing this review in Microsoft Word, running Firefox with a handful of tabs open and listening to the new Weepies CD in iTunes — felt faster than usual. And when we added playback of a 720p video into the mix the CPU usage shot up, but didn’t cause anything else to really slow down. Don’t get us wrong, the 5103 still feels like a netbook, but toggling between windows and opening programs felt snappier than our Atom N450-packing Toshiba Mini NB305, though not as fast as the dual-core Atom D525-powered Eee PC 1215N or the AMD Athlon II Neo K325-powered Dell Inspiron M101z. ”

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.

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