Skip to main content

HP Mini 1151NR Review

HP Mini 1151NR
“The 1151NR is just $199.99 with subscription, but we don't think it's worth locking yourself up for two years with this netbook...”
  • Built-in dual EV-DO Rev A.; small and light; bright LCD screen; large keyboard keys
  • Short battery life; vertical mouse buttons; only two USB jacks; short LCD screen; no 802.11n


Mobile computing is tough for international travelers. You may have a mobile wireless card from a U.S. phone carrier, but if it’s a CDMA card you won’t be able to use it in Europe, and if it’s a GSM card, you won’t be able to use it in much of Asia. The HP 1151NR netbook, the first of its breed to be offered at a subsidized price from a cell phone carrier, solves this global Internet access problem thanks to its built-in dual EV-DO Rev. A and HSPA radios for truly worldwide Web access. And the 1151NR is just $199.99 after rebate and two-year mobile data subscription. But the news isn’t all good. That monthly subscription drives the actual cost of 1151NR way up, plus you’ll be stuck with an otherwise sub-par netbook for 24 months minimum.

HP Mini 1151NR Features and Design

On the surface, what you get for $200 is rather impressive: A netbook similar to HP’s 1000 ($549) that runs the full version of Windows XP Home; a bright 10.1-inch LCD screen; a near full-size chicklet keyboard with spongy responsive keys larger than those found on many desktop keyboards; an 80 GB hard drive; and pre-installed Microsoft Works, Outlook Express, Windows Explorer, Migo Mobile Desktop 4 for PC synchronization, Norton Security 2009 and Pandora software. (The specs say Windows Media Player 11 is included, but we couldn’t find it.)

At 6.6 inches deep, the 1151NR also is about an inch less deep than most other netbooks, and at 2.45 pounds, around a third of a pound lighter. Built into the grilled hinge are the stereo speakers, which pump out a surprising amount of volume.

And, of course, you get the dual 3G CDMA/GSM radios for global data. There’s also Wi-Fi – b and g, but not n, mind you.

Best of all, you get the built-in Verizon VZ Access Manager, which lists all available Wi-Fi networks along with your Verizon mobile data number WAN network, all in one window.

HP Mini 1151NR TrackpadErgonomically and functionally, the 1151NR suffers two major problems. First, the 1151NR is equipped with vertical mouse bars bracketing the scratch pad rather than the usual horizontal mouse bars below the scratch pad. You’ll need to be a finger contortionist to click-and-drag – we had to use two hands. Even just moving the cursor then clicking, we kept missing the bar with our thumb and would accidentally move the cursor off of what we wanted to click on.

Second, the 1151NR’s screen is 1024×576 pixels instead of 600. You’ll miss those extra 24 vertical pixels too: The bottom of many long pop-up windows, such as ESPN’s GameCast windows and some program configuration windows, are buried beneath the Windows menu bar, which means you often lose options such as Save or Cancel and the Window re-size corner.

Ports & Connectors

Also falling a couple of trees short of a forest is the 1151NR’s jack pack. It’s not missing any necessary jacks, but you get 2 USB jacks instead of the usual netbook three, and you need to buy a separate $30 adapter to use the proprietary VGA jack.

HP Mini 1151NR Performance

The 1151NR’s biggest attraction is the dual EV-DO and WiFi (b/g) radios. Using the Yahoo Bandwidth Meter widget, we measured a speedy 680 kbps using Verizon’s EV-DO Rev. A service in Manhattan, not that much slower than the 762 kbps we were getting via WiFi. (Understandably slow since the 1151NR couldn’t connect to our faster 802.11n LAN).

It took Windows XP Home a hair longer than a minute to boot up, almost twice as long as other netbooks. But while not exactly zippy, the 1151NR isn’t noticeably slower booting software and opening files compared to supposedly faster laptops.

Aside from the missing 24 vertical pixels, the screen on the 1151NR is super bright when cranked up to maximum, able to display vivid colors, but suffers from a limited viewing angle – you’ll have to adjust the screen on its hinge just right for maximum visibility.

If you’re a video communicator, you’ll be disappointed in the built-in .3 MP (VGA) webcam as well. We had to boost the brightness and contrast to nearly maximum levels to get a barely visible image in a brightly-lit room.

HP Mini 1151NR Battery Life

Thanks to its three-cell battery – most netbooks are equipped with six-cell power cells – battery life is an extreme disappointment. Using WiFi, we squeezed out two hours of surfing, 15 minutes less surfing via EV-DO.

With all the radios off, we got around 2.5 hours of continuous power, well shy of the usual 5-8 hours you’d expect from a netbook and less even than some full-size laptops.

Worse, it takes longer to recharge the batteries than it takes to drain them, around three hours.

*Editors Note (5/21/09): Some of these power issues will be ameliorated if/when Verizon makes its expected 6-cell accessory/replacement battery available.


What kind of value is the 1151NR? You can buy it sans mobile data subscription for $519, more expensive than many netbooks with better specs and higher performance. And netbook amenities are bound to improve in the next two years, especially memory, while you’re stuck with the already compromised 1151NR. To add insult to possible injury, the 1151NR only comes with a one-year warranty. But the 1151NR’s dual CDMA/GMS radio makes it incomparable to any netbook on the market right now for frequent international travelers who need unfettered Internet access.


  • Built-in EV-DO Rev. A, HSPA and WiFi b/g connectivity
  • Small and light
  • Bright 10.1-inch LCD screen
  • Large, spongy keyboard keys
  • Pre-installed Microsoft Works


  • Short battery life
  • Vertical mouse buttons
  • Requires two-year mobile data subscription plan
  • Only two USB jacks
  • Short LCD screen
  • No 802.11n

Editors' Recommendations

Stewart Wolpin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
AMD is taking the gloves off in the AI arms race
AMD's CEO presenting the MI300X AI GPU.

AMD looks ready to fight. At its Advancing AI event, the company finally launched its Instinct MI300X AI GPU, which we first heard about first a few months ago. The exciting development is the performance AMD is claiming compared to the green AI elephant in the room: Nvidia.

Spec-for-spec, AMD claims the MI300X beats Nvidia's H100 AI GPU in memory capacity and memory bandwidth, and it's capable of 1.3 times the theoretical performance of H100 in FP8 and FP16 operations. AMD showed this off with two Large Language Models (LLMs) using a medium and large kernel. The MI300X showed between a 1.1x and 1.2x improvement compared to the H100.

Read more
AMD’s new Ryzen 8040 CPUs aren’t all that new
AMD revealing its Ryzen 8040 CPUs.

AMD new Ryzen 8040 CPUs aren't as new as they seem. During its Advancing AI event, AMD announced that Ryzen 8040 chips are coming to laptops, and you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a new generation of processors. AMD doesn't call them next-gen CPUs, rather referring to them as "the next step in personal AI processing." And that's because these aren't next-gen CPUs.

Ryzen 8040 mobile chips will replace Ryzen 7040 mobile chips, and based on that fact alone, it's easy to assume that the Ryzen 8040 CPUs are better. They have a higher number! From what AMD has shared so far, though, these supposedly new chips look like nothing more than a rebrand of the CPUs already available in laptops. AMD set itself up for this type of confusing, misleading situation, too.
New name, old cores
First, how do we really know these are just rebranded Ryzen 7040 chips? I've included the full product stack below that spells it out. These chips, code-named Hawk Point, are using AMD's Zen 4 CPU cores and RDNA 3 GPU cores, which the previous-generation Phoenix CPUs also used. There's also the NPU, which I'll circle back to in a moment.

Read more
The best HDR monitors for gaming, content creation, and more
Cyberpunk 2077 running on the Alienware 34 QD-OLED.

The quest for the best HDR experience continues to captivate gamers, content creators, and enthusiasts alike. But it is important to note that investing in one of the best monitors doesn't really guarantee an exceptional HDR experience.

While HDR on PC still faces challenges in many instances, these HDR monitors demonstrate that improvements are underway. The bar for the best HDR monitors is much higher and only a handful of such exist. Achieving a premium HDR experience on PC can be costly, but our compilation of the best HDR monitors includes viable options for various budgets.

Read more