HP Mini 5102 Review: Small Package, Great Keyboard

The HP Mini 5102 business class netbook is a device clearly aimed at users in the business and education markets who need a netbook that offers high end features, durability and long battery life. On all of these points, the HP Mini 5102 exceeded our expectations.

When comparing the HP Mini 5102 to the HP Mini 210 consumer netbook, many differences are immediately clear, but others don’t stand out as easily. First, you’ll notice that the HP Mini 5102 is slightly larger and has a larger keyboard and looks built as much for purpose as it is for style.

A few of the things you may not notice are the HP Duracoat keys which, according to HP, last 50% longer than those without the coating and the spill resistant keyboard which can handle a small spill. The Mini 5102 also has a durable metallic body which provides travelers and those using the Mini 5102 in a potentially high impact education setting additional piece of mind. These extra features are what differentiate the 5102 from consumer grade netbooks and are part of the higher base price.

HP Mini 5102 Quick Specs:

The HP Mini 5102 we tested has an Intel Atom N450 processor , 1 GB RAM, a 160GB hard drive, 10.1″ screen (1024×600) and both a 6-cell battery and a 4-cell battery.

Who is this Notebook for?

The HP Mini 5102 netbook is perfect for use as a companion computer for business professionals and students who want a bit more durability than a consumer netbook can give. The Touchscreen model and optional handle make the HP Mini 5012 a good fit for institutional deployment in student use settings.

HP Mini 5102 Video Overview: Take a tour around the HP Mini 5102.


The 10.1 display on the HP Mini 5102 unit that we have is limited to a 1024×600 resolution which is too low for my use, but just right for many users. I would much rather opt for the HD display which offers a 1366×768 resolution allowing for more screen real estate. If you can’t decide you would be well served going to a local store and comparing the displays on different netbooks. Most of my older co-workers prefer the 1024×600 display as items are larger on screen.

The 10.1″ display I used performed well indoors and out thanks to the matte display. This was a big bonus for use when traveling and while I was working in a local park this past week.

Keyboard and mouse:

The keyboard on the HP Mini 5102 is hands down the best keyboard I have ever used on a netbook. The keys don’t just feel right — they have good spacing and really make it easy to type for extended periods even though it is only a 95% full size keyboard.

The mousepad on the other hand is small — too small in length and width, especially when compared to other netbooks like the consumer HP Mini 210. The keys are separate and rubberized which makes them easy to use. If you plan to do a lot of mousing, you should look for an external mouse.


The HP Mini 5102 we had to use came with both the 4-cell and 6-cell batteries which are rated for 4.5 hours and 10 hours respectively. While testing the battery life turned out to be a long undertaking both batteries lived up to these claims. I was even confident enough to leave the charger in my office during a recent 3-day trip. Despite a decent amount of use, I was able to complete the trip using only the 6-cell battery. The HP Mini 5102 batteries also have a built in LED life indicator to let you know how much charge you have left without turning the netbook on.

Video and Audio:

The HP Mini 5102 is still a netbook, but it does handle streaming video much better than my HP Mini 1000. Even though our review unit didn’t have an HD accelerator, it was able to play SD Netflix content and 360P Hulu content fullscreen without stuttering.

AS far as audio goes, the Mini 5102 has enough power to overcome some background noise, but you won’t be able to overcome a crowded room without external speakers. For one person in a hotel room though it would do just fine.


The HP Mini 5102 is powered by an Intel Atom N 450 processor which like all Atom processors has some limitations. That said, I was able to run Chrome with 5-6 tabs, including one playing audio, and use Word and Tweetdeck without any trouble. If you view this as a companion PC that you use on business trips or to handle standard office type tasks you won’t be disappointed.

Extras: QuickWeb and QuickLook

Another little extra that the HP Mini 5102 offers is quick access to the web and to your mail and calendar information through the QuickWeb and QuickLook buttons. These two buttons on the upper left of the device will allow you to quickly pull up a browser or access your locally stored calendar and email for a fast look at your schedule or a website without waiting for windows to boot. It is worth noting that if you are using a third party USB 3G connection it may not work with in the QuickWeb environment.


The 5102 has plenty of ports to keep you connected.

Left (left to right): Power, VGA, USB 2.0, USB 2.0

Right (left to right): SD-MMC card reader, headphones, Mic, USB2.0+charge, Ethernet, lock

The front also has a wireless on/off switch.


The HP Mini 5102 is perfect for a business traveler, college student or in an educational setting. The durability, extra features and price offer a compelling combination and it is a netbook that even consumers should look at.


  • Durable design
  • Long battery life
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Matte screen


  • Small mousepad
  • 1024×600 resolution – Higher res available

HP Mini 5102 Configuration / Specification / Specs:

HP’s first touch-enable netbook, integrated face recognition technology,

Brand HP
Model Mini 5102
type Netbook
Operating system Preinstalled :

Genuine Windows 7 Starter 32

Genuine Windows XP Home


SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

Processor Intel® Atom N450 Processor
Chipset Intel NM10 Express Chipset
Memory type DDR2 SDRAM, running at 667 MHz
Maximum memory 2 GB (1 GB with window xp home or windows 7 starter in select models)
Memory 1 GB
Internal Storage 160GB hard drive with the following options

Choices: 160/250/320 GB 7200 rpm SATA with HP 3D DriveGuard (supported on Windows models only);

80/128 GB Solid State Drive (*hard drive capacity over 160 GB or Solid State Drives only available in select markets with select operating systems)

Removable Storage Optional HP External USB 2.0 CD/DVD R/RW Drive
Display Size 10.1” diagonal
Display type LED-backlit WSVGA , optional capacitive multi-touch
Resolution 1024×600 option for: 1366×768
Graphics Card Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD,

Optional Broadcom Crystal HD Enhanced Video Accelerator (32MB x 16 DDR2)

Audio / Visual High Definition Audio, stereo speakers, integrated stereo microphones, stereo microphone in jack, stereo headphone/line out jack; integrated 2 MP webcam
Wireless Support Optional HP un2420 EV-DO/HSPA Mobile Broadband Module (requires mobile network operator service), GPS enabled; optional Intel 802.11 b/g/n, Broadcom 802.11 a/b/g/n, Broadcom 802.11 b/g, or Broadcom 802.11 b/g and Bluetoothâ„¢ combo adapter; optional Bluetooth 2.1; HP Wireless Assistant
Communications Marvell Ethernet (10/100/1000 NIC)
Expansion slots Secure Digital slot: supports SD (Secure Digital), MMC (MultiMedia Card)
Ports and connectors (3) USB 2.0 ports (1 powered), VGA, power connector, RJ-45/Ethernet, stereo microphone in jack, stereo headphone/line

out jack

Input Devices 95% full-size keyboard, touchpad with scroll zone
Software HP Recovery Manager (Windows 7 only), HP Support Assistant (Windows 7 only), Roxio Creator 10 (requires separately purchased external optical drive), Microsoft® Office Ready, Corel Home Office, HP QuickLook 3, HP QuickWeb
Security HP Disk Sanitizer, Face Recognition for HP ProtectTools, Computrace BIOS support, Drive Encryption for HP Protect Tools, Kensington Lock slot
Dimensions 0.91 (at front) x 10.3 x 7.09 in / 23.2 (at front) x 262 x 180 mm Models with Touch: .98 (at front) x 10.3 x 7.09 in / 23.2 (at front x 262 x 180mm
Weight Starting at 2.64 lb / 1.2 kg (with hard drive, weight will vary by configuration)
Power 4-cell (29 WHr, or 6-cell (55 WHr) Lithium-Ion battery, 40W Smart AC Adapter, HP Fast Charge
Expansion Solutions Optional HP USB 2.0 Docking Station or HP Essential USB 2.0 Port Replicator
Warranty Limited 1-year and 90-day warranty options available, depending on country, 1-year limited warranty on primary battery.
Color Choices: black, red , blue

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