The Mini-Note keyboard keys: they’re real and they’re fantastic

Earlier this week, I got some brief hands-on time with the HP Mini-Note. While I only typed on it for a minute or two, I came away impressed. Without question, the keyboard is a highlight of the product. It feels more than generous at 92 percent of full size. And with its flat profile and thin gaps between keys, it may be best-looking keyboards on any computer.

In fact, HP definitely has an opportunity to either shrink the keys or expand the screen to 10″ as I was surprised at how small the 9-incher seemed. The bezel, while not as big as that on the 7-inch Eee, still looks abnormally large. Also, while the screen resolution on the Mini-Note is very high for a nine-inch screen. I’ve seen some reviewers say that text is too small to read. It’s definitely small, but I wasn’t squinting. Perhaps I would on some Web pages.

While the Mini-Note is only a bit more than an inch thick, its small footprint makes it look a bit chunky. And of course the entire profile is ruined if you add HP’s extended battery, which adds what I call “the goiter effect.” Finally, while the side-mounted trackpad buttons were in an unfamiliar position at first and could turn off some prospects at first glance, using them didn’t seem awkward. I can see a lot of students falling in love with this little guy.

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