The Exterior Hardware
A netbook, by nature of its size and compactness, will have some negatives, but HP has done a fairly nice job in creating a useable netbook.
As shown in Figure 4, the front of the Mini has two switches. On the left is the lighted power switch. On the right is the lighted wireless switch. Both are slider switches which are useable, but a bit difficult to maneuver.
Figure 5 shows the left side of the Mini. At the left you will see the power connector port and one USB port. On the right you will see an expansion port, a combination headphone/microphone jack, and the Ethernet jack, which is covered by a rubber door. The expansion port can be used as a VGA port, but requires a USD 30 adapter. While the headphone/microphone combo port will be okay for most users, those with specific audio needs need to be aware that this is a combo port.
One problem that we had with our Mini is that the power cable constantly slid out of the connector port. No matter how firmly we thought we had inserted it, it constantly fell out. While this may not seem like a major flaw, it turned out to be quite disconcerting. When seated with the netbook on our lap, every time we moved, the power cable fell out. When on a table or desk, the power cable dislodged whenever the computer was moved, even slightly. We cannot say that this is a problem on every Mini unit, but we noticed other complaints about this on message boards throughout the web. So it is something you will want to check out before you bring that Mini home.
The right side of the Mini is shown in Figure 6. It contains an SD/MMC card reader and another USB port. At the far right are two holes that can be used to connect a security lanyard.
Although many netbooks have three USB ports, this one has only two. However, since the broadband access is built-in, you won’t have to use a USB port for an external mobile access device. We like the fact that there was one USB port on each side of the computer.