Review of HP Mini Executive 5102 Netbook

mini-51024

A couple weeks ago I reviewed the HP ProBook, and found it wasn’t a bad piece of tech overall with a couple flaws. Today I’ve got what might be considered the little brother to that laptop, in fact it looks the same except only smaller.

Today for review I’ve got a very professional looking and business like netbook from HP called the Mini Executive 5102. This netbook is in a class by itself really, at least in regards to build quality, sure we see many metal cased laptops but not many netbooks though. The metal casing not only changes the look and feel of it but the overall view of it being a netbook as well, we think of netbooks as inexpensive, underpowered computer that arte used mostly for browsing the web and checking email. Until now with the HP Mini Executive I haven’t seen many business oriented netbooks on the market, but if you’re looking for something small, good looking, well made and with decent performance then you just might want to take a closer look at the Mini 5102 I’ve got here today…


We’ll start with the video unboxing first:

Included with the HP Mini 5102 was a charger, and user manual. The battery is included of course, but it was installed already.

mini-51021 mini-51023 mini-51022

The HP Mini 5102 looks like a smaller version of the HP ProBook that I reviewed not long ago. It’s the same quality metal housing. This netbook is actually called the Mini Executive, and it does look very business oriented but it’s aim is at both business and education. One of the option you can get is a built in handle which is something that I’m sure student would appreciate. The color I received for review is black as you can see, but you can also get red or blue.

mini-51024

On the bottom you’ll find the battery which is very thin. There’s just one small access door on the bottom though.

mini-51025 mini-51026

On the right side we have connections for power, VGA and two USB ports.

mini-51027

The left side is where you’ll find connections for audio, ethernet, one USB port, memory card slot and the lock.

mini-51028

As I said the Mini 5102 looks just like the ProBook on the outside, but it on the inside as well, meaning the keyboard looks just the one on the ProBook. This keyboard is 95% size of a regular keyboard making it nice and large. It’s also spill resistant and it features HP DuraKeys that have a clear coating on them to protect the finish and so you won’t wear the letters off form use. There’s also two shortcut keys to the top left of the keyboard. You can actually touch these keys when the computer is off, like pressing the globe key will launch a web browser in a few seconds without actually loading the operating system.

mini-51029 mini-510210 mini-510211

Here’s an example of the web browser:

mini-510213

It’s called the HP QuickWeb Browser and if you look down at the bottom you can see the taskbar looks very much different from that of Windows, there’s just basic things there like internet, power, brightness and a few settings.

The display is 10.1” with 1366×768 resolution, I received the standard version but you can get the optional touchscreen if you want.

There is a touchpad at the bottom below the keyboard as one might expect. The touchpad though does feel a bit small, there’s a lot of room beneath the keyboard and I’m sure they could have easily put in a larger touch pad.

mini-510212

So let’s jump into this here stating with CPU-Z and GPU-Z screenshots showing what’s in the HP Mini Executive:

cpuz1 cpuz2 cpuz3 cpuz4 cpuz5 cpuz6 gpuz

This HP Mini uses the fairly new Intel Atom N450 CPU which runs at 1.66Ghz and we’ve also got the Intel 3150 Graphics Chipset in there as well. For some reason CPU-Z couldn’t read the ram information as you can see the one screen shot is essentially blank, but it comes with 1 gig of DDR3 ram.

The boot time for the HP Mini Executive isn’t too bad, a little over a minute to get a usable desktop. On the desktop you don’t find that much actually, which is nice. The HP mini review folder and MWSnap are what i added. It’s running Windows 7 Starter edition. IT comes with a trial of Microsoft Office, but included is Corel Office Suite.

1 2

I ran Windows Experience and got a whopping 2.4, and that’s because of the CPU actually. if you look closer you’ll see the Mini scored a 5.9 for the hard disk test, that’s because there’s a 7200PRM hard drive in there, specifically a Western Digital drive.

3

Here’s the Device manager expanded, you cna see it’s got Bluetooth in there are well as 802.11N wireless.

4

This can be a business or education netbook, so one of the things that they’re focused on is security. There’s a program on the Mini 5102 called HP Protect Tools and Security Manager. With this program you cna enable several security features like Windows Logon Security, Drive Encryption, Boot Password, Windows Password and even Face Recognition using the built-in camera. There’s also Theft Recovery in there.

5 6 7 8

The program seems to be one that makes a lot of sense, we do live in a society were people will just walk off with your laptop or netbook, and if that happens not only are you out of the cost, but you’ll also lose the data and any personal information on it.

It’s all simple to set up, but I did run across a small problem with the Face Recognition software. This type of thing is fairly new, especially to the consumer sector, so I’m sure it’s far from perfect yet. The program works using the built-in webcam to take several pictures of your face for recognition, I tried a few times and it gave me an error every time about the quality of the pictures not being good enough so I gave up. Not sure what the problem was, but as I said I gave up after a few tries. Yes it’s a nice idea I guess, but it needs to work…

Specifications:

HP Mini 5102

Mini Executive. Maximize your mobility with the lightweight HP Mini 5102, available in three fashionable colors (red, blue or black) with touch capabilities for easier navigation, Face Recognition for easy log-in, and Corel Home Office.

Operating system: Windows 7 Starter
Processor: Intel Atom Processor N450 (1.66 GHz, 512 KB L2 cache, 667 MHz FSB)
Standard memory: 1 GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Internal Drive: 160 GB 7200 rpm SATA
Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD
Wireless: Broadcom 4322AGN 802.11a/b/g/draft-n Wi-Fi Adapter
Battery: Battery Type: 4-cell (29 WHr) Li-Ion
Battery Life: Up to 4 hours and 30 minutes

Weight: starting at 2.64 lb (1.2 kg)
Dimensions (w x d x h): 10.30 x 7.09 x 0.91 in (262.0 x 180.0 x 23.2 mm);

Display: 10.1″ diagonal LED-backlit WSVGA widescreen; 10.1″ diagonal LED-backlit HD  (1366×768)

Expansion features:
Ports
-3 USB 2.0
-1 external VGA monitor
-1 stereo microphone in
-1 headphone/line-out
-1 AC power
-1 RJ-45

Slots: 1 Secure Digital

Audio: IDT 92HD75B High Definition audio; Integrated stereo speakers; Integrated stereo microphones; Stereo headphone/line out; stereo microphone in

Integrated camera: Integrated 2 MP webcam
Keyboard: 95% full-sized keyboard
Input devices: Touchpad with scroll zone and two soft-touch buttons

Security management:
-HP ProtectTools Security Manager
-HP Disk Sanitizer
-Setup Password
-Power-On Password
-Kensington Lock Slot


Sound:
The sound is fairly decent for a netbook, just don’t expect superior audio quality, it’s not bad. It’s fine for movies, music etc on the go, personally though I’d plug in a good set of headphones.

The noise level of the HP Mini Executive 5102 is quiet, even under load I could barely hear the fan.

Video:

The webcam is 2mp, it’s a bit grainy and it prefers a lot of light but it’s not bad overall. The colors seem ok if a bit washed out.

The display is nice and bright, the resolution is 1366×768 so it is a widescreen that’s good for viewing videos and websites etc. The colors are very good, whites are nice and bright while the darks are very dark.

The Intel N450 and Intel Graphics Chipset run HD video surprisingly well, I didn’t have any issues there at all.

Battery Life / Run Time:

The HP Mini Executive 5102 that I received for review has  4 cell battery in it, but you can opt for a 6 cell for extended run time.

I ran Battery Eater Pro in classic mode which is essentially the equivalent or running your computer at 100% load and I only got 2 hours and 31 minutes of run time. Not many people will be running their computers at 100% all of the time, but the test gives us an idea of minimum run time.

I then recharged the battery and ran the computer with just web browsing / text viewing and I got a little over 4 hours. The battery life according to HP is supposed to be about 4 1/2 hours, so I got close to that.

If you read my review of the HP ProBook then you’d know that I liked the keyboard very much, considering the Mini Executive uses essentially the same keyboard, I like this one as well. Typing is comfortable and I found that I didn’t hit the touchpad as often as I did on other netbooks, which of course is a good thing. The touchpad works well for sure, it does what it needs to do.

I should also note here that this HP Mini doesn’t seem to get very hot even when under load for a couple hours. One of the issues I had with the ProBook was the heat, that of course was a much powerful laptop though.

Testing and Benchmarks:

In this comparison I’ve got both netbook and laptops.

Acer Aspire D250
HP Mini 311
Acer Aspire 5738
Gateway LT 2016U
MSI Wind U230
HP ProBook 5310M

They’re all linked to the reviews of them here on the so you can look at them more in-depth if you wish.

There’s couple reasons for these comparisons, the first one is price, some of the netbooks cost close to the cost of the laptops, so why not include them to see which is worth the money. The other main reason is for comparison sake, to see how a full laptop compares to a netbook.

So as usual we’ll start off with ATTO Disk Benchmark.

So my collection of benchmarks for netbooks and laptops seems to be growing…

The Acer Aspire One D250 comes with Hitachi, the Acer Apsire 5378 also comes with a Hitachi, the HP comes with a Toshiba and the Gateway comes with a Western Digital and the MSI Wind12 comes with a Seagate. The Wind12 and Aspire 5378 an the Hp ProBook have 320gb drives while all three others are 160gb drives. The HP ProBook also has a 7200RPM Seagate Drive in it while the Hp Mini Executive 5102 has a 7200RPM Western Digital in it. It’s not too often you see a netbook with a 7200RPM drive in it..<

atto aspire 5378 atto-ACER atto-Gateway atto-hp mini5102 atto-hp probook atto-MINI atto-windu230

According to this test, the Hp Mini 5102 comes in second right behind the HP ProBook, there’s a nice fast drive in there.

Next is the Physical Disks test and the File Systems Tests from SiSoft Sandra. For all the Sandra tests I used the new SiSoft Sandra 2010 portable Edition.

Physical Disks Test:
Drive Index :
Results Interpretation : Higher index values are better.
Random Access Time :
Results Interpretation : Lower index values are better.

As the test measures raw performance it is independent on the file system the disk uses and any volumes mounted off the disk.
Drive Index: is a composite figure representing an overall performance rating based on the highest read or write speed across the whole disk. Thus the higher the better.
Access Time: is the average time to read a random sector on the disk, analogous to latency response time. Thus the lower the better.

Physical Disks

Here again we see the Mini 5102 coming in second place in terms of HDD performance.

Next up is the File Systems Test:
File Systems Test:
Drive Index :
Results Interpretation : Higher index values are better.
Random Access Time :
Results Interpretation : Lower index values are better.

This is not the raw disk performance that other benchmarks test – but the speed of the volume itself that depends on many more factors like file system, operating system cache, position on disk, etc. Thus this is the performance you get at the file system level.
Drive Index: is a composite figure representing an overall performance rating based on the average of the read, write, and seek tests, and file and cache size. The Drive Index is intended to represent drive performance under typical use in a PC. A larger number means better performance. The weighting of the results is not equal it represents the distribution of different files sizes as used on these devices (obtained through field research).

File Systems

Here’s a surprise, the 5102 bests the full sized ProBook in this test.

Next up is CrystalMark which tests the entire systems:

crystalmark-acer-netbook crystalmark-gateway crystalmark-hpmini 5102 crystalmark-hpprobook crystalmark-jhp mini311 crystalmark-msiwind crystalmark-acer5378

Here we see the HP Mini 5102 scores fairly low, the reason is of course the Intel Graphics Chipset. The HP Mini 311 with the Nvidia Ion performs a lot better.

Next is Cinebench 10. It tests two things, the CPU and the Graphics, we’re just focusing on the Graphics test:

The second test measures graphics card performance and is run inside the 3D editor window. The project file used can test all graphics cards that support the OpenGL standard. In this scene, only the camera was animated. This scene places medium to low demands on graphics cards and tests the maximum speed with which the scene can be properly displayed.

Scores:
Acer Aspire One D250: 212
HP Mini 311: 1150
Gateway:272
MSI Wind12 U230: 1414
Acer Aspire 5378: 3818
HP ProBook: 1033
HP Mini Executive 5102: 222

and of course here’s the screen shots of the tests:

cinebench -acer-5378 cinebench10-ACER cinebench-gate cinebench-hp mini 5102 cinebench-hp probook cinebench-MINI cinebench-wind

Next is SiSoft Sandra CPU Multi-Media Benchmark.

Results Interpretation : Higher index values are better.
Benchmark the (W)MMX(2), SSE(2/3/4), AVX processor units.
Results Interpretation
Multi-Media Integer (Pixels/s) – higher results are better, i.e. better integer performance.
Multi-Media Single/Double Float (Pixels/s) – higher results are better, i.e. better floating-point performance.

CPU Multimedia

The Mini 5102 falls about the middle here with the Wind and the two laptops performing better.

Next up we’ve got SiSoft Sandra CPU Arithmetic Test:

Results Interpretation : Higher index values are better.
Benchmarks the ALU and FPU processor units
Results Interpretation
Dhrystone (MIPS) – higher results are better, i.e. better integer performance.
Whetstone (MFLOPS) – higher results are better, i.e. better floating-point performance.

CPU Arithmetic

Again it falls about the middle, I was expecting a bit more in terms of performance from the new Intel N450 CPU though, but still not bad overall.

Next is the Cache and Memory Test:

Benchmark the processors’ caches and memory access (transfer speed).
Results Interpretation
Cache/Memory Bandwidth (MB/s) – higher results are better, i.e. faster memory bandwidth.
Speed Factor (MB/s) – lower results are better, i.e. less difference between processor cache speed and memory speed.

Cache and Memory

So I see a pattern developing here, again the 5102 is right in the middle in terms of performance.

Next is the Memory Bandwidth test:
Benchmark the memory bandwidth of your computer
Results Interpretation
Integer Memory Bandwidth (MB/s) – higher results are better, i.e. faster memory bandwidth.
Float Memory Bandwidth (MB/s) – higher results are better, i.e. faster memory bandwidth.

Memory Bandwidth

Despite the Mini 5102 having DDR3 in there, it’s the worst performing out of the products I have for comparison.

next is the Memory Latency Test:

Benchmark the latency (response time) of processors’ caches and memory
The latency of caches is measured in processor clocks (i.e. how many clocks it takes for the data to be ready) as it is dependent on the processor clock speed.
The latency of memory is measured in nanoseconds as it is typically independent on processor clock speed.

Results Interpretation:
Latency: Lower is better
Speed Factor: Lower is better

Memory latency

The scores are lower is better, so it might look like the 5102 did good, but in reality it did the worst in this test. Quite a bit worse actually.

Finally we have the x264 HD Benchmark 3.0 from TechArp

Simply put, it is a reproducible measure of fast your machine can encode a short HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file. It’s nice because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The video encoder (x264.exe) reports a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make this an ideal benchmark to compare different processors and systems to each other.

so here’s the results:
Results for HP Mini 311:
————————–
encoded 1442 frames, 6.48 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.53 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 5.98 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.39 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.53 fps, 3970.98 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.50 fps, 3970.69 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.53 fps, 3971.67 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.53 fps, 3971.30 kb/s

Results for the Acer Aspire One D250:

————————–
encoded 1442 frames, 6.84 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.85 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.84 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.78 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.53 fps, 3971.06 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.54 fps, 3970.62 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.53 fps, 3971.81 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.53 fps, 3971.28 kb/s

results for the Gateway LT:

————————–
encoded 1442 frames, 7.00 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.97 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.99 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.97 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.58 fps, 3971.00 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.58 fps, 3971.39 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.59 fps, 3971.57 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.58 fps, 3971.93 kb/s

Results for the MSI Wind12 U230:
————————–
encoded 1442 frames, 16.09 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 15.45 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 16.32 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 16.26 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 3.69 fps, 3971.95 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 3.87 fps, 3971.12 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 3.85 fps, 3971.38 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 3.86 fps, 3970.44 kb/s

Results for the Acer Aspire 5738
————————–
encoded 1442 frames, 29.49 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 25.99 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 29.76 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 29.25 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.62 fps, 3971.05 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.97 fps, 3970.71 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 7.27 fps, 3971.37 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 7.31 fps, 3971.33 kb/s

Results for the Hp ProBook 5310m:
————————–
encoded 1442 frames, 31.59 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 31.54 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 31.46 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 30.98 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 7.77 fps, 3971.94 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 7.80 fps, 3971.84 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 7.80 fps, 3970.77 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 7.79 fps, 3971.91 kb/s

Results for HP Mini Executive 5102:
————————–
encoded 1442 frames, 6.84 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.89 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.90 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 6.93 fps, 3899.26 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.55 fps, 3970.67 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.55 fps, 3971.74 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.55 fps, 3970.52 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 1.56 fps, 3970.84 kb/s

I also ran it on my Corei5 750 computer:
————————–
encoded 1442 frames, 63.64 fps, 3901.21 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 64.67 fps, 3900.68 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 64.07 fps, 3901.21 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 63.98 fps, 3900.68 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 19.67 fps, 3971.81 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 19.76 fps, 3971.25 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 19.61 fps, 3972.15 kb/s
encoded 1442 frames, 19.53 fps, 3970.28 kb/s

Well the HP Mini Executive 5102 isn’t the worst but it’s close it comes in second to last with the HP mini 311 coming in last.

The price of the HP Mini 5102 starts at about $399, which isn’t bad at all, especially considering the overall build quality is very good. Once you start adding things like a bigger battery and touch screen though to this netbook you’ll easily jump into laptop pricing range. The version with touch screen, 2 gigs of ram and larger battery will run almost $700 and that’s a lot of money for a netbook really.


mini-51021 mini-51022 mini-51024 mini-51029

Conclusion:

The HP Mini Executive 5102 as configured is a very nice product. Aesthetically it’s a beautiful piece of hardware, it’s small and lightweight yet  it it does offer decent performance.

The battery life is very good, you should be able to get at least 4 hours doing general things like browsing the web, which is pretty much what netbooks are for. The HP Mini Executive though is aimed at businessman and education and for both of those this product is a very good fit.

The build quality is excellent, the metal housing not only looks good but makes it durable as well. There is an option of a handle which I think would be welcomed by both professionals and students.

The keyboard is nice and large and easy to use, it’s spill resistant which is not only great for the accidental coffee spill but the accidental juice spill as well that a child might experience.

Overall for the base price this is a great little netbook, but you’ve just got to watch when adding features and extras as the price can easily jump to over $700, which for a netbook in my opinion is just too expensive.

9

Pros:
+Very well made
+Decent performance overall
+Good battery life
+Nice keyboard
+Quick launch Linux buttons
+Cool and quiet

Cons:
-Camera no the greatest
-Can get expensive depending on configuration
-Small touch pad

Grades:
Overall score-9-10
Design score-10-10
Performance score-9-10

To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.

  • miles

    Good overall review. I did have some issues with the Face Recognition software. I got it to work but it has issues in low light areas. Also the initial software setup is very long. This is my first new machine in years so I dont know if thats the norm now.

  • http://myhpmini.com Kevin

    Love the review, Kristopher! Thanks for the in-depth analysis and benchmarks.

  • http://technogogBlog Steve

    Very thorough review. This summer will likely take the plunge and get a netbook. I use a Panasonic touch screen at the hospital and like it – which will cause me to lean to the 5102. Is there a big difference between the 5102 and the ION chip in the Mini 311 that would make me forego the touchscreen for the performance of the 311?

  • parut

    hi guys, i got problem use hotkey in my HP netbook.. since i frequently used with notebook, but when it come with netbook it quite tough (F1, F2, F3….. ) can you show me how to activate this one???….

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