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By Mike Joubert 12 May 2009

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With their Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam netbook HP decided to add a smack of style to their netbook range. And we say, why not? If being small and clever is not enough why not also go for stylish?

The 1098ei was designed, at least on the outside, by American fashion designer Vivienne Tam. The whole netbook is doused in a passionate red with a floral pattern on the top cover. It is bound to get you stares while sitting outside the café sipping on a skinny latte. More so if you’re a man.

The Mini 1098ei we had, has a number of nice features. Firstly the keyboard is pretty close to being full size, which makes it a pleaseure to work on. The trackpad is big with the left and right click buttons usually found on the bottom of the trackpad now on the sides. You have two USB slots, a webcam, plus a handy SD card reader. Regarding performance, it performed as well as can be expected. Based, as most netbooks, on the Intel Atom processor (1.60 GHz), it includes a 60GB hard disk drive and a good 1024MB wallop of RAM. For some, the fact that it comes preinstalled with Windows XP Home, with service pack 3 updated, will be like a return of a good old friend, especially if you are using Vista on your other PC. Although Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is  included, we were disappointed that it (or should we call this she?) does not include imbedded 3G as seen on the Acer One netbook and the new LGs.

Overall we like the HP Mini 1098ei. For its exclusive design HP is putting a bit of a premium on the price though, but then again style never came cheap – R7499 incl VAT on
www.hpshop.co.za.

PROS
Keypad almost full size, nice design, Windows XP home
CONS
No built-in 3G, price tag
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