Tuesday, May 5, 2009

HP Mini 1000 Upgrades

Own an HP Mini 1000, or looking to buy one, and want to know what parts can be upgraded?  I've been poking around to see what is available for this great little netbook, and here are some of the things I've found.

The Mini comes with either 512MB or 1GB of memory.  This is definitely the easiest part to upgrade.  The documentation seems to suggest that 1GB is the max for this device, but mine took a 2GB Kingston DDR2 chip without any complaints.

Hard Drive
The hard drive is a bit trickier.  You'll need to take the keyboard off to get access to it.  If you have a unit with a SSD, you'll also need to disconnect the recessed third USB port.  There is a good demonstration of how to do all of this here: http://jkkmobile.blogspot.com/2009/01/runcore-18-inch-ssd-on-hp-mini-1000.html

HP Mini Drive
If you purchased with the SSD option, you probably received a 2GB "HP Mini Drive".  This is actually just a Transcend JetFlash T3 with a small plastic piece to help it blend nicely with the body of the netbook.  You could either order a larger unit from HP, or you could get an original Transcend unit.  As of this writing HP is selling the 4GB for $24.99, while transcend has the same unit priced at $17.60.  Transcend also offers an 8GB drive for $32.30, which HP does not currently offer.

There has been a lot of chatter lately about cellular carriers offering discounted netbooks on a 2-year data contract.  The HP Mini 1000 is poised to be a part of that offering.  If you ordered yours with the WWAN card built in, you are already set.  If not, you can still add one later.  This video from jkkmobile demonstrates how to add a WWAN module to your netbook.  Again, this involves taking off the keyboard and doing some pretty serious tinkering, so it isn't recommended for the faint of heart.

The stock 3-cell battery will net you anywhere from 1 to 3 of continuous use, depending on your power settings and what you are doing.  HP now offers a 6-cell replacement battery, available for order here.

External VGA
This one is a stickler.  That funky connector on the left of the unit is where you plug in a propietary VGA adapter cable.  Unfortunately, these are both in short supply and full of issues.   Users who have the cable are reporting that it refuses to output anything but 1024x768 regardless of what display is attached.  This is bad news for anyone hoping to connect to a projector.

I love my netbook and I am getting a lot of great use from it.  It is running Windows 7 RC1 like a champ, and I'm even able to do a little development in Visual Studio on it.  So far I have only upgraded the memory, but I'm tempted to upgrade the Transcend flash drive.  I'm holding off on a SSD upgrade until prices come down, but it is tempting as I currently only have about 1.5GB of free space on the main drive.  Even with a relatively "stock" configuration, I find this unit to be a very nice, performant, and portable computing platform.

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