It’s been just over a year since I wrote my initial review of the HP 1030nr netbook. I promised then I would do a follow up, and just never got around to it. I’m currently on lunch break during the Government Technology Conference (GTCAustin) and thought I would take some time to let you know how it’s been going.
Many people have asked me how I like it. The quick and dirty answer is: After a year, I’m looking for something better.
I’m not overly disappointed with the product, but given a years time and seeing what’s now available, it’s time to change.
I still love the size and the look, it is a beautiful machine. However, there are a few things that I am not thrilled with.
- Battery Life
The max life of the battery dwindled quickly. As I write this, I’ve had it running for about an hour with tweetdeck and safari running via a wifi connection. My battery meter says I’m already down to only 55%. I’ve learned over the year that if I want to have it running during conference sessions, I had better get in the room early and find the power plugs. I’m usually lucky if I can get 2 hours of use before it must be plugged in.
- Solid State Drive
When I was looking at the systems over a year ago I had thought that with fewer moving parts I would see longer battery life and improved performance. Unfortunately I saw neither. To be fair, the machine does boot very fast, but I would rather have a slightly slower boot and faster operating performance. Also, the size of the drive has been an issue for me as well. I have yet to run out of space, but that’s only because I carefully consider and evaluate anything I want to install. I miss having a “real” hard drive.
- Dark Web Cam
Thankfully I don’t do a lot of “camming” from the netbook, the picture from the camera is very dark, even when snapped in a very well-lit room at the the middle of the day.
- Super Glossy Screen
The screen looks FANTASTIC indoors or low light environments. However, in a well lit room you will get a huge amount of glare on the screen. Try running the HP 1030nr outdoors, on a sunny day and you’ll have a hard time seeing anything. If you’re on battery power, which further reduces the screen brightness, you might as well be wearing a blindfold.
- Screen Lag Time
I don’t know what causes this problem; is it windows, the Atom processor, memory or something else. But, fairly frequently I will be typing along and the screen will just stop updating. If I stop typing for a few seconds the text will eventually update just as though it were being typed. Weird. Thankfully I’m not a speed typist or this might be a significant problem.
Please don’t think I’m saying this machine is a piece of junk, far from it. My little HP 1030nr netbook would be perfect for somebody who wants to sit on the couch and surf, or since it does such a great job of reading videos from a flash drive, it would make an awesome entertainment device for the kiddos – of course make sure you keep an eye open for power outlets.
Despite it’s quirks, it’s done most of what I wanted it to do when I bought it. But now, I have different and more specific requirements. Let’s say “it’s not you, it’s me” or perhaps “we’ve just grown apart” ;-)
What netbook are you using? What netbook do you WISH you were using?