Our Compaq Mini 311 Review
The Compaq Mini 311 is, for all intents and purposes, identical to the HP Mini 311, with the Compaq being the UK version of the popular US HP. So, for the sake of reference, just bear that in mind and know that this rig is available in both regions, just under a different name.
The first thing you’ll notice with the Compaq Mini 311 is, as you'd expect, its size. It really is just right. Those super-mini laptops you’ve seen, they’re cute and convenient and all, but they’re kind of limited when it comes to a number of things, particularly multimedia. It’s difficult to, say, watch a movie on a screen barely larger than your iPhone. The Compaq Mini 311 is small, but not too small, at 92% full size. This means that it’s easy to carry around, but big enough that you’re not sacrificing size for convenience.
The keyboard has a nice feel, with some actual clicking going on and all. Most users like to be able to feel and hear their typing rather than just sort of tapping their fingers over a flat touchpad with keys printed on it, so while this may seem like a small thing, it can be a deal breaker for some buyers.
So that’s how it looks and feels, now lets get down to how it actually works!
The first thing you’ll notice in terms of hardware is the 11.6 inch LCD display, with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, providing 720p HD video on a larger screen than the majority of netbooks out there. You get three USB 2.0 ports and, more importantly for some, an HDMI port, which allows the output of HD content to an HDTV, so if nothing else, the Compaq Mini 311 isn’t a bad choice for an entertainment console.
The 311 comes with a gig of RAM, which really isn’t bad at all for an eleven inch netbook. It carries 160 GB of hard drive space, Bluetooth, a 5-in-1 card reader, 802.11b/g WiFi, and full 1080p HD capabilities, with an Ion chipset/graphics NVIDIA card.
So what’s the bottom line, then? Well, it comes down to what you want, personally, of course, so while we’ll be the first to say that the Compaq Mini 311 is perfect for some, we’ll also be the first to say that it might leave others wanting. So who is it for? Well put it this way- As a capable little netbook, it goes above and beyond the call of duty. As a multimedia rig, it’s not bad, but not exactly the best there is. So if you need a work computer with some gaming or HDTV on the side, look no farther. If your primary focus is on multimedia or gaming, then the Mini 311 will get the job done, but you might also want to see what Sony and Mac have to offer.