The 10 reasons why I think the hp mini 311 is a great netbook:
1. easy access to HDD and Ram, and 2 mini-PCI slots (In the 2 weeks that I own it, I opened it almost 10 times - RAM upgrade, trying different HDD and SSD, trying different wifi cards)
2. bigger screen, the extra pixels from 1366x768 makes a huge difference than the typical 1024x600.
3. The ability to play, without a single stutter, not only 720p but also 1080p mkv movies. You just need to get MPC-HC.
4. I am not a gamer myself, but I am planning to get myself a couple of pc games this Xmas, just because I can. (see link below for what games are supported)http://myhpmini.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=2280
5. a 6-cell battery that do not stick out 1/2" in the back. Both Lenovo S10 and Dell mini 10v have this problem. I really hated that.
6. It's total hackable. I had so much fun hacking the bios to turn the ION LE setting to full ION; then by pass the whitelist so I can install my favorite wifi-N card.
7. the mini 311 support 3 GB of ram! 3 frigging DDR3 gigabytes!!!
8. I purchased the base model with XP, but the machine can easily be installed with dual boot OS 10.6.2 with W7, very smoothly and easily. Did I mention it's really easy too?
9. I actually like the keyboard now, after getting used to the tiny left shift key. I find it better than typing on the cramped keyboards on other 10" netbooks.
10. The mini 311 runs very cool temperature-wise, the coolest of ALL netbooks and laptops that I ever own.Now here is a journal and links that I used in hacking my mini 311A) ION LE to full ION
In Bios of the mini, it defines whether the operating system is XP or VISTA, which results in either ION LE or full ION. The option is greyed out, but can be changed easily. The instruction is in the following forum thread. You need to download the MiniDOS file to prepare a bootable USB key. Then run a file and select some options. For mini311-1000ca, the file is HPBC228.exe, and you need to access a hidden menu by press either "o" of 'g" (sorry I forgot which one)http://myhpmini.com/forum/viewtopic.php ... =24#p17919
Please read through this thread for information and where to find HPBC228.exe
(pm me if you can't find it, I am email it to you)B) Overclocking your CPU and/or GPU
Yes, you can overclock this baby easily from Atom 1.6 to just under 2.0. This will be most useful for gamers. Instructions here -http://myhpmini.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=2445C) Adding internal bluetooth (if your mini311 didn't come with it)
1) HP uses the Bios to restrict use of non-hp parts. Unfortunately, no one seems to be able to order the bluetooth cards from hp as spare parts. Alternative parts from 3rd parties are available, like the Dell 370 which has been tested to work. However, you need to flash the Bios to remove the 'whitelist' restriction. Follow this link (the 1st, top post). Download the file from rapidshare, and run it in Windows to flash the Bios. http://myhpmini.com/forum/viewtopic.php ... 1&start=12
You can do this even with only your stock hp wifi card installed. Your stock card will continue to work perfectly after.
2) The Dell 370 wireless bluetooth has been tested and confirmed to work in Windows (and Snow Leopard). It's available from Dell online:http://accessories.dell.com/sna/product ... fAH2uziwDw
or ebay:http://cgi.ebay.ca/New-DELL-Bluetooth-3 ... 3167wt_938
(I got mine from Dell, and took about one week. ebay option from Hong Kong could take a month, but much cheaper)
3) Install the card when it arrives.
4) To configure it in Windows. You need 2 downloads: 1) HP Wireless Assistant from HP website. It allows you to turn on/off WLAN and WWAN slots. 2) Dell 370 driver. This one was hard to find, I ended up using the one posted in the ebay link above. Once you install this driver/utility, Windows will recognize that there's a bluetooth hardware installed, and configure it properly.
(See this link for setup of this card in OS X)http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index. ... 374&st=529
5) Finally, you need to spend another $5 adding an antenna:http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... 527wt_1167
Note: for external (USB) bluetooth dongle, the Kensington USB micro adapter works well in both Windows and OS Xhttp://us.kensington.com/html/14409.html
But the Belkin USB mini Bluetooth adapter does NOT work with OS Xhttp://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductP ... _Id=398674D) Hackintosh to get Snow Leopard 10.6.2
I recommend getting a new HDD for this because you do need to wipe the existing Windows, install OS X first. Then, if you want, re-install Windows 7 as 2nd partition.
The OS X installation is actually very easy. Just download an .iso file (11/09 GA CD/DVD), burn to a CD. Boot with CD, and with retail Snow Leopard DVD to perform the installation. Finally, run an installer app on the CD, and it's all set. OS 10.6.2 is practically fully functional, although I do need to order a $40 mini-pci card from Dell for wifi-N and bluetooth to work. The only thing that is not perfect is the non-multitouch trackpad. All the info is in this link (1st post - no need to read the entire thread)http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index. ... pic=195381
(Update: additional to the iso file, there is now 1 other Hot Fix file to run)
After installation of Snow Leopard, you need to buy this Dell 1510 card for wifi to work. http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/prod ... u=430-3133
(This card is also available on ebay for lower prices)
Same thing as the bluetooth card, you need to already flash the Bios to remove the whitelist restriction. But other than that, just pop it in and it'll work.
There is some discussion about taping pin 20 for the card to work better. More info here -http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index. ... 374&st=566
(optional) If you are adventurous, you can also flash the firmware of the Dell 1510 card, and make OS X recognize it as a native Apple card. See either:http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index. ... ntry863983http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index. ... 81&st=379#
To set up the Dell 370 bluetooth card in OS X, follow the instructions post here -http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index. ... 374&st=529E) Windows 7
There was instructions to install Windows 7 as dual boot in the above link, near the bottom of the post.
Alternatively, I manually repair the bootloader with diskpart. This method does not involve bootcamp. I followed parts of this guide (regarding diskpart):viewtopic.php?f=33&t=3417&#p24009
Here is a list of drivers from hp after you successfully installed Windows 7http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/soft ... ct=4041558
1) If you need to watch a 1080p mkv movie, you can use MPC-HC for stutter-free play back. Use this link to configure MPC-HC properly:http://nunnally.ahmygoddess.net/watchin ... sing-dxva/
2) I also found a driver for the touchpad (for Windows) that was better than the one on hp website. It has more functions and options:http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/soft ... ct=4033354
3) If you purchased the Dell 370 bluetooth card, don't forget to see below for instructions to set it up in Windows http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/index. ... 374&st=529F) US standard keyboard
For anyone wish to be a replacement US standard keyboard, this ebayer has them:http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie ... 2567wt_941