HP is the world's number one laptop manufacturer and makes a broad variety of devices and machines with an equally diverse range of specifications. The HP Mini 210-1002SA is one of the company's latest netbooks, combining an attractive design with decent portability.

Usability is impressive and the large, isolated-key style keyboard is a pleasure to use. We particularly like the clever design of the directional keys, which are large and easy to locate.

Touchpad lock

As with many of the other machines here, the touchpad is easy to brush while typing. To remedy this, HP has included a button located in the top-left of the touchpad, which deactivates it. This means you won't suffer from erratic cursor behaviour when you're typing.

The mouse buttons are integrated into the touchpad, meaning if you simultaneously use one hand for controlling the buttons and another for controlling the cursor, the touchpad gets confused and behaves oddly.

The 10.1-inch screen features a unique style, courtesy of its flat, non-bezelled design, and looks great. The lid doesn't fold open much past the vertical, so finding a comfortable viewing angle in a confined space – such as on a seat-back table – can be tricky.

The minimal, rounded chassis design that is the hallmark of HP netbooks is in place, and the tough plastics used make the machine suited to a life on the road.

A large battery is included, which slightly ruins the otherwise smooth lines of the machine, and fails to provide as impressive battery life as some other netbooks. The machine also gets hot to the touch quickly, which proves a little uncomfortable when working on your lap.

The HP provides faster performance than many netbooks, as it's one of the few to feature a hard drive that spins at 7200rpm, as opposed to 5400rpm. This means it can access your data quicker, thus making the netbook run with more speed. It's only marginal, however, and will still struggle to multitask more than two applications at a time.

Connectivity isn't as good as some of the other netbooks here and, along with the Dell, this is the only machine to feature the slightly older 802.11g Wi-Fi standard, so wireless networking won't be as fast as those machines that feature 802.11n.

Despite a few shortcomings, we like the HP Mini 210-1002SA. It's a comfortable machine to use, with the touchpad lock a particularly useful touch, and the fast-spinning hard drive will certainly appeal to those after performance.