Upgrading the HP Mini-Note

Give the Mini-Note some extra grunt -- and take a peek at what makes this ultraportable tick!

  • The Mini-Note PC stands out from the sub-$1000 ultraportable crowd because its keys are so large. It’s very comfortable to type on for long periods of time.

  • Three screws, which we’ve highlighted in red, hold the drive in place. Unscrew them, then pull up on the black screw using your finger to remove the drive from the chassis. It’s important to note that the two screws on the left can’t be unscrewed with a Phillips head screw driver as they have a star-type head. However, they can be unscrewed with a slim flathead screw driver.

  • With the keyboard removed, you can see the hard drive in the upper-right corner, the RAM to the left of it, and the extraction fan of the unit on the far left.

  • To replace the RAM, unclip it and pull it out using your fingers. It’s a DDR2 SDRAM SO-DIMM module, and you can install up to 2GB.

  • To remove the hard drive, the first step is to disconnect it from the motherboard. This can be done by gently pulling off the connector using your finger.

  • Remove the connector to expose the drive’s Serial ATA interface, and attach the connector to your replacement drive.

  • The HP Mini-Note PC is one of the best ultraportable laptops on the market for under $1000. The best part is that its RAM and hard drive are easily upgradeable. This means you can give it a little more memory to make Vista run smoother, and also replace the hard drive with a more efficient and silent solid-state device.
    As you can see from the slide, there aren’t any access panels. The RAM and hard drive are located underneath the keyboard, so this must be removed. Three screws in the battery compartment hold the keyboard in place, so remove the battery, and then remove the screws using a small Phillips-head screwdriver. We’ve highlighted the screws in green.

  • Our Mini-Note has a 120GB Toshiba drive in it, which is held in a metal bay. This bay is attached to the drive by four Phillips-head screws along its sides (their approximate location is indicated by the green circles), and this bay must also be attached on your replacement drive.

  • With the screws removed, pull the keyboard up from the middle until it unclips itself from the sides. Don’t pull it all the way off though, as its cable is still attached to the motherboard. You can remove the cable by pulling the brown lever upwards.

  • Since you’re upgrading anyway, you might want to consider getting yourself a second battery — any extra capacity you add to the Mini-Note PC will probably drain its three-cell battery a lot quicker than with the standard components, unless you install an SSD drive.

  • While it’s not necessary to remove the top cover of the unit, you can do so by removing the four concealed screws underneath the unit, as well as the two screws from the top, and by then unclipping it all the way around. Be sure not to remove it entirely, as the speakers, switches and touchpad are still connected to the motherboard. The VIA CPU is located beneath the copper plate next to the RAM slot.

  • Without the hard drive in there, the L-shape of the VIA motherboard becomes apparent.

Show Comments

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?