Vivienne Tam HP Mini “Netbook” Review


Ok folks. I got really lucky again. And I mean REALLY lucky. My favorite PR peeps over at Buzz Corps brought me into the fold of another project for HP. And a couple days ago, they sent me the product we’re reviewing this time. What is it? Oh, you’re gonna like this one. Its a Vivienne Tam HP Mini Netbook. It’s pretty damn fabulous – and I’m going to tell you why.

Now, I am going to warn you. I am going to post here all about how I endorse this product. But I am going to try my damnedest NOT to sound too much like an infomercial… I’m not sure I’ll succeed, but stick with me anyway, ok?

So to keep it interesting, I decided to also check out the 12 seconds site. Instead of typing a bunch of bladdy bladdy blah text, I thought I would try sharing my top 5 reasons why I love the HP Mini on there. Consider it my first stab at “Vlogging”, if you will. But I love the concept of the videos only being 12 seconds – its my personal guarantee that this review can’t get too boring. So check it out because if you’ve read this far, you clearly have an attention span of more that 12 seconds.

So here we go.

Reason #1: It has a camera

Reasons #2: It’s the perfect size

Reason #3: Lovely design = “Mommies Only”

Reason #4: It’s light

Reason #5: SD port for pics

(So, be honest. I really don’t think I got away without sounding a little bit like an infomercial, did I?  Yeah well, what are you gonna do. I’m sure Vanna White is quaking in her stilettos…)

Now there are certainly many other reasons why I like this mini so much. And I know that if you read on it will take more than 12 seconds, but bear with me if your interest is peaked now.


While it is certainly very light and easy to pop open and work on just about anywhere, it also doesn’t get as hot as my other HP laptop. The weight and low temp make this HP Mini seem almost effortless – and extremely easy to curl up on the couch with. (I guess it should be no surprise it has an energy star rating, right?)

The operating system is Windows XP and comes with Windows Media Player (which I use all the time). But I know someone else who just put Windows 7 on theirs and it sounds like it is working great.

It has two USB ports, one of which I am using for the remote mouse, a headphone/mic jack, a network jack, an expansion port, an SD card reader, and a security cable connector. Along with its camera, the HP Mini has speakers to play tunes on (and for such a little thing, its speakers actually sound surprisingly good – about as good as my regular sized HP laptop).

I know I talked about the design in Reason #3 but I have to go over that point one more time. It is really lovely to look at. The design makes it feel very unique. This mini even comes with a silk cloth “clutch” that you can slip it into. From there, I slip it into my purse. And as I mentioned before, all the flowers and femininity acts as its own security system – my husband, brother, father and the rest of the dudes in my family won’t be taking it out in public to use. With no threats of it disappearing, this mini has become the uber Mommy laptop.

Ok, how about a couple cons? Well, once again, I would have to say the very shiny screen is a frustration (this has been an issue I’ve seen with most HP screens). The shininess is very pretty to look at initially but it is just too shiny. Its very hard to look at outside, especially if the mini is unplugged and the screen is not as bright.

The overall shininess of the Mini also means many finger prints. Finger prints (and other various types of smears) are a reality in this mother’s world. I feel like I need to wipe it down a lot to keep it looking beautiful.

Also the camera seems dark. I need to be outdoors or near very bright light to have any hope of being seen. Perhaps I don’t have a setting quite right but I have heard this is an issue for other VT users too.

**Update about the Webcam!**

While on our Vivienne Tam NYC trip, the wonderful HP rep who came along explained to us that some of the first VT HP minis still have a small bit of plastic over the webcam. She wasn’t exactly sure why it was left on, one idea was that it was to protect the camera from the paint treatment. Nevertheless, it is fixable. She actually opened each of our VT HP minis and peeled the piece of plastic off. If you are having issues with yours, I would call HP tech support and explain the problem. HP has now recommended that you do not try to do this on your own in case it causes unnecessary damage.

If you unplug the Mini fully charged, you really don’t have too long on it without having to power it up again. I think I’ve gotten a couple hours out of it, but that’s about it.

All in all, it is a fabulous ride. And my bottom line is: if you’re someone looking for something stylish and easy, something more than just a blackberry but less cumbersome than a regular sized laptop, you might want to check out one of these Vivienne Tam HP Minis.

In the meantime, I am going to hope the men in my family don’t get over their complex about flowers too soon and do finally walk off with the thing. Wish me luck.

For other blogger reviews of the HP VT Mini, visit this post of mine for links to each blogger involved in this review. They should be listed at the HP Website also. For more information about the HP products I review, please visit my HP Update page.



Filed under HP, Reviews, Stuff I have, Techie Stuff

11 responses to “Vivienne Tam HP Mini “Netbook” Review

  1. It’s really cool. I’m kinda jealous.

  2. Oooh, so fabulous! It’s very very pretty. I like my HP mini, but my husband’s been talking about taking it to work. Wish I had the flower one, so I wouldn’t have to worry about that! I took mine to my son’s doctor’s appointment the other day to do some writing – very convenient!

    Your videos were great! You need to move onto full-fledged vlogging now.

  3. Sounds great, good job there!

  4. Oh wow, that’s VERY snazzy.

    I vlogged the arrival of my (purchased) Mini 9 but I haven’t edited the videos yet. I am so lazy.

    Is Being Savvy Tampa looking for more Mamas? I’d love to get involved but I cannot figure out how to contact them anywhere on the site.

  5. Wow, this sounds almost good enough to trade in my Apple. Well, maybe good enough to supplement my Apple.

  6. Kate

    This is SO cute/pretty/trendy/cool. Great job! (Do you get to keep it??)

  7. For more information about how I work with HP, I have just organized my HP Updates page here:
    I also have some exciting news about a trip to NYC where I am going to learn more about the VT Mini. I will post more about that soon!

  8. Jess

    Hi just wondering whether you still like this laptop since you’ve been using it for a few months now. I’m thinking of getting one too. Thanks!

  9. Hi Jess – I do still *love* the VT mini. Its really been so ideal for me as a blogger on the move a lot. Its not just getting online for me, its needing to write on the go and this mini is perfect for that. I have been loving how light and easy to tuck away it is. It is my laptop for every wifi cafe in the area. It is still so beautiful too of course. I’ll say that sometimes the smaller screen takes some getting used to after I’ve been using my HP Pavilion screen, but it doesn’t bother me that much. There are days when I don’t even touch my HP Pavilion since I am so comfortable on the mini. Also, the keys can be sometimes hard to read at night (gold on red) but I do have pretty bad eyes so low light never helps me. Truly the convenience of being comfortably tucked in bed or the couch with such a light, easy to maneuver laptop never gets old. Anyway, yes I still love it and certainly recommend this purchase!

  10. Monyca

    I’m wondering do you ever feel like you need a CD/DVD drive, or has that not really been an issue?

  11. Monyca – Great question! My VT mini is not my primary computer. I call my HP Pavilion (with a CD/DVD drive) the “mother ship”. In my opinion, the VT makes sense if you have one other PC for CD/DVD needs, etc. I use my VT mini for convenience around the house and esp. when I am out and about and anywhere near Wi-fi. Its kind of addicting to use b/c its SO easy and small. And like I said before, there are days I never return to the “mother ship” (when I don’t need that CD/DVD drive) b/c the VT mini takes care of everything else. That said, if my VT mini was my only computer, I would miss not having a CD/DVD drive for sure.

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