HP Mini 311 Ion-Based Netbook Review

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Software and Accessories

You may be paying extra for this netbook compared to its contemporaries, but you can rest assured that your extra change won't be going to useless software and accessories. The Mini 311 comes with just a few things: a box, the machine itself, an AC power brick and an AC cable. That's it. No case, no mouse, nothing else. You'll get the bare essentials and that's it, so you'll want to factor those "extras" you possibly desire into your budget.

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On the software front, you'll find Windows 7 Home Premium on board. This is a huge step up from Windows XP, which was the OS of choice for most netbooks just a few months ago. You won't find too much bloatware loaded on, but that's not to say it's devoid of applications that you'll want to tweak or uninstall right away. The Norton anti-virus software is a real nag; right when you boot up for the first time, you'll be greeted with a huge pop-up that encourages you to continue the installation--only so it can nag you later to upgrade to the full version, we assume. That's not a very good user experience to kick things off.

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You'll also get a trial version of the Microsoft Office Suite and not much else. ArcSoft's WebCam Companion 3, CyberLink's DVD Suite, a Pandora app, Microsoft Works, and an NVIDIA control panel are thrown in, but otherwise you'll just find the typical Windows 7 inclusions and lots of room for everything else--things you'll be forced to pick up yourself.

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