The initial reviews of the HP Mini-Note have been overwhelmingly positive, and HP itself has no shame in admitting it has made a killer system. A roomy 92 percent full-size keyboard and a glossy 8.9-inch screen are pretty sweet, but reviews of a system can only go so far. Thus I have taken the HP Mini-Note under my wing for the next few days as my primary computer. My initial impression? This is one nice-looking system. It’s more attractive than the ASUS Eee PC (especially those Easter egg–colored options) and it’ll certainly turn heads. The brushed metal chassis feels and looks sturdy. However, my reservations quickly started kicking in after toggling the blue LED power switch on. Ah, boot-up: You leave me enough time to knit a sweater. And since I don’t know how to knit, waiting around felt even longer. In all seriousness, it took 2 minutes and 50 seconds to fully boot up the Vista operating system. My Mini-Note’s configuration costs $599 and contains a VIA C7-M processor (1.2 GHz, 800 MHz FSB) and 1GB of RAM. I have to say, being greeted by a Vista desktop on this mini-notebook was almost surreal. I expect a system of this size and power to run Windows XP or some flavor of Linux. And to be honest, I longed for them. Vista looked very nice on the glossy screen, but a Vista Experience score of 1.2 (out of a possible 5) tells you right off the bat how poorly the system handles the bulky OS. I rushed to disable the Allow/Cancel prompts (or what Microsoft calls User Account Control) from the Control Panel. As expected, the keyboard is very roomy. If the Eee PC is a twin-size bed, this is a queen. I am no man-hands, but I instantly preferred this keyboard to the Eee PC. I had few to no typos while writing this post on the Mini-Note. But the touchpad is a different story. HP might claim that the kids liked the vertical placement of the mouse buttons on the sides of the trackpad, but I’d argue otherwise. I have to use both hands to work with it. I’ve gotten used to keeping my right index finger on the touchpad and my left hand’s index finger on the left click button. Double-tapping on the touchpad is also another option. My initial use of the Mini-Note for simple tasks has been decent. I was able to connect to our office Wi-Fi signal swiftly to check mail, read the latest tech headlines, and test out the Mini-Note’s streaming-video capability using Hulu and other Flash-based Web sites. Stay tuned as I continue to test other applications—including graphic-intensive games.