When I first saw the HP Mini 2140 with the bigger screen, and naturally, reduced bezel around it, I wondered to myself “Just where did the speakers go?”. From the initial press pictures and “virtual demo” on Hewlett Packard’s website, I couldn’t see the speakers in ANY of the press photos at all. And apparently, many of our readers’ enquiring minds wanted to know as well…
Thankfully, a HP Mini 2140 dropped into my hands about an hour after the official announcement and as soon as it did, I inspected the entire netbook for the speakers… just about everything, down to the arrangement of the various connectivity ports, was the same as on the Mini 2133. I lifted the Mini 2140 up (making it activate the 3D Drive Guard HDD protection system) but no speakers underneath either.
Within minutes of posting my hands on with the HP Mini 2140, my Outlook account became swamped with emails from people asking (and demanding to know) “where are the Mini 2140’s speakers?”.
Alright, enough with the suspense, the HP Mini 2140’s speakers are located just below its 10 inch screen – in the gap between the screen and battery so it’s not really visible (See the blue arrow in the picture above). Rest assured, there are TWO speakers (for those who cannot live without stereo sound).
Sound quality of the HP Mini 2140’s speakers were very good – I’ve played some movies and several albums of music on this netbook already. The speakers here are louder than most other netbooks; louder than its predecessor Mini 2133 even! The secret behind this is probably the speaker placement which I just mentioned – which allows the sound to be “bounced” off the battery to the screen to you (this also seems to give the sound more ‘depth’)… or maybe HP just put in better speakers in the Mini 2140.
Something worthy of note is that the HP Mini 2133 and HP Mini 2140 have speakers which are sensibly and strategically place; which aren’t blocked by anything. Most netbooks have their speakers in odd places, like on the underside of the netbook, which tends to muffle sound… yuck.
However, left-right stereo separation on the Mini 2140 is less noticeable compared to the HP Mini 2133 (Whose speakers were placed on the extreme edges of the screen). This shouldn’t be an issue for most people… if you want good and very noticeable stereo separation, you probably should be using headphones anyway, instead of your netbook’s built-in speakers.