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5/27/2009
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HP Expands Low-Priced Mini-Laptop Family

The consumer-centric Mini 110 is available with Windows XP or Linux, while the business-focused Mini 1101 gives buyers the choice of Windows XP Home, XP Pro, or Vista, each for less than $350.

HP Mini 110 netbooks
(click image for full view)
HP Mini 110 netbooks
Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday expanded its mini-laptop line with a stylish model for consumers and another for business travelers, each costing less than $350.

The consumer-centric Mini 110 is available with Windows XP or Linux and is available in pink chic and in black or white swirl. The business-focused Mini 1101 is only available in black swirl but gives buyers the choice of Windows XP Home, XP Pro, or Vista.

HP released the latest models as computer makers get ready for the back-to-school season. The predecessor to the latest machines is the Mini 1000, which HP sells in three models ranging from $280 to $430. The Mini 1000 is available with either a 9-inch or 10-inch display.

The latest Minis are not dramatically different from the previous models in terms of hardware. Starting at less than 2.5 pounds, the systems come with a 10-inch standard display, but the Mini 110 XP edition is also available with an optional high-definition LED wide screen, which would require the optional Broadcom Crystal HD Enhanced Video Accelerator to be useful.

The new systems also have a keyboard that's 92% of standard size and a built-in Webcam and microphone. Buyers can chose between a hard drive or pay more for a solid-state drive. They also can pick between an Intel N270 or N280 Atom processor at 1.6 GHz or 1.66 GHz, respectively.

The Mini 110 XP edition supports up to 1 GB of memory and either a 32-GB SSD or 160-GB hard drive. The Linux edition supports up to 2 GB of memory and a 250-GB hard drive. The Mini 1101 for businesspeople offers an optional six-cell battery for longer power and integrated mobile broadband for accessing corporate networks.

HP markets the systems as second PCs for people who want Internet access on the road. In general, netbooks are best suited for e-mail, Web browsing, and basic Office-type tasks.

However, some computer makers are blurring the line between netbooks and mainstream laptops. For example, Lenovo on Tuesday introduced an under-$500 IdeaPad S12 with a full-size keyboard and 12-inch display. Despite the larger size, Lenovo is marketing the system as a netbook.

The HP Mini 110 XP and Linux editions are scheduled to be available June 10 in the United States with a starting price of $330 and $280, respectively. The Mini 1101 is scheduled to be available June 1 with a starting price of $329.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).

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