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HP netbook boasts homegrown Linux distro

Oct 29, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive

HP announced a netbook with a proprietary, media-centric Linux distribution called MIE (Mobile Internet Experience). The HP Mini 1000 features an 8.9-inch or 10.2-inch display, a 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor, plus a 60GB hard drive or SSD (solid state disk) up to 16GB, says HP.

(Click for larger view of the HP Mini 1000 with MIE )


HP's 2133 Mini-Note PC
(Click image for further information)

HP's first foray into the netbook world, the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC (right), targeted the education market and was based on a Via C7-M ULV processor clocked at 1GHz, 1.2GHz, and 1.6GHz. The new HP Mini 1000 gains the more typical 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor, teamed with the 945GSE and ICH7M supporting chipset. Unfortunately, it also now has 1024 x 600 screen resolution, instead of the Mini-Note's 1280 x 768 pixels.


HP Mini 1000 with MIE

The new HP Mini 1000 models include the Linux-based “Mini MIE” (above), as well as the almost identical Windows XP Home-based HP Mini 1000 and fashion-conscious HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition. All models offer 8GB or 16GB solid state drive (SSD) storage, an optional 60GB hard drive, and optional USB storage modules that hold up to 8GB, says the company. Standard features include Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, two USB ports, a webcam, and a 5-in-1 card reader.


HP Mini 1000 (side view)

According to HP, the netbooks will be available with 3G cellular connectivity by the end of the year. Company representatives have reportedly also briefed some journalists on an optional video accelerator that's said to be forthcoming. We have no information on how these options will be interfaced to the netbook, however; in fact, the Mini 1000 no longer includes the ExpressCard interface that was included on the 2133 Mini-Note.


HP's MIE (Mobile Internet Experience) with MediaStyle GUI

Although the Linux version of the Mini-Note runs SUSE Linux, the MIE distro is touted as being “HP developed.” Based on Ubuntu, according to third-party reports, it has been gussied up with an “HP MediaStyle” GUI interface (see image above). Said to have been designed for multimedia playback, Internet browsing and “social-media experiences,” the MediaStyle dashboard “comes loaded with instant messaging, email and Skype for online video chat.” Other touted features include browsing, email, and online video applications that “are pre-loaded and run from the MIE dashboard, minimizing startup time,” as well as the ability to keep favorite sites “live” onscreen simultaneously.

We haven't yet seen word on whether tinkerers will be able to add their own apps and do other modifications to the distro, nor has HP announced plans to open-source MediaStyle. But, in an interesting reversal of usual practice, purchasers of the Mini MIE get 2GB of RAM, rather than the 512MB and 1GB configurations featured on Windows XP versions of the Mini 1000.


HP's Mini 1000 boasts a “92 percent” keyboard

The HP Mini 1000 netbooks measure 10.3 x 6.5 x 1 inches, and include a keyboard that's said to be 92 percent the size of a standard notebook's. Whereas the earlier 2133 Mini-Note — still offered to the education market — furnished a 9-inch display, the Mini 1000 offers a choice of 8.9 or 10.2-inch displays, with LED backlighting and flush glass panels.

Specifications listed for the HP Mini 1000 with MIE include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz with Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
  • Memory 1GB, expandable to 2GB
  • Expansion — 5-in-1 Secure Digital, Multimedia card reader
  • Storage — 8GB or 16GB SSD standard; 60GB hard drive optional; up to 8GB additional via USB-based HP Mobile Mini Drive
  • Display — 8.9-inch or 10.2-inch HP BrightView display, 1024 x 600 resolution
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet
  • WiFi — 802.11b/g
  • USB — 2 x USB ports (one recessed port for USB storage)
  • Bluetooth — 1 x Bluetooth radio
  • Other features:
    • Webcam
    • Microphone
    • Mic/headphone ports
    • 92-percent keyboard
    • Wireless 3G (coming by end of year)
  • Battery — 3-cell, 26WHr Li-Ion battery (6-cell battery coming in January)
  • Dimensions — 10.3 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Weight — 2.25 lbs
  • Operating system — Linux (Mobile Internet Experience)

Availability

The Linux-based HP Mini 1000 with MIE is expected to be available in the U.S. in January starting at $380, says HP. The Windows XP Home-based HP Mini 1000 is available now starting at $400, and the Windows XP Home-based HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition should ship in mid-December, priced at $700.

Further information, currently focusing on the Windows XP configurations, can be found on HP's website, here. Meantime, reviews of the system have been made available by PC World, here, Laptop magazine, here, jkOnTheRun, here, and Notebooks.com, here.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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