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“3G” HP netbook boasts Atom, ExpressCard expansion

Jan 6, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

HP announced a netbook targeting “business applications” and “instructional use,” and available with SUSE Linux. The HP Mini 2140 features a 10.1 screen up to 1366 x 768 pixels, Atom N270 processor, 160GB hard disk drive or 80GB SSD (solid state drive), plus an ExpressCard/54 slot.

(Click here for a larger view of HP's Mini 2140)

HP announced its first netbook as recently as April 2008, but the new Mini 2140 is now the company's third such offering. HP's initial netbook, the Mini Note 2133, sported an aluminum shell and a “DuraKeys” coating intended to protect its keyboard from the usual wear. Touted as being suitable for both business and educational markets, the Mini Note 2133 featured a nine-inch display with 1280 x 768 resolution, a Via C7-M ULV processor clocked at 1.0GHz, 1.2GHZ, or 1.6GHz, an ExpressCard expansion slot, and up to 160GB of hard disk storage.

HP's Mini 1000 was the company's first Atom-powered netbook
(Click image for further information)

Reviewers lauded the Mini Note 2133's “adult-sized” keyboard, but criticized the device's performance and tendency to become warmer than other netbooks. For its second netbook, therefore, HP decided to join the bevy of other vendors using Intel's 1.6GHz Atom N270, teamed with the 945GSE and ICH7M supporting chipset. But, while it might have had a faster CPU, the “consumer” Mini 1000 (right) lost the ExpressCard slot, had a less-robust plastic shell, and lowered screen resolution to 1024 x 600 pixels.

HP's new Mini 2140 apparently combines the best elements of both the Mini Note 2133 and the Mini 1000, with identical overall dimensions. For example, the new device offers both the aluminum case, DuraKeys keyboard, and ExpressCard slot of the 2133, and the Atom processor of the 1000. In addition, says HP, screen size has been bumped to 10.1 inches, with resolutions of either 1024 x 576 or 1366 x 768 pixels.

According to HP, the Mini 2140 has a single SO-DIMM slot that accepts up to 2GB of RAM. Mass storage, meanwhile, can be either a 160GB hard disk drive — offered in both 5400rpm and 7200rpm versions — or an 80GB SSD.

HP's Mini 2140
(Click to enlarge)

Like most netbooks, the device has a webcam, stereo speakers, and integrated stereo microphones. Also offered are two USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, and an gigabit Ethernet port. Making an unusual disclosure, HP's data sheet says the speed of the Mini 2140's Ethernet interface is “limited” by the Atom N270's 512KB second-level cache.

HP's Multibay Cradle II
(Click to enlarge)

The Mini 2140 is apparently offered with either 802.11b/g or 802.11a/b/g/n wireless LAN modules, and Bluetooth 2.0 is optional. The device comes with not only the ExpressCard/54 slot already mentioned, but also an SD expansion slot. Like other netbooks, the Mini 2140 obviously has no room for optical storage, but HP touts the separately available MultiBay II accessory (pictured at right), which connects via USB and can house a CD or DVD drive.

Features and specifications listed by HP for the Mini 2140 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N270 clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Memory — Single SODIMM slot accepts from 512MB to 2GB of RAM
  • Display — 10.1-inch screen, offered in 1024 x 576 or 1366 x 768 resolutions
  • Storage — 160GB hard disk drive (5400rpm and 7200rpm models are both offered) or 80GB solid state drive
  • Networking:
    • LAN — Gigabit Ethernet
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g or 802.11a/b/g/n
    • PAN — Bluetooth 2.0 (optional)

  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB
    • VGA
    • Audio — mic in, headphone/line out

  • Expansion:
    • 1 x SD
    • 1 x ExpressCard/54

  • Battery — Three-cell (28Wh) or six-cell (55Wh)
  • Dimensions — 10.3 x 6.5 x 1.05 inches (261.4 x 166.2 x 26.7mm)
  • Weight — 2.6 pounds with three-cell battery

Offering more operating system choices than most notebook vendors, HP says the Mini 2140 will be available with SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows Vista Business Edition, Windows Vista Home Basic, and FreeDOS. The netbook does not appear to offer HP's homegrown media-centric Linux distribution called MIE (Mobile Internet Experience), which ships with the Mini 1000.

The HP Mini 2140 will ship later this month for prices starting at approximately $500, according to HP. More information may be found on the company's website, here.

Meantime, reviews of the system have already been made available by Laptop magazine, here, PC magazine, here, and PC Advisor magazine, here.

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