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HP spins a netbook just for schools

Jun 23, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

HP announced a netbook for students that includes a metal-hinged case, carrying handle, and worldwide V.92 modem. Available in bulk orders only, the Mini 100e includes a 10.1-inch display, customizable case, network activity light, and a 1.66GHz Atom N455 processor with DDR3 RAM, the company says.

HP targeted educational markets with its first-ever netbook, the April 2008 Mini-Note 2133 (with a Via C7-M ULV processor, an aluminum shell, and a coated "DuraKeys" keyboard). This year, meanwhile, the company announced the Mini 5102 Student Edition, an Atom N450-based netbook with an integral handle (right) and Adobe Digital School Collection software.

HP is now adding to its bevy of netbooks with what appears to be an even more serious run at the educational market. The Mini 100e (left) gets rounded corners that remind us of both Apple's original iBook and Intel's competing Classmate.

The Mini 100e has a carrying handle that appears stronger than the one on the Mini 5102 Student Edition, plus, according to HP, a "spill-resistant" keyboard and metal alloy screen hinges with steel pin axles. (Why can't portable computers for grownups all have these features too?)

HP says the Mini 100e, which will apparently only be available in bulk buys, features a customizable back panel, keyboard deck, and bottom case. Therefore, schools can personalize their units with a logo, motto, or picture in order to add personalization and discourage theft. (Some custom designs were shown off to the press by HP and may be viewed via the links at the end of this story.)

Ready for customization: HP's Mini 100e
(Click to enlarge) 

Customization also extends to the Mini 100e's operating system: In addition to Windows 7 Starter Edition, the device will be offered with SuSE Linux Enterprise 11 and Windows XP Home Edition, HP says.

The Atom N455-powered Mini 100e otherwise offers standard netbook features, such as a 10.1-inch display with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, a VGA-resolution webcam, and a 160GB (5400rpm) hard disk drive. The device includes two USB 2.0 ports, a microphone input, a headphone/line output, and an SD/MMC expansion slot, HP says.

According to HP, the Mini 100e comes standard with a 10/100 Ethernet port, while 802.11b/g is a build option. An easy-to-see LED tips teachers off when the netbook is connected to a network, the company adds. Unusually these days, the netbook is also said to come with a V.92 modem, touted as being usable worldwide for dialup internet access.

HP says the Mini 100e weighs about 3.2 pounds and will be available with either three- or six-cell batteries. We did not see any claims as to battery life, however.

Features and specifications listed by HP for the Mini 100e include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N455 clocked at 1.66GHz
  • Chipset — NM10 I/O controller
  • Memory — up to 2GB of 667MHz DDR3 RAM via single SODIMM slot
  • Storage — 160GB hard disk drive (5400rpm)
  • Display — 10.1-inch display with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution
  • Camera — VGA-resolution webcam
  • Expansion — SD/MMC slot
  • Networking:
    • LAN — 10/100 Ethernet
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g (optional)
    • WAN — V.92 dialup modem
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x VGA
    • audio — mic in and headphone/line out
  • Battery — three cell (28WHr) or six cell (47WHr) lithium-ion batteries, 40 Watt AC adapter
  • Dimensions — 10.87 x 9.87 x 1.57 inches (276 x 250.6 x 39.8mm)
  • Weight — starts at 3.19 pounds (1.45kg)


According to HP, the Mini 100e will be available worldwide in July. Pricing will be set on a "per deal" basis and is not expected to exceed $300 per unit, the company adds.

For photo galleries of some custom Mini 100e case designs shown off by HP, see an Engadget blog posting, here, and a Laptop posting, here.

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