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Linux-ready netbook rev’d for the “Mi” generation

May 27, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 21 views

HP has upgraded its “Mini” netbooks, which come with HP's own Ubuntu-based “Mi” Linux distro. The “HP Mini 110 with Mi” improves on the Mini 1000 with a larger, faster hard drive, a VGA port, a third USB port and a lower $280 price, says HP.

(Click for larger view of the HP Mini 110 with Mi )

HP's first foray into the netbook world, the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC, targeted the education market and was based on a Via C7-M ULV processor clocked at 1GHz, 1.2GHz, and 1.6GHz. The Atom-based HP Mini 1000 with MIE was introduced in October, and a pricier and more business-like HP Mini 2140 was introduced with SUSE Linux in January.

HP Mini 110 with Ubuntu-based “Mi,” showing HP MediaStyle GUI interface interface
(Click to enlarge)

The Mini 110 is closely based on the Mini 1000, and like the earlier models, also comes in a Windows XP edition. The biggest difference is the price, which has been slashed from $380 to $280, perhaps to match the shortening of the name of HP's homegrown Ubuntu-based Linux distro which has shrunk from Mobile Internet Experience (MIE) to Mobile Internet (Mi).

Like the Mini 1000, the Mini 110 offers a typical 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, teamed with the 945GSE and ICH7M supporting chipset. The Linux version offers up to 2GB of DDR2 memory, while the Windows version, complying with Microsoft's restrictions on Windows XP licensing for netbooks, offers only 1GB.

Instead of offering separate 8.9-inch or 10.2-inch display options, the Mini 110 provides a 10.1-inch display as standard, with the same 1024 x 576 resolution. A 1080p HD-ready model is expected to ship this summer.

In place of the standard solid-state drives (SSDs) supplied on the Mini 1000, which also offered an optional 60GB hard disk drive (HDD), the Mini 110 provides a faster 5400RPM HDD as standard, with a 32GB SSD optional. The Linux-based Mi Edition scores a 250GB drive while the XP Edition has a 160GB model.

Two views of the HP Mini 110
(Click on either to enlarge)

Other additions include a third USB port and a VGA port. Bluetooth apparently did not make the cut this time, but the netbook still offers 802.11b/g WiFi, as well as an Ethernet port, webcam, microphone, and the 92-percent keyboard. The previously promised 3G option also appears to be available.

Still a sleek one-inch thick and 10.3-inches wide, the netbook has grown almost a third of an inch taller to 6.3-inches, and it also weighs a bit more at 2.9 pounds. The netbook is now offered in Pink Chic, Black Swirl, or White Swirl.

Specifications listed for the HP Mini 110 Mi Edition include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz with Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
  • Memory — Up to 2GB (1GB for the XP Edition)
  • Expansion — 5-in-1 Secure Digital, Multimedia card reader
  • Storage — 250GB HDD (160GB for XP Edition); 32GB SSD optional
  • Display — 10.1-inch HP BrightView display, 1024 x 576 resolution; HD option available in July
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet
  • WiFi — 802.11b/g
  • USB — 3 x USB ports
  • Other features:
    • Webcam
    • Microphone
    • Mic/headphone ports
    • 92-percent keyboard
    • Wireless 3G (optional)
  • Battery — 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery; optional HP BX06 Mini Battery with six-hour life
  • Dimensions — 10.3 x 6.8 x 1 inches
  • Weight — 2.9 lbs
  • Operating system — Linux (Mi)

The Ubuntu-based “Mi” distribution appears to be an updated version of the previous MIE distro. It offers an “HP MediaStyle” GUI interface and is 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.

HP's other Linux-based systems offer Novell's SUSE Linux. It will be interesting to see if HP sticks with its own Ubuntu variant for future versions of the Mini Mi Edition or moves over to Novell's upcoming Moblin v2 for Netbooks version of OpenSUSE, which is due to arrive this summer. In either case, Linux users can be satisfied that at least Dell and HP are continuing to actively support Linux on their netbooks, even while several other major vendors have been drifting away.


The Linux-based HP Mini 110 with Mi will be available in Black Swirl case on June 10 for $280 (or $300 for the XP Edition), says HP. The Pink Chic and White Swirl models will go on sale on July 8, with pricing undetermined.

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