When HP introduced the new Mini 5102 business-oriented netbook, the company promised that the base model would sell for $399 and up. But it looks like you might have to wait a little while to pick one up at that price.
HP recently added the netbook to is small business web site, and the cheapest price for a pre-configured HP Mini 5102 is $749. That price includes a 1.66GHz Atom N450 CPU, 4 cell battery, 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display. 2GB of RAM, 160GB 7200RPM HDD, 2MP webcam, 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1. Part of the reason for the high price is that this model comes with Windows XP Professional, which is available through Windows 7 Professional downgrade rights. There’s no cheapo Windows 7 Starter license here.
I’m still hopeful that HP will offer additional “smart buy” configurations of this laptop soon, which could include the promised $399 configuration. HP will also likely offer customization options soon, allowing users to select an optional touchscreen, handle, and other features. But when you customize any item on the HP small business web site, you can expect to pay a premium.
Update: Some folks are reporting that when they visit the HP web site, the cheapest model they see is priced at $599 rather than $749. That model isn’t showing up for me yet, but your results may vary.
Update the second: The $399 model should arrive February 1st.