When HP first introduced the Mini 5102, the company promised that it would have a starting price of $399. But when it first showed up on the HP web site this week, the lowest price was $749. So what gives?
Long story short, the Mini 5102 is sold through HP’s business division. That means that generally you get a handful of “Smart Buy” configurations at low prices. And while the lowest price available today is $599, that’s about to change. I just got a note from HP letting me know that starting February 1st, there would be three new Smart Buy options, priced at $399, $525, and $649 respectively.
The $399 model will get you a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display. 1G of RAM, 160GB, 00RPM hard drive, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, a 4 cell, 29Whr battery and Windows 7 Starter Edition.
For $525 you’re upgraded to 2GB of RAM and a choice of Windows 7 Professional or Windows XP Professional.
The $649 model will pack a 6 cell, 66Whr battery, 2GB of RAM, Windows 7 or XP Pro, and a Gobi mobile broadband module.
If you want to pick and choose from the less common options such as the HD display, touchscreen, or handle, you’re probably not going to find a Smart Buy option. That means you’ll either have to configure your laptop for a premium price at HP.com or contact the sales folks at HP Business to see if you can work out a deal on pricing.
While it’s a shame that the base model comes with a 4 cell battery, $399 is a pretty reasonable price. Sure, it’s more expensive than a number of other mini-laptops with Atom N450 processors. But most of those models lack the magnesium alloy case, 7200RPM hard drive, and other features that make the Mini 5102 stand out.