Last year HP introduced a netbook called the HP Mini 110. Eventually the company phased it out and replaced it with the HP Mini 210, a smaller, thinner model with an updated processor. And then last month HP brought the HP Mini 110 back to its web store — sort of. What really happened is that HP developed a new low cost netbook that’s sort of a cross between the original 110 and the new 210 models and made it the new cheap option at HP.com.
It’s taken nearly a month, but I’ve finally managed to get details from HP that explain what exactly the new model is.
In a nutshell, the new HP Mini 110 is a bit thinner than the original HP 110, but it’s thicker than the HP Mini 210. Like the 210, the new 110 has a solid colored lid, but while the HP Mini 210 has a matte lid and a glossy display, the HP Mini 110 has a matte display and a glossy lid.
The new HP Mini 110 does not have a colorful bottom panel like the HP Mini 210. Instead it has a black panel. But like the HP Mini 210, you can easily remove the bottom panel without a screwdriver by removing the battery and pressing on two tabs.
The HP Mini 110 is available with a 3 or 6 cell battery — but both batteries are the same size, and they’re both designed to sit flush with the base of the netbook. The HP Mini 210, by comparison, has a 3 cell battery option that sits flush or a 6 cell battery that juts out from the back.
Spec-wise, there’s little difference between the HP Mini 110 and the HP Mini 210. They both have 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processors, 1GB of RAM, and GMA 3150 graphics. But the base model of the HP Mini 210 has been phased out, so that now you can only get an HP Mini 210 HD with a 1366 x 768 pixel display and a 7200RPM hard drive. Those options aren’t available for the HP Mini 110.
The HP Mini 210 HD is also available with a choice of Windows XP, Windows 7 Starter, or Windows 7 Home Premium while the 110 only comes with Windows XP or Windows 7 Starter. And the HP Mini 210 HD comes with an option for a Broadcom Crystal HD video accelerator. That’s not an option on the HP Mini 110.
And while both netbooks have 93% full sized keyboards, the HP Mini 210 HD has an “island style” keyboard with space between the keys, while the HP Mini 110 has a more traditional keyboard design. The HP Mini 110 also has a touchpad with two buttons placed below it, while the HP Mini 210HD has the left and right buttons integrated into the touchpad.
Finally, the HP Mini 110 only comes in black or white, while the HP Mini 210 HD is available in silver, red, black, blue, pink, or white.
All in all, I imagine some folks might actually prefer the new HP Mini 110 to the HP Mini 210 HD, thanks to its matte display and distinct touchpad buttons. But because of its thicker design lower resolution display, and smaller number of configuration options, HP is positioning the HP Mini 110 as the entry level model. It has a starting price of $279.99, while the HP Mini 210 HD starts at $329.99.