HP will start seling an updated version of the HP Mini 5103 business netbook on September 17th. The netbook is already available for $399 and up with a choice of an Intel Atom N455 or N475 processor, but starting on the 17th you’ll be able to snag one with a 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 dual core processor.
The company says the new chip offers a performance boost of about 25% while resulting in about 15 minutes lower battery life. That’s not a bad tradeoff, since HP’s current crop of business netbooks get a respectable 6 hours of run time.
Aside from the new processor option, there aren’t many differences between the new model and the older HP Mini 5102. The netbook will continue to come with a 7200RPM hard drive or a high speed solid state disk. The 10.1 inch display is available in 1024 x 600 and 1366 x 768 pixel resolutions, and there’s a capacitive touchscreen option as well.
The netbook case is made of metal, with an aluminum top and a magnesium alloy bottom. Other options include GPS or 3G mobile broadband. HP also plans to start offering a new quick-start feature that will show information from your Outlook calendar while your computer is booting. You can either pause to view the calendar in more detail, or wait a moment to let it boot the full Windows 7 operating system at that point.’
HP will offer the Mini 5103 with Windows 7 Starter, Pro, or Home Premium, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, or FreeDOS. You can check out some more photos after the break.
People have pointed out that, despite the popularity of netbooks, their adoption by major business has been slow. Consumers who complain about “bloatware” on their laptops have obviously never experienced a mobile computer that’s part of a government or large corporate fleet. Those systems tend to be burdened with all kinds of extra security software, remote file systems, rigid configurations of applications, etc. I’m familiar with the manager of a major health institute who tried to leverage the current incarnation of this netbook into her workflow, but the poor little Atom processor wasn’t up to the task of running the managed computing environment required to be compliant with IT. I think that the n550 may finally open the door for netbooks like this to be viable in this setting. If so they may finally become deployed these en masse.. I can’t think of a more attractive, in every way possible, netbook for this application than the 5103.
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