HP announced earlier this month that it would soon start shipping two netbooks with dual core Intel Atom N550 processor options. Now the company has followed through on that promise, and you can indeed order the HP Mini 5103 business netbook or the HP Mini 210 consumer netbook with a dual core chip. But it’ll cost you.

For instance, the base model of the HP Mini 5103 sells for $399 — but that version comes with a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N455 processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 160GB hard drive. The cheapest model with a 1.5GHz dual core Atom N550 chip costs $542 — even though the rest of the specs are pretty much the same.

Things look a bit better on the consumer side, with the base model of the HP Mini 210 selling for $330 and the dual core CPU option bringing the total to $405. Upgrading the CPU also automatically adds the Broadcom Crystal HD video accelerator to your cart, so you get 1080p HD video playback capabilities along with your higher performance CPU.

In fact, you can keep adding options to the HP Mini 210 until you have a system with Windows 7 Home Premium, 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard drive, Atom N550 processor, and a spare 6 cell battery and the price still comes to $510 — or about $32 less than the cost of the HP Mini 5103 with half the ram, less hard drive space, and a single 4 cell battery.

On the other hand, the HP Mini 5103 has an all-metal case, a hard drive sensor, and a 7200RPM hard drive. Still, I’m not a fan of the way HP charges for additional options on its business notebooks.

Oh yeah, another fun fact? Despite the fact that HP sent me a demo unit to review with a 1366 x 768 pixel HD display and a capacitive touchscreen, there’s no way to order this configuration from the HP web site. You may have better luck if you call the HP Small Business sales department.

via Netbook News

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