HP expands its netbook rangeBy Jose Vilches
HP offered a sneak peek into its upcoming netbook earlier this week, accidentally posting an image of the computer on its online store. The entry was quickly removed, but now, the company has officially announced two new netbook lines - the HP Mini 1000 and Compaq Mini 700 - with starting prices of $379 and $299 respectively.
The new consumer-focused version of their Mini-Note 2133 companion PC, the Mini 1000, will be available in three different models and multiple configurations. All three models - HP Mini 1000, Mini 1000 MIE, and Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition - share the same slim form factor, a widescreen display with LED backlight, a keyboard that is 92 percent that of standard PCs, and a webcam.
The basic HP Mini 1000 configuration starts at $399 and is powered by an Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor running Windows XP Home. From there you can bump the specs choosing between an 8.9" or a 10.2" display, up to 2GB of RAM, 8GB or 16GB SSD or a 60GB HDD. The Mini 1000 ships with a 3-cell battery, so you can probably expect a sub-two hour life, and there is no built-in card reader slot.
The MIE model, starting at $379, is essentially the HP Mini 1000 with a uniquely simple and rather attractive Linux interface that streamlines the netbook experience by placing your most used apps into the home screen. And for the fashion conscious, the 10.2-inch Vivienne Tam Edition will sell for about $699, featuring a gleaming red finish and flower patterns. Last but not least there's the Compaq Mini 700, which supposedly offers more limited functionality but at a cheaper price - specs are a bit sketchy on this one, though.