HP recently announced a new low-cost netbook: Targeting schools and education institutes, the “clamshell” shaped (it literally looks like a clamshell!) HP Mini 100e will be available for order (at least for those folks) in July, sporting various configuration options but none of which exceed the $300 mark. And speaking of configuration, there will be various color schemes and custom logo/patterns available for the Mini 100e’s screen bezel, lid and keyboard (ie a school can put their logo to ‘brand’ the netbooks).
HP doesn’t mention if the Mini 100e will be available through retailers to consumers in general, though I wouldn’t lose any sleep about that – the market is already full of (or shall I say, flooded with) netbooks with similar or better features, with various brands and designs, and with prices ranging from ‘super affordable’ (ie the old, discontinued Asus Eee 800 or 900 series) to ‘premium’ (ie HP’s own Mini 5102).
The HP Mini 100e features the typical netbook affair – An Intel Atom N450 series processor with integrated graphics, a 10.1 inch LED-backlit display (1024 x 600) and a single DDR3 RAM slot that supports either one or two gigabytes of memory. HP is also giving schools, and whichever other clients it chooses to sell this Mini to, a choice of a 3 or 6 cell battery (no word about battery life though). The Mini 100e has a chiclet keyboard which looks a whole lot like the one found on HP’s Touchsmart tm2 and 2010 Pavilion dv3 (it’s a brilliant keyboard to type on; see my review of the Pavilion dv3 here)
Acting as one of HP’s most basic of netbooks, the Mini 100e has several cut-down features (compared to its ‘regular’ Mini siblings and other netbooks), such as its two USB 2.0 ports (as opposed to 3 USB ports being the norm on majority of today’s netbooks) and choice of 160 GB HDD or 16 flash-based storage (netbooks nowadays are pushing hard disks upwards of 250 or 320 GB, depending on manufacturer).