HP today took the wraps off the all-new Mini 100e, an education-focused netbook designed to help schools around the world acquire reliable, low-cost PCs. We spent some hands-on time with the new HP Mini 100e and spoke to the team from HP about what this school-friendly netbook has to offer…
We hate to crush your dreams of a World Cup-branded netbook — and we know that’s exactly what that looks like up there — but it’s really just an example of how schools can customize HP’s new 10.1-inch Mini 100e. Sorry to have killed everything you’ve ever had to live for, but doesn’t it make you happy to know that the kids can watch NOVA videos on netbooks with different colors and designs? Rhetorical questions aside, HP’s finally sharing the details on the education-aimed laptop.
The netbook is designed with a strong plastic chassis with steel pins, a spill-resistant keyboard (with mylar film under the keys), and an LED on the back of the lid so that teachers can see when there’s network activity. The mini-laptop also has a carrying handle, and an intergrated modem for use in developing areas or remote areas where broadband might not be available. The handle is non-user removable, because HP wanted as few removable parts as possible to keep children from tampering with the netbook. For that reason, the RAM and hard drive are not easily accessible either.
The “HP Mini 100e Education Edition” features a durable and functional student-friendly design that keeps things simple yet raises the bar compared to similar products like the Intel Classmate. Starting at only 3.19 pounds with a 3-cell battery, the Mini 100e features a 10.1-inch diagonal LED-backlit WSVGA (1024 x 600) display and 92 percent of full size QWERTY keyboard. The exterior of the Mini 100e is a traditional clamshell design with an integrated carrying handle to make it easier for small hands to get a grip on this laptop. Additional durability features include strong metal alloy hinges with steel pin axles and a spill-resistant keyboard designed with a protective Mylar film under the keyboard to prevent spills from damaging the electronics inside.
With a 10-inch matte screen, a “spill resistant” keyboard, and an LED indicator on the back lid that lets teachers know whether kids are online or not (which could be a good or bad thing depending on the class), the Mini 100e also has a rugged though not retracting handle and various software programs pre-installed, ranging from Microsoft Office Starter to a basic PDF reader. The Mini 100e also comes with a modem in addition to Ethernet, in the event it’s used in developing countries with older internet options. 802.11b/g Wi-Fi isn’t automatically included; it’s listed as optional. Available OS options include Windows 7 Starter, XP and SUSE Linux Enterprise 11.
This bright light allows teachers to see when a student is and is not connected to the internet during class. While we’re on the subject of internet connectivity, the HP Mini 100e also includes an integrated worldwide modem, which is compatible in all countries with the V.92 standard. This enables dial-up internet connection in remote areas so students can easily connect to the Web anywhere there is internet service available over a phone line. Of course, students can enjoy the HP Mini 100e’s wireless features, including optional Wi-Fi Certified WLAN and a built-in VGA webcam for virtual classroom conferencing and interactive multimedia classroom lessons.
Additional Specifications for the HP Mini 100e:
Operating System: Windows 7 Starter, Windows XP Home, or SUSE Linux Enterprise 11.
Processor: Intel Atom N455 (1.66GHz).
Chipset: Intel NM10 Express.
Memory: 1GB DDR3 running at 667MHz (available with up to 2GB).
Internal Storage: 160GB SATA HDD (5400 rpm or 7200 rpm available) or 16GB Flash module.
Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD.
Wireless: Optional 802.11 b/g WLAN.
Communications: Realtek Ethernet (10/100 NIC).
Ports and Connectors: Two USB 2.0 ports, VGA out, power connector, RJ-45 Ethernet, RJ-11 modem, stereo microphone in, stereo headphone/line out.
Expansion: SD/MMC card reader.
Security: Cable lock slot.
Power: 3-cell (28WHr) or 6-cell (47WHr) Lithium-Ion battery and 40W AC Adapter.
Dimensions: 1.57 x 10.87 x 9.87 inches (H x W x D).
Weight: Starting at 3.19 pounds with 3-cell batter.
While we’re told the 3.2-pound netbook will start at under $299, HP won’t actually be selling units directly to consumers — instead it will only be taking bulk orders from schools. Still the 100e seems like a very worthy Classmate PC and Dell Latitude 2110 competitor, especially when you consider that it can be tricked out with a colorful keyboard, like the one in the gallery below. After you’re done crying that one of those will never be yours, feel free to hit the break for the full press release.