Wednesday, January 06, 2010

HP Mini Netbooks: Pine Trail Processors, Physical Redesign, and a Mysterious Touchscreen Option [NetBooks]


HP announced three new netbooks in the Mini line today: The 210 (consumer), 5102 (business) and 2102 (both?). They're pretty standard next-gen netbooks, except for the 5102's odd touchscreen option.

The new HP Mini 210 is looking a lot better on the outside, with a new design, multitouch trackpad (like a miniature version of the ones in the Envy series) and new island-style (or chiclet) keyboard that's 92% the size of a standard keyboard. It's also available in craaaaazy new colors, like blue! And red! They're packing Intel's new Pine Trail Atom procs (the N450 at 1.66GHz, to be exact, with an optional Broadcom video accelerator), 10.1-inch screen, larger HDDs (160GB, 250GB and up to 320GB, which is huge for netbooks), and up to 1GB of memory (lame). The 2102 is pretty much the same internally as the 210, but with a brushed metal finish instead of the cute plasticky case of the 210.

The Mini 5102, the "business" model, is a little confusing: It actually offers a multitouch screen like the TM2, but without the software and without the swivelling screen, so I'm not quite sure how useful it is. It has the "premium" brushed aluminum finish and a 95% real-size keyboard, as well as a goofy handle so you can carry your netbook like a lunchbox. The 210 will start at $300, the 2102 at $330 and the 5102 at $400, with the former two available starting today and the latter sometime this month. [HP]