HP Mini 100e Netbook Offers Microsoft, Intel to Elementary Users
Summer may be officially upon us, but Hewlett-Packard is turning its attention to classrooms, with the June 23 introduction of the HP Mini 100e Education Edition, a netbook for the elementary years.
Priced below $300 a unit, the netbooks aim to be a study in durability meets simplicity. Clamshell-style with a sturdy handle, the Mini 100e weighs 3.19 pounds and features a 10.1-inch LED-backlit display with a 92-percent full-size keyboard. It runs either Windows or Linux operating systems, plus an Intel Atom N455 processor an Intel NM10 Express chipset, 1GB of DDR3 memory, and either a 3-cell battery for 4.5 hours of work time, or a 6-cell for 8.5 hours.
Imagining classroom in the United States, as well as in developing countries, the Mini 100e offers the option of WiFi or a dial-up modem for connectivity.
Also designed with young users in mind, the Mini 100e includes a spill-resistant keyboard, the ability to take a few knocks from a desktop - thanks, in part, to its metal-alloy hinges and steel pin axles - and a network activity light on the outside of the clamshell that can helpfully indicate, to a teacher facing a room of open netbooks, who's not connected.
HP has thrown in some free software, including Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Security Essentials, as well as education-specific applications like Microsoft Math, EverNote and an e-reader app. The nebook also offers separate headphone and microphone ports, a VGA Webcam and the option to include an optical mouse and external USB optical drive.
For classroom use, the Mini 100e is compatible with HP's notebook carts, and the devices can be remotely managed by IT.
Finally, whether to distinguish netbooks for a specific grade or classroom, or to simply encourage school spirit, the netbooks can also be customized - on both the exterior and inside of the clamshell, with various colors or even school logos that can be applied beneath the HP logo. The base model, however, comes is all white - which by a certain logic, and with certain methods, might make them easiest to clean.
The Mini 100e will be available worldwide in July. Pricing, again, depends on configurations, as well as the number of devices ordered. Unlike with its more traditional notebooks, "We started at zero and added what was necessary," an HP spokesperson told eWEEK. Which means that whatever the configuration, pricing is expected to stay below $300.