I’m going to be honest. We haven’t been covering netbooks with very much enthusiasm. Why? Because except for a few, they are all the same components stuck in a boring looking plastic laptop shell. I mean how many more models of the EEE will Asus still release? I have lost track already.
There have been a few netbooks however that stand out such as the S101 or the N10 from Asus. Joining them is the new Mini 1000 from HP. With the base price at $399 you get the standard netbook components inside (1.6Ghz Atom, 8GB SSD, WiFi, 8.9″ screen, VGA webcam); what you don’t get is the boring design. HP has designed what I consider to be the best looking netbook yet. A sleek black case with an imprinted design on the top, glass on the display like the new Macbook and a great keyboard (93% full-size) all in a slim case. If that’s not enough to impress, how about options for built-in HSDPA, 3 and 6 cell batteries, and a 60GB harddrive instead of the SSD? I want one.
There will be three versions available. The standard black one comes with Windows XP, 1Gb of RAM, 8GB SSD and an 8.9″ Screen and is available right now for $399. A new Mobile Internet Edition will be available early next year and will ditch XP in favor of a special build of Ubuntu created by HP and have 2GB of RAM standard.The designer red version which we have seen a while back will be available for $699 in mid-december, complete with all the flowery details .
Now lets look at the bad things – the 10″ screen is a $50 option, otherwise you get an 8.9″ screen with a plastic bezel around it. Both screens are also only 1024×600, which will not please fans of higher resolutions. Battery life is around 3 hours which is pretty good for a 3 cell. If you decide to get the SSD model you also get a special slot designed for HP USB drives which extend your storage without adding any bulk. Lets hope these aren’t too overpriced.