First Look: HP Mini 100e Hands-On Review

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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.

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.

One education-focused design element that reminded us of the Dell Latitude 2100 is the inclusion of an easy-to-see LED that indicates when the PC is connected to a network. 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.

Although the the default configuration of the Mini 100e looks a little Spartan, the Mini 100e also features a customizable back panel, keyboard deck, and bottom case that allow customers to personalize their units with their school logo, motto, or a picture for added security and personalization. HP let us take a look at a mock up of a customized Mini 100e that highlights the customizable options.

The HP Mini 100e boasts better than average hardware for a budget netbook intended for school use. HP includes a modern Atom N455 processor with Intel NM10 Express chipset that allows the Mini 100e to run cooler, use less power and deliver better battery life compared to the previous generation of HP Minis. It offers 1GB of DDR3 memory, three-cell or six-cell battery options (both which mount flush to the bottom of the netbook without increasing the external dimensions), and multiple options for storage. Since there are a variety of education software needs, the HP Mini 100e offers Windows XP Home, Windows 7 Starter, or SuSE Linux (SLED 11) operating systems.

The HP Mini 100e also includes basic productivity, education and security software from Microsoft, such as Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Math and Microsoft Security Essentials. Educators can also purchase a number of accessories for students to get the most from the Mini 100e, including:

  • HP Slip Case
  • HP Optical Mouse
  • HP Combo Lock
  • HP Student Edition Youth Backpack
  • HP External USB Optical Drive

Pricing and Availability
The HP Mini 100e will be available worldwide in July. Pricing will be set on a per deal basis determined by the quantities purchased and customized options. That said, HP representative say the Mini 100e is not expected to exceed $300 per unit.

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 battery

Be sure to return to for a full review of this netbook coming soon.



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