HP announces miniature netbook for schools

Hewlett Packard unveiled its newest netbook today, the HP Mini 100e Education Edition and claimed it is just the right thing for schools around the globe.

The clamshell netbook is designed with kids in mind and has metal alloy hinges with steel pin axles, plus a carrying handle so the young’ns won’t drop it. Its keyboard, scaled down to 92 percent size, is also “spill-resistant”, or, to use the old-fashioned term, water repellent. juice, cacao, vomit and sticky kiddy blood from lost milk teeth can be wiped away and won’t spoil the unit. 

The Mini 100e has a 10.1 inch display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 (WSVGA) and runs on an Intel Atom N455 and an NM10 Express chipset, giving the unit longer battery life and emitting less heat. It has 1GB of DDR3 memory and can be ordered with a three or six cell battery. An ethernet and a modem port are part of the package, wireless is optional.

It also comes packing Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Math and Microsoft Security Essentials when ordered with Windows XP or Windows 7. A product key has to be bought for Microsoft Office 2010, though, as the version installed has lesser versions of Excel and Word. The Mini 100e can also be ordered with SuSE Linux instead of a Windows OS.

A large LED shows the network connection status, so teachers can see if the kid is looking at something not fit for young eyes. Teachers will also be able to spy on pupils at home using the in-built VGA webcam. HP claims the webcam also has better audio functions so children can hear teachers more audibly. Schools can also customise the units back and front panels with logos or whatever they wish.

HP says the new netbook for primary school pupils will ship worldwide next month and claims pricing won’t exceed $300 per unit.