HP Keeps Netbook Alive with New Mini 1104

Tablet ownership nearly doubled over the holiday gift-giving season, but HP is still making a case for the netbook. Standing firm that the device still has a place in the market, the company today refreshed its business-friendly line of netbooks, announcing the new HP Mini 1104. 

With a starting weight of just 2.8 lbs and measuring 7.52 x 10.55 x 0.89 front (1.28 rear) inches, the diminutive Mini 1104 could provide a solution for consumers who are looking for a tablet-like device but prefer a physical keyboard for text input. The Mini certainly accommodates this, flaunting a screen size that rivals some slates at only 10.1 inches (measured diagonally) and a full-size keyboard that takes up 93% of the device's spread. Hiding beneath the hood of the Mini, a 1.6Ghz dual-core Intel Atom N2600 Processor runs the show. You'll also find an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3600 card, 2GB of RAM and 320GB of internal storage space on a 5400 rpm hard drive.

You'll get up to 9 hours of battery life and a multitouch trackpad on this little machine. Connectivity-wise, you'll have options for three USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, audio in/out, and VGA. Or, go wireless with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, and HSPA+ mobile broadband with GPS support. For multimedia action, the Mini lets you take advantage of an integrated VGA webcam, a digital microphone and two integrated stereo speakers for video and still-image capture. And for software, the Mini runs on either Windows 7 or FreeDOS.

Finally, some interesting features of the HP Mini 1104 include a hard drive accelerometer that acts as a motion sensor for protection (in case you drop the machine) and a spill-resistant keyboard. Expect to pony up at least $399 for this capable netbook when it hits store shelves.