In addition to its premium ‘business class’ Mini-note, HP is working on a new ‘economy’ model for budget-minded buyers
One day after Toshiba
revealed the company is working on its first mini-note, HP has announced plans for its second
mini-note. But unlike HP’s 2133
the new model will be closer to the conventional netbook in functionality and nearer to competitors from Asus
The reason for this split? The 2133 sits at the top end of the nascent market, which is north of where many retail opportunities lie. HP differentiated the 2133 from the pack by pre-installing Vista Business and using commercial notebook features such as an anodised aluminium chassis, a spill-resistant keyboard and a shock-proof hard drive fitted with a 3D accelerometer.
While these features clearly positioned the 2133 as a mini-note for the business mobility set, they also translated into an $899 price tag in a market where the latest mainstream mini-notes cost $599-$699. HP intends to close that gap with a new mini-note due later this year.
“From a retail perspective we’re looking at a similar device (to the 2133) but at a lower cost” said Jerel Chong, HP Australia’s Market Development Manager for Notebook PCs, at today’s launch of HP’s business mobility products for the second half of 2008. “It won’t be as durable but it will be cheaper”.
Chong also suggested the new model would however share some traits and components with the 2133. “What we like to do across all our products is share the technology”, he told APCmag.com.
Chong was unable to comment on speculation that the 2133, which currently uses a VIA C7-M processor, would soon transition to Intel’s Atom
. The 2133 was designed and made its debut before the Atom was available, Chong explained, so at the time VIA’s C7-M was the only option.
However, the 2133 has been criticised for being underpowered – especially when coping with the overhead of Windows Vista and associated business applications such as Microsoft Office. Given the comments on “sharing technology”, and the fact that this time around HP actually has
a choice, we’re tipping that Intel’s Atom could land in both the new mini-note and a second-gen edition of the 2133.