updated 09:45 am EDT, Thu August 5, 2010
HP quietly launches HP mini 5103
HP today slipped out an upgrade to its pro netbooks in the form of the Mini 5103. The 10-inch portable uses a 1.66GHz Atom N455 or 1.86GHz N475 but primarily gets a memory upgrade: either supports 1,333MHz DDR3 RAM instead of the more typical DDR2. Just 1GB is built-in, but 2GB is an option.
Aside from its memory, the 5103 is relatively advanced in upgrades compared to the superseded Mini 5102 and can use a faster than usual 7,200RPM 160GB or 320GB hard drive. Buyers also have the option of upgrading to speedier 80GB or 128GB solid state drives. A multi-touch screen is a choice when the system uses Windows 7. As before, the option exists to upgrade the screen from the stock 1024x600 screen to a 1366x768 panel.
Graphics revolve around Intel's GMA 3150, but a Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator is an option to boost video; however, choosing the added performance sheds the option of the Qualcomm Gobi chipset for 3G. Picking a six-cell battery gives the netbook an estimated 9.5 hours of battery life.
As with the 5102, the 5103 is encased by a magnesium alloy chassis and weighs in at a lighter than usual 2.6 pounds. Pricing starts at 429 euros ($565) for the basic model with the N455 Atom, standard screen, 160GB HDD and 1GB of RAM. A US equivalent hasn't yet surfaced, but the 5102 is already missing from HP's American site and hints at an update soon. [thanks, Mike]