updated 01:35 pm EST, Mon January 23, 2012
HP Mini 1104 marks netbook swansong
HP showed the changing roles of netbooks on Monday with the introduction of its first new netbook for 2012, theMini 1104. The 10-inch netbook is focused on schools and business and primarily adds Intel's faster Cedar Trail-era 1.6GHz Atom N2600 for faster graphics and overall performance. It comes with Computrace Pro and a TPM security chip to help track the netbook if it's stolen.
The 2.8-pound PC is good for up to nine hours of battery life and is slightly ahead of base netbooks, with 2GB of RAM and up to a 320GB hard drive for space. Its pro focus lets owners upgrade from the usual Windows 7 Starter to Home Premium or Professional, and they can pick FreeDOS if they want to install Linux or another OS in its place. Options exist for HSPA+ 3G and Bluetooth 3.0.
The Mini 1104 is already available to order and has a relatively high $399 price to accommodate the extras above and beyond regular netbooks.
Netbooks were once an important and regular component of HP's PC business, but the iPad and other tablets have mostly hollowed out the space. Microsoft attributed another drop for Windows in revenue to sinking netbook shipments.