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First look at HP Mini 110 Mi edition

Oct 05, 2009, 18:03 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ladislav Bodnar)

"So imagine my surprise when, two weeks ago, I entered a computer shop and saw a netbook that had not Windows key and carried no Windows sticker! I was so shocked that I didn't hesitate for long and minutes later I was walking away with a box containing an HP Mini 110-1011TU with Linux - a customised edition of Ubuntu with an interface called "HP Mi".

"First, the specifications. This particular model of HP Mini comes with Intel Atom N280 processor (1.66 GHz, 512 KB L2, 667 MHz FSB), a 250 GB (5400 RPM) SATA hard disk drive, 2 GB of DDR2 SDRAM, 10.1-inch monitor (maximum resolution 1024x576 pixels), Intel Mobile 945GME Express integrated graphics controller, Intel 82801G audio controller, Broadcom BCM4312 802.11b/g wireless network card, and Atheros AR8132 Ethernet adapter (kernel driver atl1c). It has three USB ports, a port for plugging in an external monitor, an audio port for headphones, a built-in HP webcam, and a 3-cell Lithium Ion battery. It weighs 1.2 kg and cost an equivalent of US$400 (NT$13,000).

"The most interesting part of the netbook is, of course, its software. The HP Mi (Mobile Internet) interface is a customised and simplified built of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS ("Hardy Heron"), which was released in April 2008. As such, the software packages aren't particularly up-to-date, with Linux kernel 2.6.24, GNOME 2.24.3, Firefox 3.0.13 and OpenOffice.org 2.4.1 all somewhat older than the current latest versions of these applications. But unlike Windows netbooks, which all come with the same standard (i.e. uncustomisable) desktop interface, HP Mi's default desktop is a different story. It is divided into three columns - the left one shows your emails (once email settings are configured in Thunderbird), the middle column has thumbnails of web pages (similar to Opera's "Speed Dial") and the right column is separated into two parts, with the top one listing any recently played music files, while the bottom one showing recently viewed photos."

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