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HP Mini 1103 packs 10.1-inch display, weighs 2.8 pounds

With all the hype about portable tablets, it can be easy to forget the device that, a couple years ago, was the great white hope of the computing industry—the netbook. But Hewlett-Packard hasn’t forgotten, announcing a new HP Mini 1103 netbook aimed at business travelers and folks who need a full WIndows environment on the go. The Mini 1103 features a 10.1-inch 1,024 by 600-pixel display, and Intel Atom N455 or N475 processor, options for integrated mobile broadband, and a total weight of just 2.78 pounds.

Let most netbooks, the Mini 1103 can be a little cramped, but it features a 93 percent QWERTY keyboard and a touchpad with scroll zone and two soft-touch buttons. The unit feature wither an Intel Atom N475 processor running at 1.8 GHz or an Intel Atom N455 processor running at 1.66 GHz along with 2 GB of RAM, Intel GMA graphics, and 160 to 320 GB of hard drive storage. The unit will also feature 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options, 100Base-T Ethernet, an integrated VGA webcam for video chat, VGA output, three USB 2.0 ports, and a media card reader. Customers looking for a truly mobile Internet experience can opt for mobile broadband service from AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon Wireless, and the Mini 1103 will be available with either 3-cell or 6-cell batteries for folks who want to get the most time away from a wall socket.

The Mini 1103 also features HP’s QuickSync technology for synchronizing files between the 1103 and a primary desktop, and HP QuickWeb software that enables users to tap into the World Wide Web without bothering to boot the Mini 1103’s main operating system. And HP even offers a choice of operating system: the MIni 1103 will be available with Windows 7 Starter 32, SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, or FreeDOS pre-installed.

HP says the Mini 1103 will be available in December for prices starting at $299. That’s cheaper than a lot of those fancy tablet-gizmos, too.

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