HP Mini 311 to get Ion

October 13, 2009 | 14:06

Tags: #nvidia-ion #windows-7 #windows-7-netbook

Companies: #hp #microsoft

If you've been waiting for a netbook with a little more oomph, HP's Mini 311 is due an upgrade that should get your interest.

As reported over on MyHPMini.com - via Electronista - the company's flagship netbook is due to ditch the Ion LE graphics chipset in favour of its bigger brother the original Ion, along with the option of increasing the 1GB of RAM to 2GB or 3GB depending on exactly how much you're looking to spend.

Interestingly, these new features will require you to choose Windows 7 as your netbook operating system as choice - revealing ahead of time that HP is definitely looking to move from Windows XP to Windows 7 pretty close to launch. Also of interest is the fact that HP is to offer the choice of all Windows 7 editions - with the exception of Ultimate - rather than just the netbook-friendly Starter Edition. Instead, users will be asked to choose between Starter, Basic, Premium, or Professional.

If the boost to RAM and graphics power wasn't enough, the company is also looking to equip the top-end editions of its Mini 311 with an ultra-speedy 80GB SSD, finally bringing the advantages of both large quantities of storage traditionally only available when using mechanical hard drives with the shock resistance and low power draw of an SSD. If you're still not convinced by all this solid-state gubbins, HP will also be offering the option of 250GB or 320GB of traditional mechanical storage space.

If you think that HP is somewhat missing the point of netbooks with all this high-price gadgetry, there's light on the horizon: Ubergizmo is reporting that Far Eastern manufacturer Sungworld has launched a 7" netbook which retails at just $73 (£47) - albeit with limited specifications. Rather than the all-singing laptop-lite of the HP Mini 311, Sungworld's latest gives you a 7" 800x480 screen, a 300MHz VIA VT8500 CPU, 128MB of RAM, 1GB of storage, and the ever-popular Windows CE embedded operating system. That said, at just 700g it's a lightweight machine with full WiFi connectivity, and the price is certainly attractive.

Where do you think the future of the netbook industry lies: ultra-low cost machines like Sungworld's, or high-end powerhouses like HP's - with a high-end price tag to match? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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