05 February 2009

Why HP's Mini 1000 Mi Edition is Important

Hp's new Mini 1000 Mi is starting to win plaudits all over the place. It's not hard to see why: it looks cool, has cool specs, and a decent price. But I think the really important element is the new interface that Hewlett-Packard has developed (more screenshots here):

HP's new Mobile Internet (Mi) software offers the online content and applications you want with just one click. Using the intuitive desktop, you can access email, internet, pictures, video, and music faster and more easily than ever.

Dashboard-style interface lets you personalize your Mini by adding favorite websites

Applications automatically launch when you power on – and web pages stay live and dynamically update while connected

Integrated HP MediaStyle provides quick access to photos, music & entertainment

Chat face to face with the built-in HP Mini Webcam

So what? you may ask: isn't that all pretty standard for netbooks these days. It is, and that's the point: one of the biggest names in computing has joined the fray, not by doing something completely different, but by recognising that it needs to follow the new norms.

The fact that HP has spent time and money developing its new interface argues that the company is serious about the GNU/Linux netbook sector. Its presence bespeaks a new maturity of the marketplace – and perhaps a heightened interest in open source at the company. It's also an indication of how vibrant this market is, and how it offers the chance for companies to be innovative in a way not possible with Windows-based offerings.


zaine_ridling said...

The only disappointment is the price. It's $380 here compared to $400 for the XP version. So the price point has been erased, leaving more profit for HP? Other than size, the only advantage netbooks have is price. After $300, I feel as though I might as well buy a 10-12" laptop for $500. OEMs need to keep this in mind.

glyn moody said...

True, but it's a start.

Blork said...

Wait a second... "Other than size, the only advantage netbooks have is price." Size and price. Those are huge advantages, and really, SIZE is the key advantage.

Nobody buys a netbook for their power. They buy them because they are small and light. (Comparably sized non-netbook laptops are easily north of $1500 range.)

If you just want "a laptop" then sure, pay $500 and lug a six pounder around with you. But don't complain when the guy next to you has essentially the same machine at one third the weight and he paid less for it.

Really, it is all about size. I took my netbook to Paris on a week's holiday, and carried it with me all day, every day, and didn't even notice it in my bag. At home, I it's like having a lightweight web terminal in every room. I can sit on the sofa while watching TV and look things up on the netbook, which is the size and wight of a hardcover novel.

Again, it's about size. Size and mobility, and to some extent, style, at a price that's lower than the cheapest crappy laptop.

Ram Sambamurthy said...


you said it all man, can't agree more with you

Moiz said...

The only issue I have is the learning curve for Mi. I am clueless on how to connect the Mini 1000 Mi via remote desktop to my office server or even download an app like Google Earth. I may have to wait till Mi for Dummies comes out.

glyn moody said...

@Moiz: you're right, this is a significant barrier for many people. Maybe Dell could sponsor people in the community to put together online intros.