The Mini 5102 is designed for students and business users, HP said. Available in blue, black and red, and starting at $399 for the non-touch-enabled model, the netbook ships with the usual Intel Atom N450 CPU, 10.1in screen (available with a lush 1.366x768 resolution and HD decoding support as upgrades), and, from what we saw, excellent build quality from the anodised-aluminium chassis.
HP will offer customers a choice of either the standard four-cell battery or a larger-capacity six-cell for what it claims to be 10 hours of mobile life. Business users may opt for the Qualcomm's Gobi 2 chip for mobile broadband and GPS.
The multi-touch-enabled model attracts a $50 premium over the standard N5102, and the screen works well, responding to gestures and drags without any real evidence of delay.
A student edition will also be offered with the same specifications, along with a chassis-integrated carry handle.
HP's first foray into touch-enabled netbooks ticks most of the boxes and should sell reasonably well. A $50 snip from the asking price would make it rather attractive in our eyes. Sadly, there are no plans to launch an ION 2 version.