So can I buy it without paying the Windows Tax?
HP clearly thinks there's still mileage in the netbook - many of its rivals don't - at the very least as a business device. It has launched a new model, the Mini 1104, to prove it. Unlike consumer-centric netbooks, the 1104 runs Windows 7 Home Premium rather than Starter Edition. HP Mini 1104 business netbook But the spec …
The corporate IT department don't care what Windows flavour it comes with (installed or licenced) as they'll just re-image it with their standard image before it goes out to the punter (or have their HP contracts re-image it before it arrives onsite?) and the licence will be covered by the corporate licences.
The re-imaging also gets rid of the unnecessary and unwanted trialware that vendors pay HP to ship on these things  (Office, Norton, etc).
I'm rather unpleasantly surprised that this box doesn't run XP though , that seems like an unwise decision that won't be popular in some places outside Redmond.
Windows 7 Home Premium (no domains) and unwanted trialware will be more of an issue in smaller outfits who won't want the faff of re-imaging these things. Just the kind of customer who might have been interested in buying one or two to try, in fact.
 Quickspec: http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/14195_na/14195_na.pdf
tech: "Here's your new corporate mobile device"
Suit: "...but it doesn't look anything like an iPad?"
tech: "But we can at least monitor and manage these better than iPads, and they're more secure"
Suit: "...I don't care - I wanted an iPad! I'm not lugging this thing around..."
C'mon...you know that's what'll happen.
For less than £300 you get a fully fledged PC which can be shoved into a carry on bag, perched on an aircraft table tray and otherwise provides a desktop experience in a small form factor. It's perfect for travel. Yeah it might not be a speed demon but it is more than adequate for browsing, email, productivity, videos and even some light gaming.
Oh yeah. Might be another £50 or so - but you get a screen with a decent resolution, extra 1.5 inch of screen, the AMD E450 processor which in all the benchmarks is far faster then the Atoms - and crucially, a seriously faster video card compared to the ones bundles with Intel Atoms. Perfect for watching now (and hopefully in the future) all those heavily compressed video streams - or even a bit of game playing - if that's your thing. Also - HP netbooks and laptops in general have probably the loudest speakers around (compared to many other netbooks and laptops) in my experience. All in all, a magnificently useful machine in an appropriately small package - and a perfectly suitable price - considering what you get.
Price? Hmmm. Hard drive rather than SSD? As long as it's easily swapped. Screen resolution is utter shit. 1024x600? Seriously? They could have gotten another inch of diagonal out of that screen if it didn't have the worlds fattest bezel. Suits have moved on and have either got an "ultrabook" or a tablet (or both). IT people see the point of a netbook but they'll just laugh at that spec.
Got myself a HP DM1-4020sa for £299 from a well know retail group.
11.6" screen 1366 x 768.
AMD E-450 Fusion chip with Radeon HD 6320M grphics.
Windows 7 Home Premium
Marketed as an entertainment notebook, but way more useful than Intel netbook offerings IMO.
It's time we stopped calling them this. These things are not "netbooks", they're sub-notebooks. The wave of netbooks towards the end of the last decade entered the game as a quite different kind of device: not something you worked ON but something you worked THROUGH, a window out into the Cloud.
To do this efficiently they needed minimal local processing power and storage. Any operating system supporting a browser was sufficient, but it made sense to use a modular operation system that could be pared down to the minimum requirements. As netbooks were intended to be cheap the ideal operating system would be one that cost nothing in licence fees. Linux was the obvious choice on both counts. Netbooks ran Linux.
It's a matter of historical record that Microsoft, scared of the threat to its own operating system business, and therefore to the whole Windows ecology, mounted a two-pronged assault against netbooks.
Firstly, as the netbook manufacturers' businesses depended very largely on Windows, in which Microsoft has a market-controlling monopoly, Microsoft was able to pressurise them into switching netbooks over to a virtually free-of-charge version of Windows, Windows XP, at the time obsolescent on mainstream PC and notebook hardware.
Netbooks now looked and behaved like notebooks, although XP was noticeably less efficient than Linux on this hardware. This facilitated the second part of the two-pronged attack: a public mind-fuck that destroyed the original "netbook" concept and left punters seeing the product as just a cheap, much less useful, notebook. The campaign was so successful that it has now completely buried the real netbook as if it never existed.
Tablets, of course, are in a sense a re-run of this same race. The fact that tablets are touch-driven, and physically not just smaller but quite different from notebooks, makes it much harder for Microsoft to pull the same stunt again. This time around punters are not confused, and we see iOS (based on the Linux-like BSD Unix) and Android (based on Linux) thrashing Windows so thoroughly that Microsoft, rather than shaking the dust off a mothballed version of its operating system has had to knuckle down and create a vastly revised version that will work well with the new generation of hardware. This is what healthy market competition is meant to do.
As the tablet business hots up (it's barely started) let's for heaven's sake clear away the rubble of that Microsoft mind-fuck and rediscover the lesson of the netbook.
as I recall, The Reg was running stories at the time about people returning their netbooks because they didn't run Office/Outlook/Minesweeper/whatever.
So there was clearly a demand for a Wintel machine in that form factor. Probably not the universal demand that was implied by the universal switch to Win7 Starter and XP but some demand.
I too look forward to an engaging competition in the tablet market.
It was pure MS propaganda. How comes nobody is returning his Android/iPad because of the lack of any Microsoft Office or Outlook capability as well as the lack of a familiar user interface ? How comes that demand for Wintel machines vanished so quickly ?
No, my friend, the answer is simple. Microsoft had no alternative OS that would run on a tablet and, most importantly, no leverage at all against tablet manufacturers.
Now you see it ?
I don't totally buy into it.
You can play the "Microsoft are the devil and netbooks would have lead LINUX DOMINATION AHAHAHAHA" card if you want but I find that a bit of a stretch. If all you had to go on was comments on the Register, you'd believe that nobody ever wanted Windows at all, that all MS products bluescreen every 22 seconds (even the mice) and that everyone would dearly love to go to the penguin side if Steve Ballmer didn't have rude pictures of them with a farmyard animal.
This is probably not the case. Therefore, _some_ demand is not a stretch.
you would try to answer at least one of my questions. I did not say that Windows is crap and that Linux should rule. I just said that the arguments offered to justify killing the netbooks were flaky. And if Microsoft is in your opinion such an angel, why did they impose those drastic hardware specs limitations to netbook OEMs ?
As for the tablets, so far Linux largely dominates when compared to Windows, as much it may upset you.
The only "matter of historical record" is that manufacturers quickly realized that buyers wanted Windows, not Linux, on their netbooks, and that's what they delivered.
Microsoft didn't need to pressurize the manufacturers to switch to XP, if anything the manufacturers pressurized Microsoft to keep XP available as an option, because Vista wasn't happy with the hardware available in the Netbook form-factor at the time.
(The fact that there are millions of android devices out there, from hundreds of companies, large and small, might suggest that if there was any perceived market for a linux netbook, someone would have stepped up to the plate and delivered. But it's much easier to blame the lack of such a device on Microsoft).
I don't see why people are bitching about the size of the screen. There's a noticable difference between the 10 and 11 inch netbooks. For ultra portability, the 10" is my preference - The DM1 at 11" is too big for what I want it for.
That resolution is the standard Netbook one, so where's the problem?
I just hope they make a model with SSD and the N2800 (or even N2850) CPU and I'll be buying one. Been waiting for Cedar Trail for 6 months now - patience at an end!
Bold? Not so sure. It's a cosmetic respray of their existing consumer netbook(s) - so it couldn't have taken much of an effort (or financial risk, for that matter). Not sure if the consumer version is available yet with the new Atoms - but everything else seems the same (except Windows version, of course).
It does seem insane they are pitching at business a machine which has a version of Windows for home users. Maybe on some levels it might make sense - as others pointed out - but the paradox is right in the spec. Somebody's got their wires crossed.
For the price, this seems pretty tidy IMHO.
The killer feature of a netbook for me is the small form factor - and I'm prepared to trade a bit of screen real estate in exchange for uber portability. If I was a busy executive doing a lot of travel, but still needed a machine for doing mundane email/office-y things, then why not consider a netbook?
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