HP's new Mini netbook sports Intel's latest Atom chip

HP retains faith in netbooks with its new Mini 1104

Hewlett-Packard has announced its latest netbook, which offers significant application and graphics performance improvements with Intel's newest Atom processor.

The HP Mini 1104 has a 10.1-inch screen and is priced starting at US$399. The netbook has Intel's Atom N2600 dual-core processor, which was released in December along with other chips code-named Cedar Trail.

The chip runs at a clock speed of 1.6GHz and draws 3.5 watts of power. The chip improves netbook performance while preserving battery life. HP said that a Mini 1104 with a 6-cell battery will have nine hours of battery life.

Netbooks are low-cost laptops that enable basic tasks like Web surfing and word processing. Intel's new chips can now handle high-definition Blu-ray video.

HP billed the netbook as a "companion PC" in a blog entry.

The netbook weighs 2.78 pounds (1.26 kilograms). Other features include a webcam, an SDXC (Secure Digital) card slot, up to 320GB of hard-drive storage and 2GB of RAM.

The Mini 1104 announcement comes as HP's rivals scale down netbook offerings, with interest in the low-cost computers souring as tablets grow in popularity. Dell in December said it has already exited the netbook market, selling out the remaining stock of its Inspiron Mini netbooks. Intel has said that while netbook shipments have dropped in the U.S. and western Europe, the market is growing in developing countries such as India and China.

HP's new netbook is available in the U.S. through the company's website. HP did not immediately respond to a request for information on worldwide availability.

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