$1,000 is the new $2,000 for laptops: HP steps up low cost notebook parade

$1,000 is the new $2,000 for laptops: HP steps up low cost notebook parade

Summary: Ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show this week PC makers are sending a distinct message: The sub-$1,000 laptop is the new $2,000 laptop. You can get more functionality, style and even a little fashion for a grand.

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Ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show this week PC makers are sending a distinct message: The sub-$1,000 laptop is the new $2,000 laptop. You can get more functionality, style and even a little fashion for a grand. Meanwhile, the push to merge the netbook and notebook categories is well underway. hp24.png On Tuesday, HP announced two notebooks and a desktop. The lineup includes the HP Pavilion dv2, dv3 and an HP Firebird with Voodoo DNA desktop PC. HP also added a new Mini to the mix.

Like Lenovo on Monday, HP is pitching these notebooks as entertainment PCs. The dv2 (right), which starts at $699, is a little less than an inch thick and weighs about 3.8 pounds. Hard drive options go up to 500 GB. The notebook, which is powered by AMD's Neo platform also known as Yukon, has a 12.1 inch screen.  The dv2, however, won't be available until April.

Also see: Gallery: HP expands notebook, netbook, desktop lineup for CES

Brooke Crothers at CNET News has the AMD side of the story. The HP dv2 illustrates how AMD is trying to make the distinction between netbooks and ultraportable notebooks. Crothers writes:

AMD is introducing new chips at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that target the no-man's land between Netbooks and notebooks (statement). Typically, these designs are referred to as ultraportables--the most salient examples being Apple's MacBook Air, the Toshiba Portege, and the Sony Vaio TT series.

So what makes AMD's platform different? In one word, price. Ultraportables fall into the boutique category of laptops: very stylish, very slim, very light--and very expensive. Usually ranging between $1,500 and $3,000. HP's notebook with Athlon Neo silicon cuts the price in half. The Pavilion dv2 will start at $699 and top out at $899 for standard configurations.

Add it up and you can have a bunch of debating the semantics over ultraportables, notebooks and nhp14.pngetbooks but the devices are all converging on lower prices.

HP's dv3 is bulkier and weighs 4.35 pounds with a 13.3 inch screen. The dv3 starts at $799, runs on AMD's Turion Ultra X2 chip and is available today. HP also announced a desktop dubbed the HP Firebird with Voodoo DNA. The Firebird is the successor to the HP Blackbird 002. It will run you $1,799.

Separately, HP rolled out a new HP Mini that weighs in at 2.6 pounds (Techmeme). The HP Mini 2140 (right) has a 10.1 inch screen and starts at $499. The latest HP Mini is available "later this month."

The larger question is whether folks will pay $499 for the HP Mini with a 10.1 inch screen when they could wait until April for the dv2, which has a 12.1 inch screen and only weights a pound or so more. The price difference is only $200. AMD is betting that folks will weigh that question carefully. After playing with a netbook for a few months I'd probably pay $200 more for a bigger screen and lug around an extra pound.

Mini vs. dv2: What's your pick?

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Mobility, Processors

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5 comments
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  • netbook/notebook convergence

    "After playing with a netbook for a few months I?d probably pay $200 more for a bigger screen and lug around an extra pound."

    Agreed. It looks like the netbook vs.notebook winner is going to end up being a low cost notebook that is light enough (and cheap enough) to lug around more or less as easily as a netbook.
    eggmanbubbagee
  • A pound is a pound

    For me it is more about physical weight vs. physical size. I like big screens for productivity work but for just checking on websites in a coffee shop I like a device that is around 10 inches. Price points under or around $500 USD don't influence me. Saving $700 dollars affects me more than $200 USD for example. If I can pay $800 USD and get a 2 pound 12 inch screen device, I will pay the money if it is compared to a $500 USD device with a 7 inch screen that weights 2 pounds. Now if the 12 inch screen is $2000 USD vs. a $500 USD device price starts to become important.
    mr1972
  • Time on the Battery

    I just bought the 1000HA netbook today because of it's
    7-7.5 battery life.

    I want to be able to compute my whole school day
    without plugging in. The big question is whether the
    AMD setup will give this sort of battery life, or if
    it will fall short.

    Now, if I could get a near-full powered laptop that
    was light, and affordable (less that $800) then I
    would buy one of those! Unfortunately I can't find any
    normal laptop that even comes close to 8 hours of
    battery life for less than $1200
    Edesw88
    • Batteries

      would be nice if 3 cell batteries were cheap enough to buy a few as spares - right now the 6 cells are expensive accessories approx 25% to 50% of the whole mini PC
      bunfun2005
      • 50% battery cost?

        I hope the netbooks you are looking at don't have 6 cell batteries that equate to 50% of the cost?!
        2 months ago I bought an ASUS Eee for my wife and paid extra for the model with a 10" screen and 6 cell battery. I could have bought a 8.9" with a 3 cell for about $300 but elected for the bigger screen and better battery for $400. So my 25% extra was spent on screen and battery!! The wife loves it and it's the perfect computer for her to lug around the house and use anywhere.
        SteelTrepid