New HP mini 5101 netbook adds aluminum chassis; chiclet keyboard

HP on Wednesday unveiled what the company is calling its "top-of-the-line" Mini PC, a netbook intended for mobile use by business professionals.Just by the looks of it, the company appears to have succeeded: the HP Mini 5101 features an anodized aluminum display enclosure with a black, brushed finish, paired with magnesium alloy in the lower half of the shell.

HP on Wednesday unveiled what the company is calling its "top-of-the-line" Mini PC, a netbook intended for mobile use by business professionals.

Just by the looks of it, the company appears to have succeeded: the HP Mini 5101 features an anodized aluminum display enclosure with a black, brushed finish, paired with magnesium alloy in the lower half of the shell. There is "soft-touch" paint on the base and palm rest, and better still, a new chiclet-style, spill-resistant, 95 percent-size keyboard.

In other words, it's a netbook that you can take to the office without overtly pitching your "uber-geek" flag.

The system starts at 2.6 lbs., and features a 10.1-in. LED display (WSVGA or "HD") and an integrated 2-megapixel webcam. It's offered with a choice of four- or six-cell battery, the latter of which HP says offers up to eight hours of battery life.

Inside you'll find Intel's Atom processor, a 7,200 RPM HDD (there's a three-axis digial accelerometer for hard drive drop sensing) or an optional SSD in 80GB or 128GB flavors. You'll also notice an integrated HP Mobile Broadband module, Wi-Fi Certified WLAN and optional Bluetooth 2.0.

HP is also touting its QuickSync software, planned to be available as a web download in September, which allows quick synchronization of the Mini with notebooks, desktops or external hard drives.

For the green-inclined, the system is Energy Star certified and EPEAT Gold registered in the U.S.

The HP Mini 5101 starts at $449 and is expected to be available in late July.