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HP Launches Ion-based Mini 311

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 34 comments

HP has finally launched its much-talked-about-but-never-confirmed Ion Mini 311 and, when it comes to netbook launches, this is about as refreshing as they get. A bit different from the usual blah specs that are associated of netbooks these days, the Mini 311 boasts a 11.6-inch HD (1,366x768) display, not a common occurrence in a netbook, as well as Nvidia's Ion LE for graphics and Intel's Atom N270.

Processor and graphics chip aside; you're looking at a 160 GB 5400rpm HDD, 1 GB of DDR3, HDMI, Altec Lansing speakers, 3 x USB 2.0 and VGA.

“This is another example [of] how good graphics can transform an entire category of products,” Jeff Fisher, senior vice president of the GPU business unit at Nvidia, said. “Where last month netbooks were considered inadequate, this month HP delivers an amazing product with support for HD movies, games, video editing, and more. Why couldn't netbooks do this before? They lacked good graphics.”

Pricing is set at $399 for the U.S. Who's in?

Discuss
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  • -8 Hide
    burnley14 , September 15, 2009 8:34 PM
    Everything about it sounds good . . . except it's made by HP.
  • -6 Hide
    brendano257 , September 15, 2009 8:55 PM
    Specs look great, but $400 is almost low end laptop territory. If it was $300-$350 and I was actually looking for a netbook, I might consider it.
  • 6 Hide
    tayb , September 15, 2009 8:55 PM
    11.6" is dangerously close to laptop-size but for $400 I might pick one of these up. Pretty well equipped for that price.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 15, 2009 9:01 PM
    It's hard to tell what the overall size is going to be, but the keyboard has a large bezel on the side compared to the more well laid out netbooks competitors. Either the whole thing is bigger than the current crop (in which case it may still be pretty portable), or the keyboard is going to be very cramped feeling.
  • 4 Hide
    jellico , September 15, 2009 9:02 PM
    I have an HP laptop (a dv9800) that's been absolutely great! I can, of course, run Office apps, I can run Photoshop CS4, I can watch movies, I can play games (mostly I play Team Fortress 2 and World of Warcraft). Never had a problem with it. I think the Ion Mini 311 looks like a great netbook.
  • 4 Hide
    twisted politiks , September 15, 2009 9:07 PM
    battery life?
  • 0 Hide
    smashley , September 15, 2009 9:08 PM
    yeah, at what point do netbooks become laptops screen-size wise?
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 15, 2009 9:27 PM
    This might be great for my sister. She's heading to college and needs a computer that can play her web-based flash games while being very portable. (also being low cost is a major plus cause she's bound to break it like the last one)
  • 4 Hide
    JMS3096 , September 15, 2009 9:56 PM
    OK...so it's HD capable...but XP isn't HDCP compliant. How useful...
  • 1 Hide
    ram1009 , September 15, 2009 10:11 PM
    Netbooks are only useful if you prefer the relatively small size. If not, there are better buys.
  • 1 Hide
    airborne11b , September 15, 2009 10:18 PM
    People complain too much about the "netbook's power". Like Dark_Lord69. Obviously a r3tard. The point of a netbook is portability and battery life. Yes, you can get a 15" laptop for 400 bucks with better stats, but you're not paying for stats, you're paying for battery life and portability. I have a 17" Sager with 2x 8800m GTX's in SLI, and a desktop Core2Duo Wolfsdale CPU @ 3.16ghz with 4gb of ram and a 1920x1080p screen. It plays crysis on max settings, BUT IT's HUGE AND HAS NO BATTERY LIFE! I bought it to be a portable gaming machine for LAN parties and such. But a netbook is for daily use, dragging around to the office and out to lunch, doing work on long plane rides, ect. This new generation of netbooks are going to be much better in terms of video and picture editing, over-all use ability for random tasks and small gaming (maybe HL2/TF2/WoWish type games, even then wont be the greatest, BUT THATS NOT THE POINT OF A NETBOOK!). Netbooks don't sell so well because they are useless, I find that netbook is a lot more fun to have than an iphone on lunch breaks and such. And to the retard who thinks 400 bucks is too high, come on, you'd buy a laptop with trash stats for 300 but wont buy top of the line for 50-100 bucks more? Give me a break.
  • 1 Hide
    azcoyote , September 15, 2009 10:48 PM
    It is so funny to see so many people deride netbooks...
    How many of those who do so have actually used one?

    Having used the MSI Wind for a portable work platform, I can tell you that nothing in the $400 price point comes close to the portability of a netbook. Does it run like a Quad core? Of course not. Do I play games on it? Well, does Sid Meiers Colonize count? LOL - Seriously, being able to drop my little machine into my day planner and run all day is exactly the point of why they are useful. I can write and compile C# code without issue and with very tweaked Vista or Win7 it does a great job at all the things I have thrown at it. Email, Word docs, etc... All works fine.

    So don't hate the little netbook. It is purpose built and does the job it was built for very well.

    Coyote
  • 0 Hide
    ethaniel , September 15, 2009 10:53 PM
    11.6 inches? That thing will have Vista on it. Or Windows 7 when it's out.
  • 0 Hide
    zerapio , September 15, 2009 10:54 PM
    JMS3096OK...so it's HD capable...but XP isn't HDCP compliant. How useful...

    Eh? I can enable HDCP in XP just fine. It depends on the display, graphics chip, cables (not in this case) and drivers.
  • 1 Hide
    amabhy , September 16, 2009 1:36 AM
    dark_lord69WOW!! 1.6GHz single core!Seriously, My nc6220 is over 3 years old and has a 14" screen 1.8GHz single core cpu.2 GB of RAMAnd it sells on eBay for $300Don't waist your money people!ALL NETBOOKS = TOTAL CRAP


    WOW! Can your shitty nc6220 get 8 hours of battery life?

    Its called portability, dumbass!
  • 0 Hide
    starryman , September 16, 2009 2:18 AM
    11.6" screen is nice but Netbooks are supposed to be small and battery efficient. 11.6" isn't small. Make an option for a smaller form factor using a high resolution 8.9" screen and I'm in. FYI - my laptop is a Toshiba Satellite w/ 17" screen, Core2Duo... and what I need is a small portable not a middle sized portable.
  • 0 Hide
    Master Exon , September 16, 2009 2:40 AM
    starryman11.6" screen is nice but Netbooks are supposed to be small and battery efficient. 11.6" isn't small. Make an option for a smaller form factor using a high resolution 8.9" screen and I'm in. FYI - my laptop is a Toshiba Satellite w/ 17" screen, Core2Duo... and what I need is a small portable not a middle sized portable.

    Seriously? Everyone tells me my 12.1" laptop is tiny.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 16, 2009 3:21 AM
    Price is too high for me for a 'netbook'. This is more like a laptop with an atom processor.
    Battery life? (I expect not much).

    Their timing is also bad!
    I'd rather wait for Intel to come out with their newer chip.
    I'm almost sure the ion device here will outperform intel's offer in 3D performance, but Intel's device might outperform this device in battery life; and since I rarely play games, I find battery life more important than gaming at this moment!
  • 0 Hide
    arlandi , September 16, 2009 4:04 AM
    can these things play 1080 video? or blu-ray movies? is USB 2.0 fast enough for external blu-ray drives?
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