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HP Launches Durable Laptop for School Children

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 16 comments

HP yesterday unveiled the HP Mini 100e and became the latest company to launch a durable laptop for school children.

OLPC is the one that started it all, with its $199 netbook for school children in developing nations, and its seems as though more companies are jumping on the bandwagon each year. HP this week announced the release of the HP Mini 100e, a netbook aimed at primary school children, and joined the likes of Dell, OLPC and Intel in the educational laptops market.

The HP Mini 100e is a pretty standard netbook specs-wise. It packs Intel's N455 Atom processor; 1 GB of DDR3 RAM; a 160GB hard drive; a 10-inch display; Ethernet (and a modem in case it's being used by a school in a country with older infrastructure) along with the option for 802.11b/g WiFi; and a choice of Windows 7 Starter, XP or SUSE Linux Enterprise 11.

However, the Mini 100e has a few extra features that bring the basic netbook up to the standard required in a classroom. The laptop is pretty rugged and the almost full-size keyboard (92 percent) is spill resistant. There's also an LED light on the lid that lights up when the user is online, meaning teachers can keep an eye out for kids surfing the web when they shouldn't be. One thing we can see being a problem is the weight. CNet reports that these things weigh in at about 3.2 pounds, which is pretty heavy for a kid to carry around.

Pricing starts at $299, which could get pretty expensive if you're looking at getting 20 or so of them for a whole class. HP is selling directly to educational institutes for now, so no personal sales for the moment, and expected availability is July.

More here if we haven't satisfied your curiosity.

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  • 14 Hide
    extremepcs , June 24, 2010 12:36 AM
    I work in the education field (tech support end) and unless it is made out of 1/2" high carbon steel, encased in kevlar, kids will find a way to break it. At least Dell coats their school netbook in rubber, which helps if it gets dropped. This one appears to be the standard cheap plastic.
  • 13 Hide
    lauxenburg , June 24, 2010 1:00 AM
    Can't be too rugged if it has a spinning hard drive. There's no way you could ever fill a 160GB drive in Word and Powerpoint documents, anyway. Give them a 32GB SSD. =)
  • 12 Hide
    kikireeki , June 24, 2010 1:17 AM
    According to my experience: durability and HP doesn't match.
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    extremepcs , June 24, 2010 12:36 AM
    I work in the education field (tech support end) and unless it is made out of 1/2" high carbon steel, encased in kevlar, kids will find a way to break it. At least Dell coats their school netbook in rubber, which helps if it gets dropped. This one appears to be the standard cheap plastic.
  • 13 Hide
    lauxenburg , June 24, 2010 1:00 AM
    Can't be too rugged if it has a spinning hard drive. There's no way you could ever fill a 160GB drive in Word and Powerpoint documents, anyway. Give them a 32GB SSD. =)
  • 12 Hide
    kikireeki , June 24, 2010 1:17 AM
    According to my experience: durability and HP doesn't match.
  • 3 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , June 24, 2010 4:07 AM
    It could work even for middle schoolers on the go as the specs are good enough to be a laptop "NOT FOR GAMING".... hehe
  • 3 Hide
    arlandi , June 24, 2010 4:43 AM
    durability for school children, especially for the little ones, means military grade hardwares! dust proof, shock proof, water proof, electrostatic proof and bullet proof casing.
  • 4 Hide
    stm1185 , June 24, 2010 5:26 AM
    "CNet reports that these things weigh in at about 3.2 pounds, which is pretty heavy for a kid to carry around."


    With a laptop, they could give them all digital books, that replace those large heavy books so many kids have to carry around. Then the kid would only have to carry a 3.2 lb laptop, and paper/pencil/pen; instead of 4-6 2lb books.
  • -2 Hide
    guid_aaa000001 , June 24, 2010 6:13 AM
    In future if primary school children start using keyboards, then they will loose their handwriting.
    (Instead of a keyboard there should be a pad, on which they can write using a touch pen and look into the screen....)
  • 1 Hide
    whitecrowro , June 24, 2010 6:20 AM
    Title(sounds like): "HP is doing smth for the children"
    Introduction: "OLPC..."
    End: "Pricing starts at $299"
    ...Bad story...
  • 3 Hide
    lashabane , June 24, 2010 7:14 AM
    arlandidurability for school children, especially for the little ones, means military grade hardwares! dust proof, shock proof, water proof, electrostatic proof and bullet proof casing.


    Lol, bulletproof. I could just see a 6 year old getting pissed off at their finger painting, pull out a sidearm and fire away.
  • 1 Hide
    anamaniac , June 24, 2010 9:32 AM
    How about a thick magnesium frame with rubber edges, OLED screen, SDD, lithium polymer battery etc.?
    lashabaneLol, bulletproof. I could just see a 6 year old getting pissed off at their finger painting, pull out a sidearm and fire away.

    You should come see my neighbourhood. :) 

    I've seen kids stick with the same phone for years and barely have a scratch on them. My physics teacher put a 10lb magnet to his CRT. My mathematics teacher was carrying around a a cement drill. A temp was using a marker on a Promethean board (like a giant tablet with a projector).
    It's not the kids we have to worry about always.
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , June 24, 2010 10:35 AM
    wow I like this one, I will buy one for my kid.
  • 0 Hide
    extremepcs , June 24, 2010 10:42 AM
    anamaniacIt's not the kids we have to worry about always.


    Ain't that the truth! Inkjet transparencies run through a laser printer are my favorite :) 
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , June 24, 2010 12:09 PM
    As part of some of my college classes, I have done some work in elementary and middle schools. Students will find a way to break what ever the school lets them borrow but not keep permanently.

    Many of the students will have iphones and other expensive devices with no problem but when they have laptops, They tend to find ways to break them just to get back at the school for not giving a free laptop to keep.

    The most common problem is a student will grab the screen and push on it, causing a pressure mark or even a cracked LCD. This is done on purpose as you will see some doing it near the end of class. The laptops are a mess and are difficult on many teachers because finding a working one and getting enough working ones for a class (if there not enough to go away and the teacher makes them share, fights quickly break out over the laptops).

    currently teachers and other workers are trying to get a budget ok'ed for new laptops so they have been using the current ones a lot in class to let them all get broken so the school will be more motivated to buy new ones.

    Unless every square inch internal and external is strong enough to be bulletproof, the laptops will not work in a school environment.
  • 0 Hide
    thillntn , June 24, 2010 1:04 PM
    Until the power jack design is fixed(we see alot of all kinds of models in for repair with broke jacks)none of these will be considered ruggedized to me. The magnetic design on a Mac is the best way to avoid broke jacks.As far as specs go I hear all kind of nonsense from customers. "Everyone knows they need 3 gig of ram and a 500 gig drive.Limewire is a essential learning tool."lol
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 24, 2010 1:50 PM
    I agree with those that say this is not rugged enough. Why do companies think cheap is good for education?
    I remember working on media equipment for schools in the late 70's and those projectors were made out of mostly metal. Now we call plastic durable? That's a oxy moron if I ever heard one. The problem is that something portable is always going to be more susceptible to damage. Schools have no need for anything but desktops. Their cheaper and they are more durable.
  • 0 Hide
    omikron48 , June 25, 2010 12:13 AM
    Wow! Didn't know primary school children used Linux...