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HP Launches 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.

  • extremepcs
    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.
    Reply
  • lauxenburg
    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. =)
    Reply
  • kikireeki
    According to my experience: durability and HP doesn't match.
    Reply
  • liquidsnake718
    It could work even for middle schoolers on the go as the specs are good enough to be a laptop "NOT FOR GAMING".... hehe
    Reply
  • arlandi
    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.
    Reply
  • "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.
    Reply
  • guid_aaa000001
    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....)
    Reply
  • whitecrowro
    Title(sounds like): "HP is doing smth for the children"
    Introduction: "OLPC..."
    End: "Pricing starts at $299"
    ...Bad story...
    Reply
  • lashabane
    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.
    Reply
  • anamaniac
    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.
    Reply