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HP focusing on education sector for its sub-notebook offering

by Scott Bicheno on 30 July 2008, 16:55

Tags: HP (NYSE:HPQ)

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Education, education, education

Amid all the hype surrounding the sub-notebook sector recently, one vendor has been conspicuously absent and it’s the biggest of the lot – Hewlett Packard. So we spoke to the product manager for commercial notebooks at HP’s personal systems group EMEA, Mark Baerenstecher to find out why.

To be fair, HP does have a sub-notebook out there: the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC. This is an 8.9-inch machine that runs on the Via C7-M ULV processor with Via Chrome9 graphics. It has a 120GB HDD but no optical drive. Options include 1GB or 2 GB RAM, 3 or 6 cell battery and Vista Business 32-bit or Suse Linux Enterprise operating systems.

Intriguingly, HP chose to introduce the 2133 to the UK a couple of months before the rest of Europe. We started by asking Baerenstecher why. “The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC has been shipping in the UK since April. We chose the UK first in EMEA because the government is doing more to incentivise one-for-one computing [in education] and decision making is more centralised.”

So clearly, from the start, HP had the education sector in mind with this product. “The design was inspired by talking to the education sector. They said they wanted something smaller and more durable,” said Baerenstecher.

“The key to this market is to understand who would be interested in buying it," he said. "This is probably ideal for primary school kids who tend not to understand the complexities of a PC and will give it more abuse that older users would.

“The case is hardened anodised aluminium, the screen is scratch resistant and the keyboard is more durable. There are also ergonomic improvements like a keyboard that is 92 percent of the size of a full one.”