HP preps Ion netbook, AMD-based 13.3'' ultraportable

— 11:52 AM on September 15, 2009

Those high-end Envy laptops aren't the only ones on HP's roadmap. The company is also prepping several other notable systems, including an 11.6" netbook with Ion graphics, a 13.3" consumer ultraportable with AMD hardware, and new MediaSmart home servers.

Let's start with the netbook. HP's Mini 311 features an 11.6" 1366x768 display, a 1.6GHz Atom processor, an Nvidia Ion LE chipset with HDMI output, 160GB of 5,400-RPM mechanical storage, 802.11g Wi-Fi, and a six-cell battery. Total weight: 3.2 lbs. The Mini 311 will debut on September 23 with Windows XP pre-installed, but HP also plans a Windows 7 version for October 22. Pricing should start at $399.

Moving on, the Pavilion dm3 will fill the low-cost ultraportable niche with a $549 option based on AMD's freshly released Congo platform. That machine will combine a 1.6GHz Athlon Neo X2 with an M780G chipset and Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics. You'll also get HDMI out, 802.11n, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB 7,200-RPM hard drive. Despite the low price, this puppy will have a sleek, brushed-aluminum finish. HP also quotes a weight of 4.2 lbs, a thickness of 0.96-1.23", and a battery life of up to six hours.

For folks with deeper pockets, a $649 Intel option will also be available. That variant of the dm3 will run for up to 10 hours with the standard battery, HP says, and it will pack a dual-core 1.3GHz Pentium SU4100 processor, GMA 4500M HD integrated graphics (still with HDMI out), and a 500GB hard drive.

Finally, HP has announced a pair of new MediaSmart systems, the ED490 and EX495, based on Microsoft's Windows Home Server OS. The ED490 starts at $549 with a single-core Celeron and 1TB of bundled storage, while the EX495 costs $699 with a dual-core Pentium and 1.5TB. Both machines have more Mac-friendly features than previous HP home servers, including support for administration and network backups through Mac OS X's Time Machine.

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