HP breaks the netbook mold with the Mini 1000 and MIE Linux netbook

Netbooks have been slowing down over the last year and for the most part, each one is about the same thing with a different logo on the lid. HP’s offerings seem refreshing and polished even though they sport the standard netbook specs of 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 8.9-inch or 10.2-inch display, up to 2 GB of RAM, and either a 60GB HDD or 16GB SSD. The solid-state drive can be complimented by a standard USB thumb drive in a special slot for extra storage. The specs are only half the story as the OS is where it gets interesting.

HP gives you the choice of either Windows XP or an Ubuntu-powered “experience” MIE operating system. This Mobile Internet Experience streamlines most common uses into a custom built homescreen that screams of HP’s Touchsmart interface – that’s a good thing.

A 8.9-inch Mini 1000 XP option launches today for $399 with 512GB of RAM and a 8GB SSD – or $50 more for the 10.2-inch screen. The linux flavor will drop after the New Year and will start at $379 for the 8.9-inch model. A mobile broadband version should be available in select markets by December, along with a docking station by January. 

The Vivienne Tam edition will also launch in December for $699.

So every other netbook manufacturer, take note at HP’s netbooks, but don’t copy ’em. Instead, hire a design firm and actually produce something that is innovative instead of another EEE clone. Deal?