Hewlett Packard Announces Child-Friendly Laptop

by PYB James | Jun 01, 2010

Laptops are ubiquitous gadgets and they are now becoming an essential item for lots of students. In fact, manufacturers are looking to capitalise on this, and the latest firm to do so is Hewlett Packard, which has unveiled a child friendly laptop in the shape of the Mini 100e.

They are aiming the laptop at primary school children, and thee design of the unit reflects this. Weighing in at a mere 3.2 lb, it features a 10.1 inch light emitting diode (LED) backlit WSVGA screen, a slightly less than full size QWERTY keyboard – 92 per cent, to be precise – and a carrying handle built into the clamshell case, enabling it to be easily transported.

There are separate microphone and headphone connections, and there is also an integrated webcam optimised to improve the quality of sound and reduce echoing during multimedia classroom lessons.

Trusting a child with a laptop is not without hazards – they’re delicate devices, and don’t take kindly to drops, spills or any rough handling. However, Hewlett Packard has designed the Mini 100e with this in mind. Although you should get laptop insurance in case of theft, loss and accidental damage as your child will be out and about with it, you may rest a little easier knowing that the keyboard has been designed to be spill resistant – it features a Mylar cover underneath the keys. The case is also sturdier that the average laptop and features alloy hinges fixed with steel pins. In a cute touch the case is customisable, so your child can personalise it to their taste.

Under the hood, it runs on an Atom N455 central processor, designed by Intel® to consume less power, and has 1GB of memory. Interestingly, the Mini 100e is flexible when it comes to batteries, and can use three cell or six cell laptop batteries. It also features an integrated V.92 standard modem, meaning that even students in remote areas can access the web.

Hewlett Packard has also announced accessories for the Mini 100e, including a slip case, an optical mouse, a combination lock, a backpack and an external USB drive.

The laptop will be available worldwide in July. No UK price has been announced, but it is not expected to exceed £200 ($300).

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