Netbook makers like Lenovo, Gigabyte and ASUS have been quietly releasing new systems with Intel’s new mobile, dual-core N550 processor, but HP’s not keeping its use of the fresh chip in 10-inch netbooks a secret… anymore. Just as we’ve previously heard, the professional-aimed $399 Mini 5103 will be getting a dual-core 1.5GHz processor option, which HP tells us can improve benchmark performance by up to 20 percent without a significant impact on battery life. It’s also been updated with a new “espresso” color and will have HP’s Day Starter instant-on OS — no WebOS buried in there yet.
On the consumer end, the HP Mini 210 has also been refreshed — actually, more like gutted — with a new design. The 10.1-inch netbook is now available in a bunch of cleverly named colors, including crimson red and ocean drive, and has been revamped with a new back that integrates the battery into the bottom of the chassis. Don’t worry: the battery is still swappable and you can open the bottom cover to replace the RAM and hard drive. It still has that chiclet keyboard we like so much, the rather hit-or-miss ClickPad touchpad and a Broadcom Crystal Accelerator option for 1080p playback. The Mini 210 will start at $330 with a single core Atom CPU and six-cell battery, but will be available with the N550 processor for a bit more (we’re guessing around $75).