April 9, 2008 Making personal computers more accessible to school students is both a worthy cause and an emerging target market. HP has now entered the arena with the announcement of the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC, a full-function, small-format laptop PC priced from under US$500.

The two and a half pound HP Mini includes a 8.9-inch, WXGA display, full keyboard (QWERTY) and touchpad, plus integrated Wi-Fi and optional Bluetooth™. The scratch resistant display, along with a magnesium hinge bracket, anodized aluminum shell and a clear coating on the keyboard provide protective from the rigors of day to day use and HP's 3D DriveGuard, which shuts down the hard drive in the event of a sudden movement or shock, further adds to the units durability.

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There's also the option of an integrated VGA webcam for video and still-image capture and Absolute Software’s Computrace which allows stolen or missing computers to be tracked. Two battery solutions are on offer - three-cell for lightest-weight configurations or optional six-cell for longer battery life.

The news follows Intel's recent unveiling of it's new Classmate PC 'Netbook', a unit that's also aimed at the education sector.