Hewlett-Packard and Acer have lowered prices of their netbooks as the back-to-school sales season kicks into gear in the U.S., offering bargains for users.
Acer slashed prices on its Aspire one netbooks on Friday to as low as US$329 for one version, while HP revealed new prices for Mini-Notes on its Web site.
Price-cutting by the two big PC vendors could prompt other netbook makers, such as Asustek Computer and Micro-Star International to follow.
Netbooks are mini-laptop PCs designed for mobility, and typically weighing less than 2 kilograms. Most of the components on board, including the microprocessor, are less powerful than those of full-fledged laptops so batteries last longer. They’re designed for Internet surfing and work on spreadsheets or word processor documents, not for heavy duty gaming, video editing or other multimedia work.
The HP and Acer netbooks on sale both have 8.9-inch screens, smaller than the most common laptop PC screen size, 15.4 inches.
HP is offering reductions of $100 on some versions of the Mini-Note, with prices good through the end of August.
The biggest deals are in higher end models, which run Microsoft’s Windows Vista Business OS.
The price of the HP Mini-Note 2133 KR948UT has been slashed to $789 from $949, according to HP. The device has an 8.9-inch screen, uses a 1.2GHz Via C7-M microprocessor, has 2G bytes of DRAM and a 160G-byte hard disk drive (HDD) for data storage.
The lowest-priced Mini-Note running Windows Vista Home Basic is the KX868AT, which costs $599, down from $786, according to HP.
The lowest priced Mini-Note is the HP 2133 KR922UT at US$499 on Amazon.com and elsewhere, but a better version of that netbook, the Mini-Note 2133 KX89AT offers a lot more for just US$549.
Both those Mini-Notes run the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 OS. The KX89AT has a 1.2GHz Via C7-M microprocessor, 1G byte of DRAM and a 120G-byte HDD, while the KR922UT has a 1.0GHz Via processor, 512M bytes of DRAM and a 4G-byte flash memory module for storage.
It’s not clear which of the HP models come with a 3-cell battery and which come with a 6-cell battery, but the difference in run time can be huge. Three-cell batteries in many netbooks are rated for just a few hours of power, while the 6-cell batteries can provide up to six or seven hours in some netbooks.
Acer’s Aspire one netbooks all have 1.6GHz Intel Atom microprocessors.
The Aspire one AOA150-1570 comes with Microsoft Windows XP, 1G byte of DRAM, a 120G-byte HDD and a 3-cell battery for $349.99 at Bestbuy.com
A similar Aspire one, the AOA110-1722 that comes with the Linpus Linux Lite OS, 512M bytes of DRAM, 8G bytes of flash storage and a 3-cell battery, costs $329.00, Acer said.
Acer cut prices by about $50 for both models.
Acer also announced a new Aspire one model, the AOA150-1447, which comes with Windows XP, a 160G-byte HDD and 6-cell battery for $399.
Acer did not say how long the new pricing would be good for.