hp-mini-5102-netbook Amid the pomp and circumstance of tablets and hybrid netbooks from CES 2010, there's a few notable introductions that slipped under the radar. The HP Mini 5102 -- backed by a SUSE Linux option -- is one of those devices. Coming soon from HP, the Mini 5102 is shipping with some interesting features. Here's the deal.

Pictured, you'll note that it has a handle and a square business-like frame. That's the point, since HP is leveraging this device for the business world. What's so special about it though? Well, it's featuring a touch-screen. And while that's not too unusual, it's nice to see that addition in a work-related device. (Especially after the iWork rumors.)

It's also sporting 3G capabilities, and according to HP's site, you can get service from Verizon, Sprint or AT&T. GPS is built in, as well. HP is also offering it with an 80GB Solid State Drive, but you can get up to 320GB on a SATA drive if you're feeling thrifty. The interesting news is that HP is shipping it with the option for Windows 7 Starter, XP, FreeDOS and SUSE Linux Enterprise 11.

Anytime Linux gets proliferated in the work environment, it's intriguing -- especially since initial reaction to Windows 7 has been so positive. VARs might want to get in on this, too, if you're working a partner program with HP. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 is coming from Novell, so you know you're getting solid support and stability. HP has had a longstanding partnership with Novell, so that could give VARs extra confidence.

Unfamiliar with SUSE Linux? Isn't all the hype is around that other guy? SUSE touts itself as:
The only Linux that works seamlessly with Windows servers and desktops...and only SUSE Linux Enterprise powers your physical and virtual infrastructure, from x86 to mainframe and from netbook to desktop, with the most certified Linux applications. We call this ubiquity....SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop delivers...maximum interoperability with Microsoft Office and Exchange, [and will] help you reduce costs and increase productivity.
If you're bored with brown-old Ubuntu, I recommend taking a look at SUSE Linux and embrace the green iguana. It seems like a good plan with HP as the backbone.