HP 2133 Mini-Note | Small Is Big

The HP 2133 Mini-Note from the Front

HP enters the netbook market with their HP 2133 mini-note model. It has the potential to be one of the most successful mini laptops on the market, with an 8.9” screen and 1280x768 resolution, massive keyboard (92% of the size of a standard notebook), wifi and bluetooth and finished in brushed aluminium.

Promising Much but Fatally Flawed?

The HP 2133 mini-note is a recipe for a serious contender to already established netbooks, initially selling for just slightly more than the leading 9 inch netbook, the Asus Eee PC 901

Unlike other models which seem somewhat “toy-like” in comparison, the 2133 is designed for durability with an attractive brushed aluminium top and magnesium alloy chassis.

A scratch resistant screen using an innovative treatment on the top surface of the notebook's LCD display further boosts robustness, although it has been know for people to find this “treatment” too reflective, particularly outdoors which can lead to poor overall viewing quality.

The HP 2133 Mini-Note from the side/rear

The reinforced frame does take the overall size and weight notably higher than other similar sized netbooks to around 1.27kg compared with 0.99kg for the Acer Aspire One and Asus Eee PC 900, and 1.1 kg for the newer Asus Eee PC 901. However it's not a huge difference and if your circumstances dictate durability as a feature then the little extra is not going to bother you.

There are many variants of the 2133 mini-note available with operating systems to choose from including SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, Windows Vista and XP, although most models available are the Linux and Vista Business edition. A word of caution here though. The processor of the 2133 is not the quickest. we would have real concerns as to whether Vista would be a suitable choice for a machine of this power. Stick to XP or give Linux a try.

A Netbook Writer.

A close-up of the HP 2133 Mini-Note Keyboard

A welcome bonus with the 'bigger than average for it's category' mini-note is the large interface. HP states that the keyboard is “92% full size” which is a far cry from competing models. The touchpad is reasonable, and in an effort to optimize space, the mouse buttons are located on the sides. We found this somewhat clumsy, but considering the trade off for the larger keyboard, it does seem to be better, especially for typing.

As mentioned already it does however have poor CPU performance and battery life (for the 3-cell version, as little as one and a half hours!) which really undermines the superb features on the model.

The poor peformance can severly compromise use of the machines as for instance under Vista the HP 2133 mini-note has a ridiculous boot-up time, as long as one and a half minutes.

There is also the question of whether you should consider a 10 inch mini laptop given the overall bulkiness of the mini-note compared with other 8.9 inchers. Most 10 inchers are only marginally bigger than the mini note and being more recent models have far improved performance.

Conclusion.

There are many nice features of the HP 2133 mini-note, the keyboard, the durability, the smarter look and feel, high resolution screen and good connectivity. Still, the poor performance and battery life will forever compromise it's use.

In general, the mini-note is a good buy if you’re not running demanding programs (for example, word processing in which case the large keyboard is ideal) but otherwise it's hard to recommend it when other better featured machines are now available.


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