Review: HP Mininote 2133

The only gadget I brought back from Taiwan (since the MSI Wind or the Asus EEE 1000 wasn’t available yet), after some rigorous testing, I can finally send out this warning.
Most Dutch websites are now taking pre-orders for higher version than mine, for a whopping 800 euros. For that much money, you should consider these points.
Mine was just 360 euros, but has only 1 GB memory and a slightly slower CPU. It was delivered with an awful Linux distribution (SUSE Desktop 10) and I worked with it for a week. Not only is installing simple software impossible (from xine to vlc, it just couldn’t resolve dependencies even when including 3 full repositories), but a full system freeze would occur on a daily basis.
After switching to XP Pro, I could start my review at a less rageful state of mind (no freeze-ups anymore too!). The keyboard at 92% of the normal size but still requires a bit of getting used to. Luckily, it’s far from the crampedness from Asus EEE PC. Of course, the small size means it fits in my backpack without problems. The full aluminum body also means it should last a big longer (I hope).
But not all is good yet. The 8.9″ screen (mostly advertised with the wrong resolution) is 1280×768, it’s really sharp, but letters will be really tiny on this already tiny screen. Battery life isn’t something to write home about either, usually lasting around 1.5 hours when working at a normal pace or watching movies. You will have to live without an optical drive, but that’s with all the competitors in this ultramobile pc business.
The most horrible point though, is the slow CPU. Ultra low voltage, but also ultra low processing power. Some highly encoded XViD movies will be shocky now and then, and for more intensive tasks, you have to wait a few seconds before the application starts.
For a 360 euro gadget, it’s not that bad (though you can’t get it here). But for the upcoming version in the webshops, you should really start thinking about it, because first of all, you can buy two normal sized notebooks with 10 times the speed. Second, the speed problems I’m having will quadruple. Even with slightly higher specs, it’s delivered with Windows Vista and will surely bring the notebook down to its knees (and bump you on the back of your head for good measure).
My advice is to save your money and get an MSI Wind or OEM clone (The Medion Akoya Mini when you’re in Germany, or the Advent 4211 when you’re in the UK) for around 400 euro. Heck, just for fun, when I might just get one myself.

2 Responses to “Review: HP Mininote 2133”

  1. Marz Says:

    I assume you have installed Opera 9.51 on it ? 😉 I’m pretty sure that works like a charm. 🙂
    And install an IRC client, what else do you need on it ? 😛

    How do you install a new OS, if it doesn’t have a cd/dvd-drive ? Booting from a USB stick ? Booting from the network ?

    And you _could_ have tryed xubuntu, but i’m not sure it will be faster then XP 😉

  2. KaNam Says:

    You install XP on it by being lazy ! (SD card, boot TrueImage, restore from USB HDD using an image made from my previous notebook).

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