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HP 2133 Mini Note PC First Impressions (with photos!): Kills the ASUS eee 900?

The ultra-light phenomenon has just tipped once again. With ASUS releasing the eee and eee 900, other manufacturers have gone light (see ACER’s Aspire One product feature) and now the market has definitely tipped. HP has just released the Mini Note PC to the Philippine market last night and I was lucky to have taken home a demo unit from the event. I think this was because I won the wackiest pose on the HP wall — I balanced the Mini Note on my head.

Here’s a short size comparison between the HP Mini Note PC, my 13 inch MacBook and a standard sized Samsung F400 (Bang and Olufsen) mobile phone:

HP desktops and laptops have always had that reputation of being good but *cough* expensive. Their direct competitor would be Toshiba in terms of pricing and “status.” But I was floored to see something that night that made me realize how companies are now trying to -reinvent themselves to the new market. The HP Mini Note PC is the cheapest full functioning ultra light PC I have ever encountered. I can’t believe how much style and features were packed into this thing, with an array of choices for the operating system and a ridiculously low price, it isn’t funny.

Let’s check out the full package, specs and pricing:

HP 2133 Mini Note PC Specs:
1.19 kg
8.9 inch wide XGA display 1280 x 768
Close to full size keyboard
3D DriveGuard with accelerometer for parking the hard drive when the computer falls
Webcam
Two battery solutions: 3 cell for ultralightweight config // 6 cell for extended battery life
802.11g WLAN
Bluetooth
Option for Windows Vista Basic, Windows Vista Business or Linux Preinstalled
Scratch resistant screen
Hp DuraKeys

Here’s the beef ladies and gentlemen. The HP 2133 Mini Note PC or the “HP Mini” as we like to call it comes in three packages:

P24,950.00BEST DEAL EVER!
Via 1.0GHz Processor
1GB RAM
120GB Hard Drive
Preinstalled with Linux

P29,950.00
Via 1.2GHz Processor
2GB RAM
120GB Hard Drive
Windows Vista Basic

P34,950.00
Via 1.6 GHz Processor
2GB RAM
160GB Hard Drive
Windows Vista Business

It’s not rocket science – you can definitely figure out that the first package – at roughly P25,000 gives you a full functioning PC (the keyboard is kick ass) and runs on Linux. This is the obvious recommendation, as Vista seems to crap out once in a while (and we’ve also seen the live demo of Windows 7 … wait, you havent ‘yet?).

So I have one with me right now (the mid range unit with Windows Vista Basic). There are many things to note from my first impressions:

## The trackpad has an on/off button that disables the mouse entirely; useful for portability. The left and right click buttons are rather oddly located to the left and right of the trackpad, and not below. Double-tapping works.

## The stereo HD audio is superb. It’s even louder and more crisp than my MacBook’s internal audio (Macs are not known for their sound). I was floored to hear the stereo speakers boost out some loud Windows Vista loading music from across the room

## Two USB ports: one on the left side and one on the right — hurrah!

## Ethernet cable support — fabulous!

## PC Card (EVDO!) and SD card reader built in — which means I can transfer my Nikon DSLR photos without the need of a cable — too good to be true!

## The keypad feels almost like a regular keypad. It is about 93% the size of a standard keyboard. It also has the biggest SHIFT key ever made for an ultra light. Huwaw.

If you’re considering an ASUS eee 900, I’d suggest going for this instead. The new HP Mini Note PC kills the eee 900 in all aspects – except the battery life. The Mini Note has a very abysmal battery of 1 to 2 hours BUT … and here’s the big BUT – the battery is removable and you can opt to attach an extended battery for 6 cells, bumping up the battery to about 2 to 4 hours.

Now all we need to do is wait for the MSI Wind, the ACER Aspire One and Toshiba’s answer to HP’s new ultraportable. 🙂

P.S. Another thing I have noticed is the pricing — that in the Philippines, this unit is so much more affordable than the the US versions. I think it has to do with the low end package bundled with Linux – CNET’s reviews seem to only review the high end 2GB models. But when you pump in Linux and lower the price, you have an even more impressive ultralight.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

55 replies on “HP 2133 Mini Note PC First Impressions (with photos!): Kills the ASUS eee 900?”

@bianca: no of course it does not. the asus eee is still a good device. i did hear though that the new eee 900 doesn’t have a very good wifi signal reach.

only a matter of time. its exciting to see how each company would innovate to add something extra special to the ultraportable line. curious as well to see how Fujitsu and Sony would do theirs, if they had one in the pipeline.

Hmm, that battery life is going to be problematic — especially as Linux has never really been known for its power management skillz. The reason this is a big deal is that we make the assumption that ultraportables are for moving around with, and not for serious work. (With those machine specs, I doubt you could do much more than run Firefox and a modest word processor. I honestly couldn’t believe they were offering Vista on it.)

Attaching the larger six-cell battery meanwhile increases the weight further so that it starts to break past the 3-lb range and move towards 4-lb, which to me breaks the illusion of portability somewhat.

I am going nuts finding a store where I can buy the model with Linux in it!!
I have called HP Philippines but they are saying that they would only be selling the model with Vista installed in it. Upon hearing this, I was floored. Who wants to use VISTA?!?!? Why would I want to shoulder additional expenses on an O.S. that would struggle to run on the machine?! I would have considered if it was bundled with XP.

Bottomline is, does anyone know where I can buy the model with Linux installed with 1GB memory?

I have been trying to find this model for almost 2 weeks now. So, imagine my frustration up to this point.

Thanks!

Thank you for the positive comments on the HP Mini Note guys! Since last week, the product is already out-of-stock in all stores because of the overwhelming response by Filipino customers. But don’t worry, new deliveries are on their way this week.

@Ryan: actually, the ultraportable everyone’s been waiting for isn’t even here yet. technology is getting better and better — this is just the tip of the iceberg.

the Wind is nice. It doesn’t have a PC card though which means you can forget about EVDO.

how’s MSI’s tech support compared to HP in the Philippines?

the only way i can see MSI botching it up is if they screw up the Philippine launch and do an incredible price markup.

The only problem with HP for me is it’s reputation to easily breakdown. I have known several people who had to take their HP Laptops several times for service in a year. My friend’s office laptop which is a 100k+ HP model had it’s motherboard failed with hard drive corrupted. And it was only used for 3-4 months.

I have an MSI 14in Core 2 Duo Notebook that I had brought only once to it’s service center due to a Hard Drive problem several days when I first bought it. They quickly replaced the unit and replaced the hard drive brand as well in a couple of days. Since then after traveling with it and throwing my bag (with laptop in it) in rugged areas it hasn’t broken down yet for almost a year. Quite pleased with its durability.

How will I know if new stocks are already available?

I fear that before I would be able to know, it will be out of stock again….

I called some HP Resellers and they are saying that they don’t have any idea on when it will arrive…

wind wind… watch for asus eee pc 1000.. like an msi wind.. share lang..^^

Wow!!! This is great! Been looking for an eee pc counterpart from HP, and this site answered my prayer. I’m an HP Notebook addict, from my smallest to biggest screen. Still, I’ll wait for Intel Atom.

By the way, not all HP products break down, my laptop accidentally fell from a 3 feet high table :S (not my fault, and I’ll make sure it will not happen again), and it’s still alive and kicking (checked hard drive, not corrupted, memories still functioning to the fullest, other features, all working well, and it’s open for 5 consecutive days)!!! and it’s 100k+! :S wheeeew!!!! now, I’ll give my baby some rest. 😉

Thanks for posting your First Impressions!

really fabulous for travelers and shutterbugs. and it’s fully functioning. who would want even a macbook air now, hahaha.

i wonder which ODM is making it. does the serial number has an I, Q, K or W?

a force to be reckon with, sporting with glamour and glitz, this laptop may occupy the mainstream market, toppling the rest of regular laptops due to its sheer size, compact design, and price value.

one thing i noticed though, i have stumbled upon a Philippine Daily Inquirer June 6 issue(at E3 section), it says there that an HP 2133 sports just a 2GB of solid state drive? as compared to what you posted to be 120GB HDD?

I am losing patience on this product…it is almost the end of June now and new stocks are still nowhere to be found…If other products like the ASUS EEE 901 or MSI Wind or Acer Aspire One starts coming in, the mini-note will have a hard time selling itself…

It might be the best looking but it has the weakest specs among its class…

I just got my hands on one of these Mini-notes, and I’m loving it like hell. It was one of the two units which arrived at Electroworld Megamall last week. I actually bought it the second it arrived from the shipping company ^^ . Anyway, I don’t think anything in the price range can topple it as of now. As a high school student, I’d want style and portability. It can’t handle my Photoshop CS3 head-on, but it does what it needs to do. And, besides, with looks and body as great as this, why go out to look for more in the style department? If you need more ooomph, just buy a bigger laptop. MSI Wind’s plastic casing just won’t do it for me. It reminds me of the plastic kiddy V-Tech computers na nabibili at Toy Kingdom XD

@TheTimTm:
Which model did you get? Actually, one of the complink branches called me when it arrived to them. But it was the 1.2Ghz and Vista Basic model. I declined to purchase it. I want the 1.0Ghz and Linux only.

Thanks!

@Lee
I got the middle option offered here in the Philippines: the 30k peso one with the 1.2 and the Vista Basic which is, to my opinion, the best package offered for the money. When did Complink call you? I got my unit was it Thursday or Wednesday last week. Well, it’s all a matter of preference. The Linux still has 120 gigs of hd and it won’t require 2 gigs of ram, so 5k less, it’s still a good value. The good stuff is still there: large hard drive, good keyboard, superb lcd, outstanding casing.

@TheTimTm
I received a call from Complink thursday last week.
Yes you are right, the 1.0ghz model still have the good stuff. My plan is to actually dual boot Windows XP and Linux in it. From my estimate, I think I would only be using it for around 2-3 years(Win XP would still be good to use). By then, much powerful UMPCs would be out of the market already which could properly handle and take advantage of Vista or newer OS (Windows 7?).

Anyway, cheers to your new HP2133!

@Jayvee
Latest version of what? If you mean latest version of linux, well there’s a lot. It depends on which distro you prefer. You can have the Ubuntu Linux, SUSE Linux, RedHat Linux, to name a few. Linux is free so you can use any version that you like to use.

I’m thinking of getting the cheapest one but I don’t know if Photoshop will work on Linux? I basically need everyday a browser and photoshop only. Will this work with me?

I’m really torn now. First it was only the Eee PC. Now I am down to three choices – MSI Wind, HP Mini, and Acer Aspire One. Which one do you guys think is the best value for your money?

the Acer Aspire One doesn’t seem to have Bluetooth but i figure its battery life is better than the HP mini. What will you be using it for mostly? Will you be on the road? Do you even need an ultraportable because you have a laptop?

The Mini Note is more durable than the MSI Wind and it has an accelerometer-based shock protection for your hard drive. It has a lightweight and durable magnesium alloy structure, spill-resistant keyboard,bluetooth and a webcam to boot.

One of the 2 USB ports are powered, so you can insert you’re external dvd drive without having to look for a power source for the drive.

And among the ultraportables, it’s the most good looking!

So if any of you guys are within the vicinity of Cagayan de Oro, you can touch and feel the HP 2133 Mini Note Vista (1.6GHz/2GB RAM/160GB HDD) version at HP Solution Center, Pueblo de Oro, Cag. de Oro City.

This is a tech-dimwit’s quessie… Does it come in just one color? I want my laptop to be cute too. ;p

I’ll be arriving in the Philippines tomorrow and want to get my hands on a Linux version. Anyone know where I can pick one up in Manila?

Got mine last night and boy I absolutely couldn’t take my hands off it. Mine’s a 2GB, 120HDD Vista Basic unit. Have one problem though… Would installing Photoshop change its performance? What if I install Photoshhop in an external hard drive? Appreciate your comments. Thanks!

dude, i’m seriously gonna get me one (i was supposed to get the ASUS PC eee 900 for a secondary laptop for better mobility… until i saw one of the editors with the HP mini and i was immediately smitten.). i was looking through reviews and found yours. thanks for the insight!

hey stef, thanks for dropping by! small world huh? yeah the mini note is really cool. i honestly think this wins out in everything except battery life. but that’s also amenable.

give me some tips naman:

1. where can i find a sleeve that fits the mininote?
2. the underside gets really hot especially if the unit has been running for an hour or so already… what to do?

thanks!

i bought a mini note just yesterday.does anyone know if would it be possible to install windows xp on this? i heard it wouldnt be possible because of some driver issues..? i cant stand the pre installed vista home….

Astig ang site mo at ang entry na toh!.. I discover hp mini pc (1000 series) while we were walking at Robiinson’s Mall. It was love at first sight if only I have 21k in my pocket… (sigh).

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