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Mini-notebook boasts Linux, near-fullsize keyboard

Apr 8, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 31 views

HP has entered the mini-laptop arena with a device targeting education and cost-conscious consumers. The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC weighs 2.8 pounds with a nine-inch display and a nearly full-sized keyboard, and runs runs Linux, Windows Vista, or Windows XP on a Via C7-M ULV processor.

(Click here for a larger view of HP's 2133 Mini-Note)

Touted as being smaller and lighter than many math and science books, the 10 x 6.5 x 1-inch 2133 features an aluminum shell and a magnesium-alloy chassis. The device's nine-inch, 1280 x 768 display is scratch-resistant, HP claims. The keyboard is described as 92 percent of full-size, with a clear “DuraKeys” coating intended to protect its markings from the usual wear.

Unlike the recently-announced Asus Eee PC 900 and Intel's second-generation Classmate, which use 900MHz Intel Celeron CPUs, the 2133 marches to a different processor. It features Via's ULV C7-M, clocked at 1GHz, 1.2GHz, or 1.6GHz, depending on the model. All the versions include Via's CN896 companion chip and VT8237S south bridge.

According to Via, the ULV 1.6GHz C7-M has a maximum thermal design power (TDP) of only 3.5 watts, and idle power as low as 0.1 watt. HP has fitted the 2133 with a three-cell 28W/hr battery or optional six-cell 55W/hr battery, the latter reportedly providing about three and half hours of operation.

With a single SODIMM slot, the 2133 supports up to 2GB of memory. It also offers better expansion than most mini-laptops, since it has both an SD slot and an ExpressCard/54 slot.

HP's 2133 Mini-Note PC
(Click to enlarge)
Source: HP

Models equipped with hard drives reportedly use a three-axis accelerometer to park drive heads when sudden movement or a shock is detected. The device does not include optical storage, though one can be added externally via HP's MultiBay II accessory (pictured below, at right), which can also accommodate an external hard drive.

Standard networking features for all the versions include a 10/100 Ethernet port and 802.11a/b/g WiFi, while Bluetooth 2.0 is an available option. Other I/O includes two USB ports and a connector for an external VGA display. The 2133 entertains with built-in stereo speakers, integrated stereo microphones, and a stereo headphone jack. A VGA-resolution webcam is optional.

HP's Multibay Cradle II
(Click to enlarge)

Features and specifications listed by HP for its 2133 Mini-Note PC include:

  • Processor — Via C7-M ULV clocked at 1.0GHz, 1.2GHZ, or 1.6GHz
  • Memory — single SODIMM slot accepts from 512MB to 2GB of RAM
  • Display — 9-inch screen with 1280 x 768 resolution
  • Networking:
    • LAN — 10/100 Ethernet
    • WLAN — 802.11a/b/g
    • PAN — Bluetooth 2.0 (optional)

  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB
    • VGA
    • mic in, headphone/line out

  • Expansion:
    • 1 x SD
    • 1 x ExpressCard/54

  • Dimensions — 10 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Weight — starts at 2.8 pounds

HP's mini-laptop has already received several early reviews. Laptop magazine's John Delaney writes, “While it's somewhat bigger and pricier than other mini-notebooks, the HP 2133 Mini-Note offers a few features that the others don't, including an adult-size keyboard and a design more suited to business users.”'s Xavier Lanier says, “Other notebooks in this category look and feel like they should be sold at Toys R Us, [but] the 2133 comes across as a serious business computer at a price that's unbelievable.”

Further information

The entry-level HP 2133 Mini-Note has 512MB of RAM, a 1GHz processor, runs SuSE Linux from a 4GB SSD, and costs $500. A $550 configuration retains Linux and steps up to a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 5400rpm, 120GB hard drive.

For $600, the same hardware ships with Windows Vista Home Basic or Windows XP Professional. A $750 configuration comes with Windows, a 7200rpm, 120GB hard drive, 2GB of RAM, Bluetooth, and the six-cell battery. All models will be available later this month, HP says.

Laptop's review is available from the publication's website, here. For the review, see here.

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