I Gave Up My Notebook for an HP Mini-Note

mini2.jpgThe initial reviews of the HP Mini-Note have been overwhelmingly positive, and HP itself has no shame in admitting it has made a killer system. A roomy 92 percent full-size keyboard and a glossy 8.9-inch screen are pretty sweet, but reviews of a system can only go so far. Thus I have taken the HP Mini-Note under my wing for the next few days as my primary computer. My initial impression? This is one nice-looking system. It’s more attractive than the ASUS Eee PC (especially those Easter egg–colored options) and it’ll certainly turn heads. The brushed metal chassis feels and looks sturdy. However, my reservations quickly started kicking in after toggling the blue LED power switch on. Ah, boot-up: You leave me enough time to knit a sweater. And since I don’t know how to knit, waiting around felt even longer. In all seriousness, it took 2 minutes and 50 seconds to fully boot up the Vista operating system. My Mini-Note’s configuration costs $599 and contains a VIA C7-M processor (1.2 GHz, 800 MHz FSB) and 1GB of RAM. I have to say, being greeted by a Vista desktop on this mini-notebook was almost surreal. I expect a system of this size and power to run Windows XP or some flavor of Linux. And to be honest, I longed for them. Vista looked very nice on the glossy screen, but a Vista Experience score of 1.2 (out of a possible 5) tells you right off the bat how poorly the system handles the bulky OS. I rushed to disable the Allow/Cancel prompts (or what Microsoft calls User Account Control) from the Control Panel. img_0136.JPGAs expected, the keyboard is very roomy. If the Eee PC is a twin-size bed, this is a queen. I am no man-hands, but I instantly preferred this keyboard to the Eee PC. I had few to no typos while writing this post on the Mini-Note. But the touchpad is a different story. HP might claim that the kids liked the vertical placement of the mouse buttons on the sides of the trackpad, but I’d argue otherwise. I have to use both hands to work with it. I’ve gotten used to keeping my right index finger on the touchpad and my left hand’s index finger on the left click button. Double-tapping on the touchpad is also another option. mininote.jpgMy initial use of the Mini-Note for simple tasks has been decent. I was able to connect to our office Wi-Fi signal swiftly to check mail, read the latest tech headlines, and test out the Mini-Note’s streaming-video capability using Hulu and other Flash-based Web sites. Stay tuned as I continue to test other applications—including graphic-intensive games.

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  1. Mike Cane Says:

    How’s that keyboard? Does it have good travel distance? What were you using before this?

  2. Ahmed Gabr Says:

    It doesn’t work .. It really doesn’t ..

    I didn’t personally try it, but I saw a dozen videos of the device running and all in all the performance is very poor. I didn’t expect that at all. I have a Kohjinsha SH8 UMPC and tablet (7 inch touch screen) hosting an Intel A110 800Mhz processor which is supposed to by ways behind this HP, but guess what, my device runs Vista Home Premium smoothly and efficiently.

    I’d say, either HP has something wrong with the parts used in their device that they for some reason don’t work that well together, or the VIA processor has something wrong that keeps it in the back.

  3. Gian Says:

    Try http://mininoteuser.com to see what users think of this laptop.

  4. Mike Cane Says:

    XP runs just swell according to all accounts I’ve read. Vista is crap no matter what hardware is thrown at it.

  5. Steve Olson @ Small-Laptops.com Says:

    I would also add that XP does seem to provide a better experience overall for most people, regardless of the device. I don’t know that VIA’s graphics processing is as comparable to some of the other options out there.

    That said, I will probably be purchasing a Mini-Note here in a few weeks, either with XP on it, or loading XP on it myself.

    The keyboard is what won me over. I don’t anticipate this replacing my primary laptop (currently a ThinkPad) but I can see it being heavily used for web work, word processing and email/web.

  6. Kamall Says:

    Actually, I think the Intel A110 800mhz processor is quite a bit more powerful than the Via processors in the HP. They are poor processors overall, especially in performance.

    Its a shame because otherwise this is a great notebook, I’d love if HP would eventually offer Intel processors in this. They offer good performance and battery life as the A110 does.

  7. Steve 'Chippy' Paine Says:

    Backache alert!
    Joanna, I don’t recommend using these mininotes as a main computer without having a full-size desktop screen for desk usage. I use UMPCs as desktops regularly but never without a desktop screen

    http://www.umpcportal.com/gallery/v/umpcoffice/IMG_1793.JPG.html?g2_imageViewsIndex=1

    Shame that you have the Vista version. It is likely to be very frustrating! Vista on mininotes brings near-zero extra features and a big cut in productivity speed. (And a big increase in stress level!)

    Steve.
    UMPCPortal.com

  8. steelisral Says:

    I am also using the HP2133 Mini-Note as my main laptop and it is working wonderfully. The VIA processor is more than enough power for what I use it for, mainly web surfing and word processing. Also I am running Xubuntu Linux, and the XFCE interface is extremely light and dare I say made for mini-notes like this one.

  9. JC Says:

    hopefully, they’ll be putting the new Isaiah processors in them.
    Supposedly, it toasted the Atom.

  10. Alex Wattanabe Says:

    Does anyone know if the new Isaiah could be fitted in a Mini-Note? I mean if I send it to HP could they do something like that or it’s no way? I think that if there was such prospect that may hurt the sales of the new Isaiah mininote. so doesnot look so possible.

    Does anyone know when the Isaiah mininote will be launched or is it too early?

  11. Mike Cane Says:

    I’ve been told that the CPU is soldered to the motherboard, so DIY CPU swaps are out of the question. And I doubt hp would swap motherboards. ebay looms for early buyers who want Isaiah later.

  12. Larry Says:

    Overall it is a very nice alternative to lugging around a full size laptop to read e-mail, surf the web, or run Office. However the OS, Vista, sucks! As soon as I have the time I’m installing XP. The keyboard is great. The display is very sharp but the unit I have has the 6 cell battery which prevents me from setting the display at the optimum viewing angle. The larger battery tilts the back of the unit up and at the same time prevents the display from tilting back. For me I’d forgo the longer battery life and go with the three cell battery to improve the viewing angle.

  13. Pat Says:

    Just a thought – people keep complaining about the boot time, but Vista boots take forever on just about any system. Has anyone thought to try the “instant on” features of Vista – (using the default power down option instead of powering off completely when the machine will not be off for extended periods of time). I have a brand new Sony laptop that takes 1 or 2 minutes to boot Vista, but maybe 1 second to power back up after turning the machine off into the low power state.

    Just a thought.

  14. Eric Says:

    Dose anyone know which would be better for games. 2133 or Eee Pc 900
    I know, games dont run well on these sub-notebooks, but which one would handle them better.

    The only reason holding me back from buying a 2133 is the processor- the C7’s suck.
    Is their a possibility of Issiah being put into the 2133?

    Thanks,

  15. 42gems Says:

    I can’t understand why HP decided to put Vista on a device that uses a Via C7. If they were so dead set on using Vista, they should have at least waited until the Isiah or the Atom was released.

  16. Prof2U Says:

    I have to give my hat off to Hp and Assus for thier first efforts. I like the Eee for it’s fast start up, and light OS, but their screen leaves much to be desired for video conferencing. I like Hp for their larger screen and crisp resolution, but the C7 CPU and Vista OS combination is awful . A merge of the strenghts of these two devices, would bring about killer device. Looking forward to spending more money.

  17. Rajat Bhatia Says:

    I have been using my HP 2133 Mini-Note PC for a week now.

    I have the model with 1.2 GHz version, 1 GB Ram, Vista Business, 6 Cell Battery etc

    I would like to tell that the machine works very well for its size. Boot time is not at all bothering. It starts pretty much in time.At times I close it in Hiberate mode so it makes it still faster.

    I suggest all users to go to site http://www.HP2133guide.com to read the guide to configure VISTA for this Mini-Note PC.The suggestions given are helpful to make the machine perform even better by removing less useful fuctions.

    Web browsing, music,video, word processing, wi-fi, battery life has all been amazing.

    The looks are just amazing. Its a pure piece of beauty and versatile functions.

    6 Cell battery lasts for almost five hourse on Power Save option and 2.5 to 3 hours on HP Optimised setting.

    All basic accounting functions are to utter satisfaction. Infact I have seen much bigger laptops showing much slower performance.I am amazed to see VISTA running so well in this small machine.

    Its is improtant to install a light anti-virus and not a heavy one. I installed Avira Personal and it did not slow my machine. Spybot as an additon for malwarre/adware is very good.

    To open several tasks in one go should be avoided.

    I have two other laptops – 17″ Mac PowerBook, 14″ Sony Vaio and now this cute lovely HP 2133 Mini Note.

    So, all these laptops have there positioning,functining and place.

    I am fully satisfied with HP 2133 Mini-Note PC and would recommened it to any gadget lover. It beats Sony TZ series in terms of beauty. If we compare thhe price of HP Mini vis-a-vis Sony 11.1 inch machines, Hp is cost 1/3rd the price of Sony.Ofcourse it performs less functions than Sony TZ 11.1 inch machines, still for its looks and its successful performance of all the most important functions makes it a success.

    It doesn’t look like a toy at all but a very sophisticated electronic gadget which all tech lovers would like to possess and be proud of.

    I am loving it as my first UMPC…I surely am.

  18. Rajat Bhatia Says:

    Also, I have used Skype very nicely on HP 2133. The picture quality is very bright and voice clear.Picture is brighter than my Vaio. There is no problem with Skype in Mini-Note PC.

  19. wschuttevaer@shaw.ca Says:

    Hi
    Could you please give me a suggestion what to do? I have the HP2133: 160 HD, 2GB Ram, Windows XP Pro and I can not connect to the internet on a wireless network. What should i do.

    Thanks

  20. Rajat Bhatia Says:

    Hi

    Have you switched on the WiFi button at the front right side of the notebook ?

    Switch it on by keeping it pressed for two-three seconds, it will switch on the wifi receiver.

    All the best.

    Thanks

  21. Abdus Sami Says:

    My Question to Rajat Bhatia.
    I heared that this machine heats up quickly, and after 30 to 45 minutes of serious use it is almost impossible to handle this note book,

    Also u said that u are using this machine with 6 cell, have u tried this with 3 cells?? can anyone give me feedback about this??

    Do u think that using XP instead of Vista give me the better results?
    waiting for your reply.

  22. Bill Says:

    Does anyone know why my 2133 wont connect to the tv. I’m using a VGA to S-video connection and all it does is change my display on my pc as if it were on the tv but yet the tv does nothing.
    Thanks

  23. Bill Says:

    Addus Sami

    I havn’t used the three cell, but due to how warm these pc’s get I recomend the six because it allows the heat to escape from underneath.

  24. DarkLord Says:

    Vista is a fucking hell shit OS.
    Try Xp.
    I can open 10 tabs of Mozilla Firefox withVLX.

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