stuff.... random stuff....

My half week affair with the HP Mininote 2133

, posted: 14-Jun-2008 15:48

Short HP Mininote Review 2113 (2113b)

I have spent the last few days using nothing but a HP Mininote as my only PC. I am on my way back from a 4 day trip to Sydney. Right now I am sitting in cattle class on an Emirates 777 bound for Auckland. The mininote fits on the tray table very well and enables you to work quite comfortably even in cattle class.

Mininote in action
Poor phone pic of the mininote onboard the 777

My unit is the 1.6Ghz, 2GB RAM, 160GB 7200RPM HDD model with Bluetooth and webcam. It scores 2.0 on the vista scale the limiting hardware is the processor at 2.0 followed by the graphics at 2.4

The good:

This is one stunning machine. It is very well designed and feels good, looks good and has all the features you would look for in a mini pc.

The screen and keyboard are amazing. The screen provides a very crisp even image and is plenty bright enough for working anywhere. The keyboard which is around 95% (google it for the exact percentage) of a regular laptop keyboard does the job very well. The keys have a good feel and provide enough feedback for someone proficient at touch typing.

The size and weight of the unit is also fantastic. I am able to carry it around in my backpack all day without feeling like I am struggling around with a laptop. Another point worth mentioning is the awesome sound. The speakers set either side of the screen make watching movies a pleasure. This is much better than the little speakers mounted on the front of my bigger machines.  The integrated microphone also works well for chat. 

I find the webcam functional and convenient. I don’t know why any laptop manufacturer would consider building a machine without one. I used the camera once or twice when phoning home while away.   

Bluetooth works well I have used this to connect to my cell phone for internet access (Telstra Next G is such a fantastic network)

The Bad:

If you have taken the time to read any other review, you will know that the processor is pretty average. I have to concur. Even though I have the highest spec processor (VIA 1.6Mhz) it still does struggle with Vista.

I plan to blow away the default Vista installation and give XP a whirl in the near future to see if that makes a difference.  However if all you plan to run is Office, Adobe, RDP, Web etc then you will find it is more than up to the task. If you want to render video and play with Photoshop then I think you will find yourself disappointed!

I am running the standard 3 cell battery which although keeps the unit very compact and light this only provides just under / over 2 hours depending on what you are doing with the machine. Windows reports 2:10 on a fresh charge using the power saver profile.

She’s hot! Not a bad attribute in a woman, but not the best thing in a laptop. When Vista is giving the processor a good work over the mininote gets very warm. I try to elevate the machine to allow adequate ventilation, which does help a little. But if you were to pop it on your lap it would get uncomfortable!

Touch me if your finger will fit! The touchpad on the mininote is usable but only just. The touchpad is very tiny. This takes quite a bit of getting used to and also seems to have quite an odd texture...

The Ugly:

I know this is very minor and rather stupid thing to bitch about, but I really dislike having the Ethernet port between the power and the USB. I have already tried to plug both power and usb into the network port while not looking.


The mininote is a great travel / note taking machine. It allows you to stay in touch while you travel and enables you to access remote resources with ease. It is limited by it’s Via processor and I wouldn’t consider anything less than the 1.6Ghz model. Would I buy one? Well I already have.... will I keep it? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes as long as you want to do with it what it’s designed for. Web browsing and office.

Other related posts:
Back to Black (INK) a review of the HP Elite x2 1011 and MS Surface 3
Why data caps are awsome
Geekzone Agony Aunt – Brand relationships

Comment by tfosorcim, on 15-Jun-2008 14:51

My personal opinion is that this is an atypical H-P design: poor components (resources)--CPU; O/S (pick one; it doesn't matter because of the CPU) trying to be covered up by the cosmetics: screen, case, keyboard. The flashy stuff will never overcome the limitations imposed by HP's poor choice of basic components. And then there's the PRICE! HP is trying to get a higher price for this poorly-executed design than a really good laptop can be had for.

Me? I really like the 2133, even with its high-gloss-mirror screen (I think you did your readers a disservice by overlooking that). I'm going to wait, and get a 2133 for the price I should have been able to pay for it today, had HP had their collective head screwed on straight.

Say WHAT?!

Yep. I'm just going to wait until this product is discontinued by HP due to lack of acceptance, and get a 1.6 GHz version on the surplus market. With 2G of RAM, the HDD replaced by a SSD, and running Ubuntu 8.0x, I'll have the machine HP should've built.

Kudos on your review; I really liked it. But the reality of the situation is that this machine is getting SERIOUSLY panned in the technical and consumer press because of these issues.

It's really sad about HP...

Author's note by chris021, on 15-Jun-2008 16:45

As reported everywhere, HP made the 2133 in a rush for the edu market. They needed a machine they could sell today. For that market the poor proc will be ok i think. But yeh time will tell.... sofar hp seem pretty happy with the sales. Ingram Micro (NZ) appear to have 300 units on order which is pretty sizable for such a niche machine...

Comment by chiefie, on 15-Jun-2008 22:35

I do actually think it is a perfect secondary or light notebook for casual 80% everyday usage of Internet and email etc.

It sure isn't designed to do rendering or photoshop, it isn't for that market.

Comment by Rajat Bhatia, on 15-Jun-2008 23:19

My experience of about two weeks with my HP 2133 Mini-Note is quite posituve.

I am amazed that such a cute little machine runs a heavy Windows Visa OS.

I must say that all routine and basic objectives are very well executed by the machine.

The first is Web Browsing. The Wi Fi and Blue Tooth are very good.Downloads are fast.

It plays music very well. The speakers are good quality.

I used Skpe with video and was very happy to see the bright picture quality and excellent voice quality on a DSL/Broadband connection.

Its an a amazing piece of beauty. The brush metal finish is really good.

I am using it as an secondary mini notebook. I already have bigger laptops like Apple Powerbook 17 inchs and Sony Vaio 14.1 inches. So this machine fits very well for me in its own segment.

I don't bug about it not doing heavy duty jobs. I avoid multitasking and dont mind it. I use the machine for what it is meant. Browsing, music, Word etc

All those who are complaining should understand that they can's expect a Mini Volkswagon to do the job of a Truck :)

So, Mini Note by HP is good at its job. See to adjust VISTA for even better performance by Mini Note PC.


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Chris Hoffmann
New Zealand

Areas of Interest:
Network Security
Computer Forensics


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