HP's 2133: A Tiny Laptop an Adult Can Really Use

Performance Anxiety

What it doesn't deliver is peak performance. Now, I understand that Vista is the Microsoft's newest OS, and HP is likely obligated to offer it on these new notebooks. But, if you ask me, using it in this small laptop is a big mistake. The system we received came installed with Vista Business and while hardly dog-slow, it was no speed demon, either.

Blame the 1.6GHz C7-M ULV processor wedged inside. Frankly, this class of low-speed laptop isn't built for the rigors of Vista. And even though there are 2GB of RAM muscling through the test applications in our unit, this VIA processor has no business running Vista Business.

While it worked decently enough in basic tasks, the 2133 is a little pokey. It takes about 35 seconds to copy "Guns 'N Roses Greatest Hits" (a 73MB folder) over a USB 2.0 connection. And, in our initial WorldBench tests, the HP laptop scored poorly, but bear in mind that this is the same gauntlet of tests we throw at every laptop, whether it's a sub-$1,000 PC or a monstrous desktop replacement.

Interface for HP's Total Care Applet
Interface for HP's Total Care Applet
I do like HP's Total Care Advisor Applet (at right, click image to see larger version) that came pre-installed with our Vista notebook. Obviously geared toward basic use, it is a handy graphical breakdown of what's going on with your PC. Whether it's the status of updates and security, battery power left, or shortcuts to data backup tools, the important actions most users will need are all right here.

This small laptop is certainly a great option for the classroom or boardroom, but personally, I'm waiting to see if we'll ever get a model sporting an Intel processor. No word on that yet from HP spokespeople.

Until then, users should consider installing XP on their 2133, instead. Even though it isn't offered as a pre-configured option, HP spokespeople say that, at the HP Web site, you can sub Microsoft's older OS for Vista for the same $749.

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