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HP today entered the affordable mini-notebook category with its eye-catching HP 2133.
While an earlier contestant--the Eee PC
(Watch PC World's Darren Gladstone show you the differences between the two tiny PCs.)
HP is betting that, for a few dollars more, you'll want to invest in its slightly more mature approach (click photo to see enlarged version).
The HP 2133 offers several different options than the Eee. Depending upon which pre-configured model you pick, the 2133 ranges anywhere from a $499 system running Linux to a $749 model using Microsoft's Windows Vista Business operating system. The low-end Linux version, which sports a 1GHz CPU and 512MB of RAM--is probably the closest matchup for the Eee. The Vista machine we review here today sits at the top-end with a 1.6GHz CPU and 2GB of RAM.
Right off the bat, the 2133's a looker. The aluminum casing makes the little laptop feel more substantial that its Asus competitor--and it is. Weighing two pounds, 13 ounces, the 2133 just feels way more capable of taking a beating than the plastic Eee (which weighs about two pounds).
A little larger than the Eee, the 2133 measures 10.04 inches in length by 6.5 inches in width by 1.05 inches in depth, and every inch counts. This allows for a crisp 8.9-inch display capable of a 1280 by 768-pixel resolution and a comfortable, large keyboard. In fact, considering the device's form factor, this is a perfectly proportioned layout for dainty digits and thick fingers alike.
This laptop also happens to be a feature-heavy mini-notebook offering everything the Eee does (this includes three USB slots, an ethernet adapter, an SD card reader, VGA out, a Webcam, a microphone, and integrated Wi-Fi), then tops it with a PC Express card slot. Surprisingly, the speakers also do a fairly impressive job making music sound like it's coming from something larger than a pint-sized PC. In short, the 2133 offers plenty of flexibility.