PC World wasn't the only magazine sitting on a review unit of HP's new Mini-Note (the official name of the 2133) this week. Laptop Magazine has published a review and video overview of the new PC.

Here are a few takeaway points:

  • Excellent build quality
  • 92% size keyboard, which is much larger than the keyboard you'll find on the Eee PC or Everex Cloudbook
  • Excellent 1280 x 768 8.9-inch screen
  • Wide variety of RAM, storage, CPU, and operating system options
  • For some reason the mouse buttons are on the side of the touchpad rather than below, making it hard to operate with one hand unless you prefer to tap on the screen itself.
  • It takes about 80 seconds to boot Vista Business Edition.
Overall, it seems like an excellent computer. But here's the thing -- it carries a higher price tag than the competition.

The cheapest version sells for $499 and packs SUSE Linux, 4GB of solid state memory, 512MB of RAM, a 1GHz VIA processor, and a 3 cell battery which will only provide about 2 hours of power. If you want a 6 cell battery, a 120GB hard drive, or any of the other advanced options, you're going to have to pony up some extra cash. And while $499 doesn't seem like a bad price, that slow processor, minimal RAM, and puny battery make the $399 Eee PC 4G look pretty good, even if it has a smaller keyboard and screen.

If you're looking for cheap, you might want to stick with the Eee PC. If you're looking for solid build quality, more configuration options, and a higher quality display and keyboard, the HP Mini-Note looks pretty appealing. I'd just like to see HP bring the price of the cheapest model down a bit. Or do away with the 3 cell battery and make the 6 cell standard for all units.


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