HP Debuts Super Small Sub-$500 Laptop
The latest entry into this field is the Hewlett Packard 2133 Mini-Note PC. The Mini-Note starts at $499, for the entry level model with 512 megabytes of RAM, 4-gigabytes of storage, a 1-gigahertz VIA processor, and Linux. At the top of the heap is a $749 model loaded with Vista Business, 2-gigabytes of RAM, and a 1.6 gigahertz VIA processor. The $749 model also comes with a 120-gigabyte hard drive that spins at 7,200 RPM for super fast data access. Many full-sized notebooks only come with 5,400 RPM drives, and most ultra-portables are saddled with a 4,200 RPM drive.
The first batch of reviews are in, and they're all pretty positive. Some complain about the lack of power due to the VIA processor, and the awkwardness of the side-mounted touch pad buttons, but most are blown away by the full-sized keyboard and the 8.9-inch screen that at a resolution of 1280x768 can display a full Web page without any horizontal scrolling, unlike the ASUS Eee.
The Mini-Note sounds like a strong competitor to the Eee and other cheap compact notebooks, but the price does sound a little high. An Eee PC similarly equipped to the lower end Mini-Note costs about $100 less, and for the $749 asking price of the high end model, you could buy a much more powerful laptop, though one not nearly as small.
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