Code-named Galileo, HP's latest project was shrouded in much secrecy, a point of much speculation and debate for online media. We too were not immune to the mystery surrounding the Galileo, which was finally revealed to be the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC, their idea of a notebook shrunk down to an 8.9-inch form factor. There was much excitement (though silently as we too had to partake in the intrigue) in the office when we received a fully working prototype for review, and though it was a prototype, HP has assured us that the build that we got was a close-to-retail unit, with only minor cosmetic updates for the full retail unit.
While the form factor is really nothing new, it's interesting to note that HP has started paying attention to the success of the ASUS Eee PC and the other similar models by coming up with their own version in the form of the Mini-Note while still keeping the price point low enough to compete. Of course, to ensure that the price remains competitive, HP has had to make some necessary sacrifices in hardware, but it has not stopped them from delivering an excellently engineered and well designed product, but more on that later.
Specifications-wise, the Mini-Note compromises on some stuff like the processor by using a VIA C7-M processor running at 1600MHz on our test unit, though HP has explained to us that the C7-M processors were chosen because they were energy efficient, which was something we could relate to, especially on such portable devices. VIA processors, by our estimation, were also much more cost effective and would also help keep the price point low. Whether the Mini-Note will use Intel's newest generation of Atom processors is also currently not known as HP has declined to comment for now. Guess we'll find that out in the months ahead. As for the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC, specs can vary from the entry level version at US$599 that comes with a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB memory and Windows XP/Vista Basic, while the version we're reviewing today costs a little more than US$749 and comes with the following specs:-