The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC Unveiled

Big On Small Packages

Big On Small Packages

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.

To show you how small the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC really is, we used a Nokia N95 mobile phone to give you an indication of the size of the Mini-Note.

Same thing, but with a pen this time. Note that width of the Mini-Note is just slightly longer then a pen.

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.

The front profile of the Mini-Note. Unlike the leaked images available online, the actual Mini-Note has the power button and the WiFi button placed on opposite ends.

The left side profile of the Mini-Note sports a video analog out, a powered USB port for a removable optical disk drive and the standard microphone and headphone jacks.

The right profile shows a Kensington Lock, a LAN port, another USB port, an ExpressCard/54 slot and a SD card reader.

Due to the form factor, the battery takes up the entire rear portion of the Mini-Note. Shown here is the 6-cell battery that is intentionally designed to raise the Mini-Note up for ergonomic purposes. The 3-cell battery will not have the raised portion but helps to retain the slim form factor of the Mini-Note.

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:-