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7 Days with the HP 2133 Ultra Portable Netbook

Author:  Jason Jacobs
Date:  2008.08.06
Topic:  Notebooks
Provider:  HP
Manufacturer:  HP

7 Days with the HP 2133 Ultra Portable Netbook


The HP 2133 is an UMPC (ultra mobile PC) designed to for the professional on the go who wants access to a computer without the associated weight and bulk. MOst people are familiar with the trend towards smaller, faster, and lighter in technology. The basic fact is that in a few years time its highly likley that the UMPC will be the common PC. Desktops with have their place as servers or high power machines but households are more likely to have a laptop or several laptops than a PC. This is a result of the flexibility by design and of course portability. It seems that the rime may finally be right for the UMPC to take a dominating role of the PC market. The concept is no where near new but has always been held back by several factors the primary of which has been processing power. Secondary factors include expandability, storage, and battery life. All but the last issue no longer affect UMPC designs. Of course batteries could be made to last longer and provide more energy, but then how would the PC makers force you to buy replacements or upgrade your hardware. It's the opinion of this reviewer that battery life is a limiting factor by design.

Let's take a look at the resons someone might choose an ultra portable PC. Afterall a UMPC still does not have the power of a full laptop and the screen is much smaller, so why select a UMPC. The top three factors in order are:

  • Weight

  • Portability

  • Usefulness

Take me for example, I acquired the HP 2133 UMPC for a specific reason. Travel. I travel a lot for TechwareLabs to bring our readers coverage of the latest technology and lugging around a 15 or even 14" laptop on a conference floor can easily become a back breaker. Considering that the last CES conference had expanded to include an additional exhibition hall and eren more square feet of show floor, so do you really find it surprising that wanting a lighter PC has become popular. Like many technology minded PC users I access my e-mail and website several times a day and would prefer to be able to carry my laptop with me during these shows. In 2007 I brought my 12" Dell XPS M1210 to Taipei. Even at 12" the M1210 proved to weigh a lot of be ackward to try to carry around everywhere. As a member of the press I have also toted around a Nikon D70 along with two lenses, add that to the countless bags and products I pick up at these shows and I start to feel like a mule by the end of each day. The UMPC is perfect for a person like myself seeking access to my programs and files in a form factor and weight that won't have me lagging behind.

Why the HP 2133:

As I explained I was seeking something small and portable but as a power user I also wanted something that would be able to meet my needs. To complicate the matter I am very picky when it comes to looks and design. What I really wanted is a 10" or less Macbook Air that runs XP or Vista, comes with more than 1 USB port, and will run for 5 hours on a single battery. I can hear you all screaming at me now but you have to admit that Apple designs have always been superior to their PC brethren. Apple can do this because they have the corner on Apple, no one else makes one. In terms of PC Laptops you have the big players like Dell, HP, Sony, Toshiba, and of course the countless customizers. Unfortunately almost all PC laptops lack the same thing. . . streamlining and refining. To put it simply, they look ugly and range in terms of functionality. Those that have superior qualities always cost more than what most people usually want to pay. Intro the HP 2133.

To be honest I hadn't heard of the 2133 before I actually saw one. Every so often I get to see a product and the first thing that goes throughmy mind is "wow" which is usually followed by "I want one". Then of course the analyst in me pops in and says "Ok what are the drawbacks? and What is wrong with this product?" I can't help the last parts, I've trained myself to think analytically about all new products I see. After these initial reactions came the part where I convinced the person who owned the 2133 to let me have a look at it. Again initial reactions were:

  • Streamlined
  • Brushed Aluminum Casing
  • Felt Solid and yet still relatively light weight

With the popularity and almost cult following of the Apple products you might have thought that the brushed aluminum look might have been done before now in another PC laptop and yet I cannot bring to mind any examples. I cannot stress enough the streamlined look and solid yet lightweight feel of the HP 2133. I immediately began doing my research into this product.



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