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on the hp 2133 mini-note

posted to writings on jul 20th, 2008 with tags 2133, laptops, libretto, msi, openbsd, and wind

i bought an hp 2133 mini-note a while ago. it's a "netbook" or whatever people are calling all of these new eee-pc-like machines. the size is similar to my libretto l5, which came out like 6 years ago (and mine is sitting in my closet with a broken keyboard) so i'm not sure why all these companies are suddenly making similarly sized machines.

the overall size is decent but, because this one has a 6-cell battery, it sticks up twice as tall in the back and makes it awkward to carry. the keyboard was very nice and big, and its keys and tactile reminded me of the keyboard on my old powerbook g4. the trackpad is pretty stupid, though, since its buttons are on the sides and not at the bottom. the trackpad itself seemed a bit unresponsive at times as well.

i would have liked this machine much better if the display wasn't so bad. for starters it has a 1280x768 resolution on a 8.9" screen. my libretto has a 1280x600 resolution on a 10.4" screen and that's hard to read, so even more pixels in a smaller screen on the 2133 is even harder. and of course it has a reflective screen which just makes it unusable in any kind of light and you end up looking at your own reflection all the time. you can crank up the font sizes of everything to compensate for the resolution, but then things look weird and as someone that has to design things for the web, i can't be looking at web pages differently than how everyone else will see them.

the major downfall of this machine, though, is the via c7-m processor. it runs very hot and its fan is always on. resting your palms on a hot laptop is not very fun, and having to hear a laptop's fan screaming all day is not very fun, either.

of course i ran openbsd on mine, the details of which are elsewhere so i won't repeat them. openbsd works at a decent level as long as you use a multiprocessor kernel, but the wireless card is not supported so the machine doesn't function very well as a portable.

a week or two ago i re-installed vista on it and put it up for sale on craigslist. nobody bit so it's going on ebay soon. i have an msi wind on order that will hopefully run a bit better (cooler, quieter).

update: this machine is now up for sale on ebay

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