This is a proper review of the HP 2133 Mini-Note (HP Mini) and not like the last rubbish review I did. And this is definitely a review based on my true opinions of the product, even though I did win it from the Ping Awards II. Be warned though! I am only a half-past six geek and I am better at talking about himbotic stuffs like how many idiots there are in the MRT every morning. So please bear with me if this review is not up to your expectations.
I managed to squeeze some time out of my schedule to collect the HP Mini last thursday and if not for the crowded bus ride, I would have whipped it out in excitement to play with it. It was only till I reached the office when both my colleagues, Claudia and Andy unboxed the HP Mini for me and they would have been mistaken to be having orgasms from all the “OOoooooooo(s)” and the “Ahhhhhhhhhhh(s)” when they saw it. Both of them own laptops and their immediate reactions was coming from the fact that it is so small!
HP Mini VS My Hand
I know it is a bad way to compare the size of the HP Mini to something since my hand is rather large. But I just want to remind you people on what they say about guys with large hands…
And you know what? The people at HP gave me the top of the line model from the HP Mini series!
1.6G Processor!!! 2G of Ram!!!!
Windows Vista Business?
The bane of all new PCs and laptops – the Windows Vista. It is akin to buying a brand new Lamborghini and fitting it with one tonne of parts. Chio (Beautiful) but useless as it is S.L.O.W. Not to mention that it is buggy. 7 Days with it and it crashed 5 times so far. If only it came with WIndows XP pre-installed!
The other thing that one will notice immediately apart from its size is the built!
Upon looking at it closely and handling it, I found it to be very sturdy and a little heavy for it’s size. I am not one who can determine what material a product is made of with a knock or a bite and so a quick google search reveals that the HP Mini is made of aluminum all round and the internal structure is protected by a magnesium alloy. The surface of the LCD is also made scratch resistant which means that if my girl decides to damage the HP Mini because I spend too much time on it, the HP Mini should be relatively safe.
The HP Mini looks moderately pleasing from the outside but I think the finish on the inside makes it one of the most aesthetically pleasing UMPC I’ve seen. I did say ‘one of’ right? The Mac fanbois look to be ready to slit my throats with their Macbook Air.
Gorgeous ain’t she?
The cool power button
People are quite used to seeing people whip out notebooks in public places but not this one. The size and the built turns heads whenever I take the HP Mini out. OKAY FINE! It could have been due to the kaypoh (nosy) nature of Singaporeans but… but it really turns more heads than usual!
Nicely sized for laptops
Extends all the way to the edges for easy cleaning
The keyboard is 92% full sized and it is comfortable enough to type on for long durations without feeling the need to strangle someone to loosen the stiff muscles.
Speakers on the LCD face
Most laptops I have seen have their speakers on the face of the keyboard or around the sides of the base. The HP Mini has the speakers right where the sound should emit from. The front! I think this works well especially to the audiophiles as it makes more sense to have the sound propagating from where you are seeing the image from. The power of the speakers is also good. I haven’t had the chance to increase the volume beyond half of what the HP Mini can offer.
One problem which might be only particular to my unit is that the covers of the speaker (the one that my finger is pointing at on the pic above) keeps popping out by a couple of millimeters. It could be an issue of bad assembly but I am not sure. Not a big problem, but I keep pushing it in so that it can stay flushed with my screen. I don’t have OCD. Really.
One of my last gripes of the HP Mini is of the touchpad.
HP Mini’s Touchpad
The left and right click buttons are unconventionally located on the sides of the touchpad instead of the bottom and it takes some getting used to. My lack of experience with a laptop might prove to be a bonus in this as I should be able to be accustomed to this faster than people who are so used to the conventional placements. The touchpad seems to be over sensitive at times and undersized while the “I-don’t-know-what-is-the-proper-name” scroll thingy that you see on the right side is super laggy. And when it does detect that I am trying to scroll, it becomes overly responsive as well.
I took sometime to figure out what that button is. Once activated, it actually disables the touchpad and the purpose of it is to actually prevent users from accidentally activating the touchpad when you are typing for long hours. Not a problem for me so far as my hands don’t seem to have the problem of touching the touchpad when typing.
One final and biggest problem I have with the HP Mini is that the batteries don’t last very long. I use the HP Mini a lot on the go or when I am in my room and even when I am doing my ‘business’ (Ewwwwww! I know!). And I use it mainly for surfing which means the wifi is constantly on. Such usage brings the life of the Mini to about 1 hr 20 mins to 1 hr 30 mins or even lesser sometimes. I wished HP had provided me with the 6-cell battery instead which can theoretically bring the battery life to twice the amount which makes it in the acceptable range for a mobile computer.
In summary, apart from the big problem of the short battery life (*cough* 6-Cell Battery HP? *cough cough*) and the other small nuances, I love the HP Mini to death. It’s small and light for me to bring it almost anywhere (toilet not forbidding)! It’s not much of a workhorse because of it’s small screen and slow OS & processor but it definitely meets the need for blogging and surfing on the go (and while doing ‘business’).
Once again, a big thank you to Ping.sg for bringing in the sponsors, Waggener Edstrom and HP for the prize, and to the people who voted for me!
Before I end this, I shall leave you guys with my favourite website.