Four new mini-laptops -- which is smallest, lightest, best?

We pit mini-notebooks from Acer, Asus, HP and Sylvania against each other. Who's the final winner?

The  Netbook uses gOS, an offshoot of Ubuntu 8.04 Linux. Sylvania doesn't sell the system with Windows XP, but the company says it can be loaded on the system.

The Netbook uses gOS, an offshoot of Ubuntu 8.04 Linux. Sylvania doesn't sell the system with Windows XP, but the company says it can be loaded on the system.

HP 2133 Mini-Note PC

Style and performance go head-to-head on Hewlett-Packard's 2133 Mini-Note PC -- and power loses out to appearance. While its rounded brushed aluminum case is cool looking, the system comes up short when it's time to work or play. Still, at US$550, it's a lot of computer stuffed into a small package with excellent audio.

Weighing 2.6 pounds, the 2133 is the second heaviest mini in this group, but with its AC adapter it weighs 3.3 pounds, as much as the bigger Eee PC 1000. Annoyingly, like the Aspire One, it requires a three-prong AC plug to charge up, which sooner or later will be frustrating.

At 1.1 inches thick, the 2133 fits comfortably in the hand. The system's footprint is a long and narrow 10.1 by 6.5 inches; it doesn't come with a case.

What it does have is a 1.2-GHz Via C7-M processor, which ties the 2133 with the G Netbook as the slowest in the group. The 2133 came with 512MB of system memory and a 104GB hard drive, the largest storage of the group. There's a model that has 4GB of flash memory instead of a hard drive for US$500; systems with Windows Vista start at US$600.

Like the Aspire One, the 2133's 8.9-in. screen can show 1024-by-600 resolution, but the display has a scratch-resistant coating to protect the glass from damage. With speakers on each side of the screen, the 2133 had the best audio of the bunch. The output was loud and clear for spoken word as well as music, and the system has a webcam above the display.

On the other hand, its assortment of ports is disappointing, with only a pair of USB connectors, one less than the Aspire One and the Eee PC 1000. There's an external monitor plug, wired networking connector, and microphone and headphone jacks. The 2133's Express card slot is balanced by its lack of a flash card reader. It's equipped with 802.11a/b/g wireless networking with a range of 105 feet.

The 2133's 17.3mm keys have only 1.6mm of depth, making for tentative typing. On the other hand, the notebook has a large touchpad and a switch to turn it off when you're using a mouse.

The system is built around the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, but oddly it has a Windows key as well. The key brings up the operating system's shortcut screen that leads to Applications, Documents and Places. The system comes with OpenOffice 2.3's suite of basic programs, including applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, e-mail and others.

The 2133 Mini-Note easily handled all our hardware and data files, and came with an impressive mix of software, including programs for instant messaging and making voice over IP calls. But, saddled with a slow processor, the 2133 could not keep up with the faster notebooks. It took the longest to open the Acrobat file and print the Word file.

Its 2,590 milli-amp hour battery came up short, lasting only one hour and 40 minutes on a charge, the shortest of the bunch. Clearly not for the road warrior, the 2133 Mini-Note PC might find an audience in those who are taken by its looks and high-quality sound.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags ultraportable laptops

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brian Nadel

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?