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HP offers Linux on low-end mini-notes
Aug. 12, 2008

HP has started shipping a $500 mini-notebook pre-installed with SUSE Linux. Boasting perhaps the largest keyboard in its class, the HP 2133 Mini-Note has an 8.9-inch WXGA display, 4GB of solid-state storage, 512MB of RAM, and a 1GHz Via C7 processor, with ExpressCard and SD-card expansion.

HP's Mini-Note boasts a "92 percent full-size" keyboard, the vendor says, along with unusually large stereo speakers flanking the mid-sized (for a netbook) 8.9-inch LCD display. The least expensive Mini-Note model comes with a 400MHz front-side bus (FSB). The company also offers SUSE Linux on a slightly more expensive ($550) model with an 800MHz FSB, along with a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 120GB 5400 RPM SATA disk drive.

Meanwhile, HP offers Windows XP on five models priced from $600 to $900, and equipped with such extras as 6-cell batteries, 160GB drives, and Bluetooth. Too bad that HP and other netbook makers offer Linux only on low-end hardware, instead of giving consumers a real choice of operating systems.

HP's 2133 Mini-Note PC
(Click to enlarge)

Features and specifications listed by HP for its 2133 Mini-Note PC include:
  • Processor -- Via C7-M ULV clocked at 1.0GHz, 1.2GHZ, or 1.6GHz
  • Memory -- single SODIMM slot accepts from 512MB to 2GB of RAM
  • Display -- 9-inch screen with 1280 x 768 resolution
  • Networking:
    • LAN -- 10/100 Ethernet
    • WLAN -- 802.11a/b/g
    • PAN -- Bluetooth 2.0 (optional)
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB
    • VGA
    • mic in, headphone/line out
  • Expansion:
    • 1 x SD
    • 1 x ExpressCard/54
  • Dimensions -- 10 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Weight -- starts at 2.8 pounds
HP announced the 2133 Mini-Note back in April; see that article for a more complete list of specifications. Or, visit HP's online store, here.

-- Henry Kingman

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