Thoughts on the HP 2133 UMPC

22 Comments

The rumors and photo flying around of the rumored HP sub-notebook, the 2133 if they are to be believed, have captured the attention of a lot of people.  Not since the first rumors started appearing back when about the Asus EEE PC have so many gotten excited about such a small notebook.  I have been soaking up everything I hear about the HP, which isn’t much, and have been giving a lot of thought about this (so far) imaginary device.  Here are my thoughts on it for what it’s worth.  If only HP would give us some real facts to work with then all this speculation could end.

Hp_2133_umpc

Size.  Looking at the one lonely photo of the 2133 you can make some pretty safe assumptions on the overall size of the beast.  One cool design attribute is how HP has the entire width of the device taken up by the keyboard.  The keyboard goes right up to the edge of the device which is how they can get a near full-sized keyboard into this small notebook.  We can get a feel for the overall size of the device by looking at that screen and bezel.  The screen is reported to be 8.9" diagonal and in the photo it looks to be a wide-screen format.  This would place the screen width at the same size as the Fujitsu P1610/1620 which has the same size screen.  The Fujitsu has a fairly narrow bezel around that screen however and the picture of the HP indicates a good 1 inch bezel around the sides and top of the screen.  This would make the HP a bit wider and taller than the Fujitsu and how they can get a bigger keyboard on the device than the Fujitsu.

Screen.  Speaking about the screen it is interesting that the reports have HP putting a very high-res 1366×768 screen on the 8.9" screen.  The aforementioned Fujitsu runs at 1280×768 on the same size screen and the higher resolution on the HP will make stuff awfully small on the same sized screen.  I don’t think things will be too small to read but they will be awfully tight.  It is good to see a web cam on that photo of the HP and it looks to me like there are very big speakers on each side of the screen.  HP could be aiming this 2133 to be a very portable multimedia powerhouse if those speakers are indeed as they appear in the photo.

Processor.  A report has surfaced today that the HP will have a Via processor but frankly I hope not.  The Via processor is too anemic for a quality sub-notebook like this and while I realize HP’s goal will be to keep the price of this device as low as possible I don’t think they’d go the Via route.  At least I hope they don’t.  What I wouldn’t be surprised to see HP use is a low-cost AMD processor since they’ve been using these in other notebooks for some time.  This processor would give decent performance and still keep the cost much lower than an Intel processor.  Remember you saw that here first about the AMD processor because I believe this is what HP should use.  I hope they have a 2 GB memory option in any event so if they put Vista on the 2133 it will run it decently.

Price.  Rumors have surfaced that this new HP will be priced at the $600 range which may be true.  It’s hard to guess how cheaply HP will be able to sell such a device since it looks like it’s constructed so nicely.  One thing is certain though, the EEE PC has shown us that consumers will jump on a small notebook if the price is cheap enough and frankly $600 may not be.  I think there is something magical about the $400 price range of the Asus and HP better come close or they may have a slow mover on their hands.  The rumors have HP positioning the 2133 as a lifestyle companion device and it better be cheaper than $500 to reach that market.

Software.  HP is in a unique position to put some of their proprietary software on the 2133 and I hope they do so.  They have some good multimedia software they have put on recent notebooks like the tx2000 and this size device would be perfect for that.  To position the 2133 as a companion device I would also like to see them put some real simple sync software so that consumers can keep their documents synchronized with their main computer just by connecting them via USB.  This would cement the intended purpose of such a small notebook and HP would be very wise to make that easy to do out of the box.

All of this is pure speculation as HP is not officially sharing any information about the 2133.  Take if for what it’s worth, which is not much as this point.

22 Comments

MIke

Today I just got an email that my order is not going to be shipped the day it was suppose to(03/22/2008), I’m about to cancel it but I guess I’m going to wait until I see the 2133 on top of my desk. Does anybody is having problems with delayed orders?

jim

I think as people adapt to web apps like google docs, the need to sync with other PCs will diminish. Small laptops like this are prime tools for web apps and small OSs that are not resource hogs. You should never need 2gigs of RAM to run one of these.

Al

HP to me has completed missed what a UMPC should be. HP should have used their popular Jornada 720 design as that would provide a touch type keyboard yet a design that is jacket size. This looks like the larger old windows ce hpc HP made called the 820. That device did very few sales compared to the popular 720.

I think for UMPC’s to gain mainstream adoption it needs to be small enough to be jacket size yet still have a touch type keyboard. Having full windows without a keyboard is almost pointless but being small enough to carry everywhere is also just as important

Maximus_detritus

First sorry for my English, but I’m not native.
Unique question I want to say is that the use of Via’s hardware isn’t a problem. The real problems are the drivers. And It is a problem, not only in Linux.
Maybe HP has solicit those drivers to Via, but it is a problem in this moment.
http://www.petitiononline.com/vialinux/petition.html
Mucho love.

Mike Cane

I’ve never found keyboard wear to be a problem. I do recall, I think, some Mac notebooks losing printed characters years ago. It’s not happened to me (although I did manage to abrade away the serial number on my jWIN MP3 player — *without* noting it in my LifeDrive. *sigh*).

James Kendrick

From the HP web site:

HP DuraKeys to help protect the keys from your busy fingertips. In fact, independent tests show HP DuraKeys to be 50 times more resistant to wear than those on competitive notebooks.

Rodfather

From looking at the bezel space, it could be around 10-11″ wide, possibly close to Sony TZ size.
I’d be happy if it were < $1000 with many configuration options. Looking at the other 8.9"-10" subnotebooks (Fujitsu, Flybook, Panasonic), they start at around $1500-1700.

Or Asus can release an Eee PC with an 8.9″ screen for around $600.

More choices the better.

James Kendrick

I believe that DuraKeys are specially coated keys that were introduced around the tx2000 time that prevent scratches and the like. I don’t think that is software.

Mike Cane

OK, hp is just breaking my heart!!!

http://www.umpcportal.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=1256

>>>a few contacts at HP and they confirmed that, yes, something is going on and its looking like a late 2008 launch (which explains the lack of Windows XP) A late 2008 launch means a whole lot of things. Expect design changes, delays and the always-possible ‘abort.’

Wait. My head spins. *This* is apparently the latest:

http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?pid=149003

>>>[20.02.08] More news in from Engadget claims that it’ll cost $630, be released in April, and also house a ‘High-end Intel 45nm Penryn processor’

April is soooo far away. Can We Haz MARCH?!!?

Kamall

Yeah, I have heard this will have a 54mm Expresscard slot, very nice!

I am very interested in this, cannot wait to get the price, specs, etc. Need more details now, I am very interested!

Mike Cane

What about storage? HD or Flash?

I have to tell you that $600 would be a Go for me. It seems to offer more than either the EeePC and CloudBook and the $600 price would be worth it. It also looks to be less “disposable” than the others.

The Palm Foleo had a keyboard that ran to the edges too. It’ll be interesting to compare the dimensions of the hp to that, especially since the Foleo offered an ISO-compliant keyboard.

My question: on the right side there’s this fat narrow port. Is that an ExpressCard slot?! Verizon BroadbandAccess card anyone?!

Come on, hp, give us the intro already!!!

Alslayer

I really like this device. But I am upset that it doesn’t have a touch screen. I bet if I am patient my tablet will come.

mobiletechfan.com

Dave P

As far as the processor, I hope this is Isaiah’s first entry into the market. It’s goals as far as processing power look much more interesting for a UMPC. Silverthorne’s focus on battery life seems more important for a MID.

As far as price, don’t discount HP’s brand. For many people, Asus EEE and CloudBook sound like expensive toys while HP sounds like an inexpensive computer. I could easily see dropping $599 to get my son a laptop to supplement his desktop.

I could also see schools standardizing on something like this. I know our elementary school has a computer cart with a set of networked laptops they can move from room to room. At $599 that could become two or three carts and, again, the HP name will help sell it to school boards and superintendents.

nomo

An 8.9″ display with 1366 x 768 resolution would be about 7.8″ x 4.4″ and have a 0.14mm dot pitch. Overall dimensions are probably about 10″ by 6.x” by <1". In the $600 range I expect 512MB-1GB RAM, small HDD or embedded flash memory, Windows XP, no touchscreen.

The current surge of UMPC and ultra-portable designs reminds me of the early days. Instead of coding your own programs (anyone remember the Sinclair?), today users need to tweak the OS and optimize the drivers. I’m concerned that consumers attracted by a sleek design and low price might become frustrated by the level of technical knowledge required to get inexpensive products to perform (e.g. Eee PC). Perhaps HP will position the 2133 as more of an internet and multimedia device (i.e. large-screen Nokia N8xx) — the 1.78 aspect ratio is certainly video friendly.

Steve Paine

As PJE mentioned, VIA Isaiah cores and DX9 IGPs (even the new S3 GPU’s) should bring the silicon specs on this right up to interesting levels.
AMD processors will be too hot and power-hungry for this size of device. Core 2 Solo @1.2 could work though.

I’m thinking it will be a device that could range from $500 to $1500 with various processor and build options. It looks lovely, has an acceptable screen res (same DPI as Q1 Ultra so not too small) and could be really productive.

For UMPC and tablet lovers this device probably falls far short of being ideal though.

Steve.

Ricky B.

1366×768? That’s not bad… could be higher, but not bad. ;) Maybe I’ve been spoiled by my Sony UX or just have great near-vision, but I’m happy someone else is is putting higher resolution into smaller devices.

Woadan

James, this doesn’t look like it will be a tablet PC. What are your thoughts on that?

Woadan

Nate

I completely agree with JK on the price, and have been arguing the same point over at NBR.

This thing needs to be really affordable, or all it will do is collect dust on store shelves. Sub $1000.00 won’t do it. They need to get into the Eee price range, or not even bother.

People will buy small, but only if it’s affordable. They don’t want to pay primary price for a secondary machine.

PJE

With regard to the CPU, VIA has the new Isiah CPU line which is supposed to be pretty decent.

I think the screen resolution would be 1280×768 like the Fujitsu.

If they can hit the $600 range with this device, I’d definately prefer this over the EeePC as the screen size and resolution are the only things stopping me puling the trigger on buying an EeePC.

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