Thoughts on the HP 2133 UMPC

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.

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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.

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