After using SUSE on the HP Mini-Note for much of the afternoon, I’m convinced that the operating system provides pretty much everything most people will need in a laptop experience. I was able to configure and setup my system in about 15 minutes, and get online in just a few more. The computer does a pretty good job of finding and connecting to available internet connections. And it has a full suite of productivity software including Firefox, Evolution, and

In the video above, I try to give an overview of the software included with the SUSE version of the Mini-Note, and how the computer performs. I apologize for the poor video quality. I was using my Eee PC webcam to record the video, since my digital camera can only record about 180 seconds of video at a time.

A few other quick notes.

  1. The battery charges quickly. Within about an hour of plugging the computer in, the battery was fully charged, even though it was running for most of that time. Compare that to an Eee PC battery which takes a few hours to charge fully — when the computer is turned off.
  2. I’m a bit disappointed to see that the AC adapter has 3 prongs. This makes the Mini-Note slightly less portable, since it’s often difficult to find a 3 prong power strip at coffee shops and libraries. I might have to spring for an extended battery since the Mini-Note reportedly only gets 2 to 2.5 hours of battery life from a standard battery.

For my next trick, I plan to install Windows XP. Personally I’m just more comfortable with the operating system, and since I write about Windows and Linux software for a living what I really want is a dual boot system, and that usually means wiping any existing operating systems and installing Windows XP first and then another OS. I’ll probably try to get Ubuntu up and running, since that’s one of the most popular distros these days, and it’s the one I have the most experience with. But I’m relatively impressed with SUSE and I may return to it.

Update: As several people have pointed out, the Mini-Note comes with SUSE Enterprise Linux, not OpenSUSE. So just ignore me when I say OpenSUSE in the video, and I’ve changed the text of this article a bit. Thanks for keeping me on my toes!

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15 replies on “First look at SUSE on the HP Mini-Note”

  1. Without a built in mike and camera (near as I can tell), this one is a no go, for me. A primary reason for getting one of these little machines is ability to skype on the run.

    So, I guess I’ll be waiting for the 9″ Eee.

    1. It’s got a mic and a 1.3MP webcam. The pokey little VIA processor isn’t really fast enough to keep up though. I kind of wish that HP has put a lower res webcam in this model, because you can actual record smoother video/make cleaner video calls with the Asus Eee PC’s 0.3MP webcam than you can with the Mini-Note’s.

    1. Sorry, no hardware acceleration for the VIA Chrome 9. I’m in contact with one of the key developers for X drivers for VIA chipsets (VIA’s most infamous detractor – libv) and aware of the horrors he has to go through in order to get anything functional (VIA’s ‘support’ in this area mainly consisting of random and sporadic drops of binary, not source code, which he then has to painstakingly reverse engineer in order to get something functional). Unless we get a tide of users harassing VIA for proper Linux support, they’ll just continue their usual strategy of giving insincere support and then astroturfing like mad to pretend they’re 110% behind Linux.

      (Sorry if I sound like a FUD merchant. But I really want the HP 2133 to work, but right now a fire needs to be lit under HP and VIA so they get their act into gear.)

  2. Witch version of OpenSUSE it is?

    Are you sure that OS are you showing us is not SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Edition)?

  3. By the by, the HP-mini ships with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, not openSUSE.

  4. Can you tell something about how warm it gets? I read somewhere that it gets quite hot. Could you compare the temperature with EEE? (I currently have an EEE so it will be helpful). I’m planning to buy an HP too.

  5. MORE CAT!!! Haha.

    Was video on the hp as disappointing as it looked in the YT vid?! Do you think that was SuSE, the CPU, or the net connection?

    I can’t get over the pics of the hp KB vs the EeePC. The hp has a manly KB. No matter how many times I try to type on the EeePC at J&R, I have errors galore.

    Pet the kitty for me.

    1. I had tried another video earlier which played better in windowed mode, but looked just as bad in fullscreen. To be honest, I didn’t try playing any video from the hard drive, just web video.

  6. Awesome, thank you! I’ve been waiting for someone to review the linux model.

    I’ve been following the mininoteuser forums’ conversations about it, so I already knew it apparently has no video acceleration in Linux, which made me want one a lot less… now this video is making me want one again.

    … except for that ending part. Seriously, my N810 works better than that — what’s going on? 🙁 It really does seem like HP tossed Linux on there without even trying to get drivers for the parts that needed it.

    I noticed you got a model without bluetooth — are you planning on adding bluetooth?

    1. I don’t have that much need for Bluetooth, but I do have a USB Bluetooth dongle lying around somewhere. So I might try it out when I install Windows XP so I can wirelessly sync my PDA.

  7. Howdy,
    tnx for comparing the hp 2133 and the eee! I really liked your photos and videos. At the moment I can’t decide which of these to buy. Since I’m mostly interested in linux could you kindly run the following commands as root and post the output?

    i) lsmod
    ii) lspci -vv
    iii) the content of one boot process in /var/log/messages


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