The HP 2133 Mini-Note is probably the most professional looking low-cost mini-laptop on the market today. It’s got an attractive aluminum case, a shockingly high resolution 1280 x 768 pixel, 8.9 inch display, and a nearly full sized keyboard. But HP has stretched the definition of low-cost to some degree, with some versions of the HP 2133 costing upwards of $800.

And then there’s the VIA C7-M CPU. While other companies have flocked to the new Intel Atom processor, HP’s machine uses the low power, and relatively low performance VIA chip. To be fair, the Mini-Note was released before the Atom was available, but even the 900MHz Intel Celeron chip in the Eee PC 701 seems to offer better performance than a 1.2GHz VIA C7-M chip.

There’s been much speculation regarding the future of the Mini-Note line. Will HP eventually make the switch to the Intel Atom processor? Or will the company hold out for the next generation chip from VIA, the Nano? HP is doing nothing to clear up that question, but an HP rep has told Australia’s APC Magazine that the company does have plans for a second generation Mini-Note.

In a nutshell, HP will continue producing the business-class HP 2133 Mini-Note. But the company will also be releasing a cheaper model that has a better shot of competing in a market crowded with sub-$500 laptops. The new model will share some features with the HP 2133, but it’s described as being both cheaper and less durable.

In other words, HP had better have a higher performance processor up their sleeves. Because the main advantage the current generation of Mini-Notes has is decent build quality. Take that away, and there won’t be much left to make HP’s offering stand out from the crowd.

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