There’s no doubt that the HP 2133 provides a lot of computer for a relatively low price. The base model is comparable to the Eee PC 700 with 4G of solid state memory, 512MB of RAM, and a tiny package weighing just over two and a half pounds. For $50 more you can get a 120GB hard drive and a faster processor.
But here’s the rub, the HP 2133 uses the Via C7-M processor, while the Eee PC uses a more common Intel Celeron chip. Now, Celeron ships have a rightly deserved reputation for being something less than speed demons. But as the Eee PC shows, they can get the job done. Meanwhile, when the Everex Cloudbook, with its low powered Via chip came out, Notebook Review found that it lagged behind the Eee PC in benchmarking tests.
According to CNet, HP went with the Via processor because it offers a “mix of performance and price.” But there’s another consideration HP was probably making. The company wanted to get a product to market soon. Wait too long and Asus will release the Eee PC 900, which will feature a larger screen and more memory than the Eee PC 700. But if HP can get their new low-cost ultraportable out the door first, a lot of early adopters could decide to go with the 2133. And looking at the current generation of mobile chips, there aren’t a lot of cheap and powerful options on the market right now.
In a few months, Intel is expected to come out with its Atom processor, which will be a low-cost, low voltage, but much more powerful chip than the Celeron. Via, in the meantime is working on its next generation chip, which will be called the Isaiah processor. HP expects to update the specs on its 2133 line in about six months, and by that time, it looks like the company will have several powerful, low-priced chips to choose from.
Unfortunately, there’s always going to be something better on the horizon. If you wait forever, you’ll never buy a computer. But it is kind of annoying that Asus, HP, and others appear to be releasing computers now that they know they’ll be upgrading in 6 months. It’s great to get one of the first units available, but in 6 months it’s hard not to covet the new features.
If it makes you feel any better, the upgrades usually cost a few extra bucks. I’d be shocked if Asus manages to sell the Asus Eee PC 900 for the same $400 price that it charges for the Eee PC 701. Maybe they’ll drop the price when the Eee PC 1100 (or whatever the next model will be called) comes out.
Wait?! That’s all I have been doing! I didn’t get an Asus Eee because the Eee 900 was supposed to be coming out “soon”. Then I waited because the HP 2133 Mini Note was coming out “sooner”. As sweet as the HP 2133 looks, I’m now disappointed that it has an underpowered CPU compared to the older Asus Eee. Now I’m supposed to wait six months for 1) the Asus Eee 900 comes out and/or 2) an updated HP 2133 with an Intel CPU comes out?
I’d hate to spend $550 on a pokey first-gen HP 2133 to satisfy my urge for instant gratification and then spend another $550 in six months when a better model comes out.
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