After two weeks of living with the HP 2133 mini-note, I have had to change a few things to make it more livable with. I used this machine for a few days with the default Windows Vista Basic and it was quite hard to live with. First, the (lengthy) boot time and then the issue of a long wake up time (from hibernation), so it does not give me much of what I want from a small carry-everywhere notebook. Even to adjust the wireless and other settings which needs to be done quickly when you are on the go, takes a while for the window to even open up. While it may not be a problem for some, this is a problem when you need to quickly open the computer up to take notes or to look something up.
I was then wondering whether it was worth installing XP on this machine to somehow speed things up as far as boot and wake up times were concerned. I then proceeded to create a custom install disc using nlite. I thought:”why not install SP3 as well while I am at it?”, so I slipstreamed SP3 to my XP SP2 install disc and created a streamlined and slipstreamed install disc with SP3 built in. The wonderful thing about nlite is that it also allows you to incorporate drivers for your computer into your installation disc, so I incorporated all the XP drivers from the HP site. Everything was going really well until I actually installed it on the notebook.
After installation, the notebook booted fine and I must say it was noticeably quicker and wake up time was what I expected. There was, however, a problem between explorer and the graphics driver. On wake up from hibernation, the screen would flicker uncontrollably for about a minute or two. Sometimes this craziness will stop when I open a window, but not always. This cancels out the advantages of the quicker boot time with XP.I would have to wait a couple of minutes before the machine would settle and be usable again. I was glad to discover that Via had put out a new driver for its Chrome 9 integrated graphics chip. Alas, after installation of the latest driver, the machine still had the uncontrollable case of the flicker.
Working with a notebook that flickers after hibernation is almost impossible. In fact, it makes this notebook pretty useless since I bought it to be able to take notes and work pretty quickly during my day at work and during times I spend on public transport. I had to come up with a solution, so I gave XP SP2 a try and it seems to have made it a better notebook. I can put it into hibernation at anytime without any concern for what will happen when I start it up again. So, if you are having trouble with XP SP3 on your HP mini-note 2133, do not hesitate and install XP SP2 on it and you will have a nice and usable notebook.
I wish there was a netbook like the mini-note that has an instant-on feature to allow working in shorter stretches of time with a lot of sleep in between. Such a notebook, couple with a decent battery life will make a nice companion to people who need a lightweight machine to either write or code while on the move. Did you hear that HP?
I recently acquired the HP mini-note 2133 netbook and I have been using it almost constantly for the last few days. It is a very nice little machine to use on a day to day basis, although in terms of raw power and speed it is no match for my Dell Inspiron and my MacBook. A lot of people seem to forget the fact that this machine was built to a price to occupy the same market segment as the Asus Eeepc. In my view, this machine is superior to the Eeepc in many ways and it is working very well in what it was designed to do: lightweight ultra-mobile computing.
For a while I was really comparing this machine to the Eeepc and the clincher for me was the storage capacity (120GB) as opposed to the various flavours of Eeepc which come in anything from 4-20GB, which means that this machine could also function as a mobile storage unit for photographs and other files when on the go. The other factor was the size of the keyboard. While it may be difficult to type quickly and accurately on the Eeepc’s cramped keyboard, it is, by comparison, quite effortless on this machine, which means that for typing documents and code the HP wins hands down.
The few gripes that I have with this machine are: no booting from the SD card slot, Windows Vista pre-installed (only the vista version is available here in Australia), it only comes with a 3-cell battery and (because of Vista) a long boot time and wake up time (from hibernation).
1.6Ghz Via C7 processor
Via Chrome graphics adapter
1GB of RAM
SD card slot
3-cell battery (expandable to 6)
Express Card 54 slot
1280×768 8.9 inch screen
Relatively light, therefore easy to carry
Large 8.9 inch screen
Nice 92% size keyboard
Battery could be larger
Awkward power switch
Only comes with Windows Vista Home Basic
Webcam utility (modelled on Apple Photo Booth) does not work properly
All in all, this notebook makes a great companion when you are out and about and not wanting to carry a 3kg+ load on your shoulders.
Recently while I was on the run I needed to find a location on a map and of course I immediately fired up my trusty new netbook and launched Firefox. Lo and behold, I could not get Google Maps to display whatsoever. I tried refreshing the page, I tried relaunching it and finally I had to fire up Internet Explorer to access the map. Since I usually avoid using Internet Explorer at all costs, this was really an exception.
I thought it might have something to do with my connection setup, but after a little bit of digging and retracing of my actions, I remembered that I had just updated Skype and I noticed that it installed an add-on onto Firefox. After I disabled this add-on from Skype, Google maps loaded effortlessly. Since I do not know what this add-on does and why it is there in the first place, I am probably not going to miss it.
So if your google maps not loading in Firefox 3.0, do not hesitate and disable that plug in to get your maps back. Someone at Skype needs to check this.