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J.A.Watson

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byJ.A.Watson, July 29, 2009
Although it is being phased out of the HP product line in favor of newer models such as the 2140, the 2133 is a very good netbook which works quite well with a variety of Linux distributions. The phase-out means that it might be possible to find one at a lower price.

The 2133 is available with two different screens, a higher resolution 1280x768 and a lower resolution 1024x600 - and I own one of each. I currently have them loaded with the following Linux distributions:

- Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope
- Mandriva One 2009.1 (Spring)
- Fedora 10 (Cambridge)
- openSuSE 11.1
- Debian 5.0
- SimplyMEPIS 8.0
- PCLinuxOS 2009.2
- Linux Mint 7 (Gloria)

I also have the following pre-releases loaded:

- Ubuntu 9.10 Karmix Koala Alpha 3
- openSuSE 11.2 Milestone 4

All of the above distributions work very well on both models of the 2133. The hardware support is generally good - everything works, including the wired and wireless network connections and bluetooth adapter. The only glitch in the hardware support is that the VIA Chrome9 display controller uses the openchrome driver, which does not yet have GL (3D) support. As a result, some types of graphic performance are not as good as they could or should be. This is most obvious when you try to run the Ubuntu Netbook Remix on it; the UNR desktop uses graphic effects which are so painfully slow on the 2133 that it is intolerable.

The VIA C7-M CPU, on the other hand, runs rings around the Intel Atom N270 CPU that is typical in most other netbooks. Likewise, the network connectivity is significantly better than most other netbooks, with Gigabit wired connection (most have only 10/100 Mb), and Wireless-N (most only have b/g).

I strongly recommend the HP 2133 Mini-Note; I've had mine for 6 months or so now, and I still love it and wouldn't give it up willingly, despite having had several newer netbooks during that time.

j.a.watson@linux.com

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