Reviews are coming out on the new HP Mini-Note and it looks like a real winner. The HP Mini-Note is a 2.63 lb sub-notebook with a nearly full-sized keyboard and an 8.9" display (1280x768). From the reviewers, the build quality of this device sounds superb, reminisicient of the metallic MacBook Pros. Prices start at $499 and top out at $749. Not bad at all. The unit is not a speed-demon, but it's not supposed to be -- using a slower processor is part of what's allowed HP to keep the price so low. The minimum configuration includes a 120 GB hard drive.
This unit would be perfect for both students and travelers. It's lightweight, appears to be quite durable, gets decent battery life, a comfortable keyboard, and (best of all!) is cheap. It would be great for taking notes, writing journals and reports, blogging, and with 120 GB+ hard drive it would be great for storing photos while traveling. You could also use it to manage your iPod and download music and audiobooks while on the go. The HP's construction is far more durable than my Sony TX-750. (I have had far too many troubles with Sony computers to ever recommend relying on one while traveling.)
I'm very impressed by the early reviews of the HP Mini-Note. It looks like a strong competitor to the Asus Eee. I love that computer manufacturers are starting to make smaller-sized, low-cost systems and the way the market is snapping them up. It looks like this may be a trend that is here to stay.
Here is a round-up of reviews:
GottaBeMobile: In the ultra-portable or ultra-low-cost portable computer segment this is going to be a device to be reckoned with, especially in the education sector which is one of the main targets. It will be at the high end of the still evolving low cost sector, but I imagine given the full functionality and the configurability it will be very popular. Whether or not the slightly higher price point can dethrone the Asus Eee PC is a story we'll all get to watch unfold.
jkOnTheRun (with lots of photos): I think HP has a real winner on their hands with the Mini. I find it to be a capable notebook computer that is highly portable and the build quality is outstanding. I also find it impressive that the total price swing from entry level (with Linux) to fully loaded is only $250 and there is no question in my mind that the Mini is the best built UMPC at this price level. I would have no problem recommending the Mini to anyone looking for a highly mobile notebook with few compromises.
NotebookReview: The HP 2133 Mini-Note is one of the most impressive subnotebooks we've ever seen. Despite the poor processor performance, the HP 2133 Mini-Note is a remarkably solid machine that could be a perfect fit for students, teachers, or mobile business professionals. If HP decides to replace the VIA processors with the new Intel Atom processors or alternative processors from Intel, the Mini-Note would become the undisputed champion of the subnotebook market.