HP Mini 2140 netbook
VIA out, Intel Atom in
Review While most manufacturers seem happy to hurl out new netbook models at the rate of knots, HP is positively lumbering along. Back in May 2008, it released its first model, the Mini-Note 2133, and it's only just got around to releasing an updated version, the Mini 2140.
HP's Mini 2140: familiar, decent design
HP may have opted to drop the word 'Note' from the little laptop's name, but the Mini 2140 looks almost identical to the Mini-Note 2133. It features the same sturdy aluminium chassis, with two USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, VGA and 3.5mm audio in/out sockets dotted along the sides. You also get an ExpressCard 54 slot and an SD card reader. The silver power and Wi-Fi sliders at the front require a firm shove, and both will dazzle you as to their status with ultra-bright LEDs.
The keyboard on the 2133 was well received, and HP has, unsurprisingly, kept the same design with the 2140. With large, flat and ever-so-slightly concave keys, it makes full use of the space available. But with so little room between them, it's all too easy to accidentally slip your finger onto a neighbouring key when typing at speed. There's very little flex to the keyboard, and all the keys are where you'd expect them. However, the half-height arrow keys can be a pain to use if your fingers are feeling the burden of too many pizzas.
As with the 2133, the 2140's trackpad has its left and right buttons mounted either side of it. Although utterly frustrating at first, we actually grew to like this design as it means your thumbs only have to travel relatively short distance in order to bash the left or right button. These buttons also benefit from being chunkier than on most others netbook and have a decent amount of travel.
Size-wise, the 2140 comes in at 26mm tall at the front though 31mm at the rear. It's 261mm wide and 166mm deep. And with its three-cell battery, the Mini 2140 tipped our scales at just under 1.2kg. If you're going to be lugging the power adaptor around with you, the total weight increases to 1.6kg. A six-cell battery can be picked up for £79.
A well designed keyboard - despite the half-height arrow keys
Should you be fond of indulging in a bit of netbook hurling, you'll be pleased to hear that your data should remain intact thanks to HP's "3D DriveGuard" technology shutting down the drive when it senses a fall is on the cards. At least that's the idea – it didn't stop us copying files while simultaneously giving the Mini 2140 a rough ride, though.
One step forward two steps back
2133 had a lovely screen, good resolution. 1024x600 is just usable, 1024x576 is just a silly idea.
Windows 7 on Mininiote 2133
I have WIn 7 build 7068 running sweet as pie on my Mininote 2133 (upgraded to 2GB of RAM), why on earth would I pay double to get a 2140 with a gimped screen?
Even Paris can see this is overpriced...
Waiting for HD screen upgrade (3G woud be nice too)
Then its this baby and a Hackintosh OS X install to give me the Netbook that apple wont make......
As its vanilla netbook innards should should run the Dell Mini 9/Wind OS X install happily.
About the screen res...
MS only allows XP on low-powered chipsets, like Intel's Atom. It doesn't want to lose sales of it's pricier Vista.
Intel only allows certain hardware specs on laptops that use it's Atom, with 1024x600 being the max allowed. It doesn't want to lose sales of it's more expensive portable chips in tradtional laptops, when the reality is that an Atom could, for the most part, do the job just as well and use less power.
Note that the old HP 2133 didn't use Atom, the new one does and that's why the screen has been gimped.
So XP = Atom = Crap hardware, and you're stuck with it until either:
1. AMD gets their finger out.
2. Windows 7 gets released and turns out okay.
Right now is not a good time to buy a netbook, unless you can get a nice early 2007 model on ebay cheaply. I spent £83 on a used eee701, very happy with it.
why no linux in the UK
I dont get HP UK's anti-linux stance in retain products. As an HP employee, I happily strip off vista and stick ubuntu on my work boxes, but for home use I don't want to pay the premium for an OS that won't ever get used. When will they accept that linux is ideal for a mini-note, and give us it on systems with 3G built in?