Given the relatively high price of the Mini 2140, we expected to see features such as Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi included as standard, and they are. But with HP aiming the 2140 at businessfolk, we were hoping for an integrated HSDPA 3G module – sadly you'll have to stick to a dongle if you want mobile broadband.
Standard netbook ports on the left...
Along with the switch to a larger, 10.1in screen, HP has dumped the 1.2GHz Via C7-M processor that struggled to keep the 2133 above water. In its place is a far more netbook-friendly Intel Atom. It's not the new N280 as found in Asus' Eee 1000HE, but the N270, which powers the vast majority of netbooks. This shouldn't leave you in too much of a cold sweat, though, since the difference between the 1.6GHz N270 and the N280 is a mere 60MHz.
HP currently offers three versions of the Mini 2140 to UK customers, with the major differences being the operating system and memory. Vista Business with 2GB of DDR 2 Ram costs £447. Vista Basic and 2GB come to £386, while XP Home and 1GB is the cheapest, at £361. In line with HP's statement earlier this year, there's no Penguin-flavoured version for the UK market.
...but with an ExpressCard 54 slot on the right
It's also worth pointing out that our review unit had a couple of anomalies. While all current UK models run off a 5400rpm hard drive, our sample had a 7200rpm HDD, rare enough on a laptop, let alone a netbook. It also featured 2GB Ram and XP Pro as the OS. Since you can't actually buy this configuration in the UK, our verdict is based on the 1GB XP Home version.
HP has gone with a glossy display for the 10.1in screen. It doesn't do much for outdoor use, but it's bright and, as is always the case, colours look far more vibrant than they are on a matte screen. Using HP's "Illumi-Lite" technology, it's LED backlit, which gives battery life a helping hand. There's also a webcam embedded into the screen's bezel, though being only 0.3Mp it won't produce a totally flattering self portrait.
More front than Blackpool
HP has opted for a 16:9 resolution of 1024 x 576, which is slightly below the netbook norm of 1024 x 600. Screen resolutions always provoke lively debates – some users enjoy cramming multiple windows into a high-res version, others hate squinting at minute icons. For us, though, a 10in screen should have a higher resolution than this. There is talk of a 1366 x 768 version hiding just around the corner, but no UK release date has been set as yet – a shame, since it would make the 2140 far more tempting.
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?