After a long weekend of skiing with some 25 friends, and getting a lot of use out of both of our HP Mini-Notes, the verdict is: TWO THUMBS UP! We are both very pleased with our little netbooks, they served the purpose for which I bought them exceptionally well. They're the right size for passing around the table, looking at pictures taken during the day while we have dinner. The screen is large enough, and although even larger would of course be nice for viewing, compared to passing around my S6510 (14" screen) last year, these were a pleasure - and the process was much easier on my nerves, both because of the relative size making it easier, and because the relative costs making much less of a tragedy if something had happened, which thankfully it didn't.
The difference in the screens between the two Mini-Notes was very noticeable, but I honestly can't say one is "better" than the other. The WXGA (1280x768) screen displayed the pictures faster, and if you looked very critically you could see a better quality. But the WSVGA (1024x600) screen is much brighter (back-lit), so it was easier on the eyes and easier to see small details. The WSVGA system cost me about 100 Swiss Francs less than the WXGA, but I don't know how much of that is because of the difference in screen.
It is worth mentioning that we never booted Windows on either one of them the entire weekend (in fact, the newer one doesn't even have Windows on it). The new one was running Ubuntu 8.10, and my older one alternated between Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04, depending on where my fingers landed when it booted. Both performed perfectly, despite having lots of people, young and old, pressing random buttons and doing all sorts of unexpected things. It is also worth mentioning that as far as I know, no one else even noticed that it was not Windows.
As for picture viewing software, I thought that gThumb provided the best combination of features, functionality and speed. I thought that F-Spot was overcomplicated for this situation, people seemed to be confused by it quite often, and it was particularly irritating that in a slide show, we couldn't move between pictures with the arrow keys, we had to just let it run at whatever speed it was doing. There is probably a setting to change that, but this wasn't the weekend for me to be sitting off to the side searching through program preferences.
We also used the Mini-Notes for email and web browsing, with the Swisscom (Option) HSPA Broadband Wireless Express card. What a blessing that card is - just plug it in, Ubuntu recognizes and configures it, and you're ready to connect. It does not have the configuration and connection problem that the Swisscom (Sierra Wireless) HSPA PCMCIA card has.
Battery life was good, they lasted easily through an evening of use, but remember both of them came with the optional 6-cell battery. I don't know what it would be like with the standard 3-cell battery.
In summary, I don't see how we could be more pleased with these Mini-Notes. It's nice when you buy something with a specific use in mind, and it turns out that it serves that use very well. It took me a fair amount of work to get them loaded and configured the way that I wanted, but a lot of that was because of my personal preference; for Pat's, in particular, if we had simply stayed with the preloaded SuSE Linux we could have just used the Mini-Note straight out of the box. Mine, of course, came preloaded with Vista, which was absolutely unusable, so I had to do something. Although it is a bit tedious, now that I have the exact procedure to get various Linux distributions loaded on it, I could take a new one out of the box and have it ready to go in an hour, easily. With the price having come down, because of the introduction of newer models from HP, I think these 2133 Mini-Notes have become one of the best values available!