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HP unveils aluminium-clad Eee rival

The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC is being promoted as ideal for schools, although its pricing and features are targeting the same market as Asus's iconic Eee PC
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By David Meyer, Contributor on
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1 of 2 David Meyer/ZDNET

HP has made its first foray into the low-cost subnotebook market that was kicked off last year by Asus with its Eee PC.

The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC, which is being pushed out to the educational market, is slightly heavier and larger than the Eee, but is also more rugged. It sports a "scratch-resistant" 8.9-inch WXGA screen, while the Qwerty keyboard has a special coating to protect the letters from wear.

Also featured is HP's 3D DriveGuard technology, which uses a signal from a three-axis digital accelerometer chip to turn off the hard drive if the laptop is dropped suddenly. The notebook comes in an aluminium shell and weighs 1.27kg.

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2 of 2 David Meyer/ZDNET

The Mini-Note will have an optional VGA webcam, and buyers will have a choice of three-cell or six-cell batteries. Wi-Fi is integrated and Bluetooth is optional.

The laptop uses Via's C7-M ULV processor, which comes in speeds ranging from 1GHz to 1.6GHz. Via claims that the processor uses just 0.1 watt when idle. Low power consumption — a trait of Intel's Atom processors, which will power many similar notebooks later this year — is seen as essential for the low-cost subnotebook market, as the devices are designed to be carried around in bags as "second laptops".

The most basic configuration of the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC will cost £299 excluding VAT when it goes on sale later this month. This configuration will use Linux as the operating system, although Windows versions will also be available.

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