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HP Mini-Note a Sound Choice - page 3

Good Look and Feel

  • July 7, 2008
  • By Paul Ferrill

The size and weight of the HP 2133 Mini-Note makes it really easy to tuck inside a small backpack or even a medium sized purse. Individual USB plugs are available on both sides of the unit for ease of access along with power, wired networking, an SD card slot, external VGA monitor, an Express Card/54 slot and headphone / microphone jacks. I did notice that the unit got pretty hot while turned on with the AC power supply connected and the battery charging.

Typing on the 98% full size keyboard takes a little getting used to. The first draft of this article was written on the Mini-Note to get a good feel for using it in everyday activities. The touchpad has buttons on both sides and while it does have the scroll pad function on the right side, it didn't seem to consistently work. There is a button at the top of the touchpad to disable it should you desire. This can help when you're typing a large amount of text and don't want the cursor to jump around if your thumb touches the touchpad.

The default screen size setting is set to 800 X 600. This isn't a real problem when running most of the productivity software as you can adjust your zoom size to fit the application. The display will support 1280 X 768 which you can change through the display configuration screen. This made the text a little hard to read, but that too is configurable.

Networking options include 802.11 a/b/g wireless and 10/100/1000Mbps wired Ethernet. The unit I received did not have Bluetooth so I was not able to test out any wireless peripherals. I did have to make one change to the security settings to get the Mini-Note to see a Windows-based server. From the Control Center you must select Open Administrator Settings. From there you must choose Security and Users and then Firewall.

By default SLED comes configured with all network interfaces set to the highest level of protection. Changing the configuration for a specific interface requires you to select a different zone that the interface will connect to. The default zone is External, but you'll need to change that to Internal to enable the ports needed to communicate with Windows servers. Once this change was made I was able to see all the Windows machines on the network and easily move files to and from the Mini-Note.

I did have some problems with the unit locking up at random times. It happened several times while rapidly browsing through web pages using Firefox and another time while editing a document using OpenOffice.org. The only recourse was to power cycle the device by sliding and holding the power button for five seconds. I didn't have any problems restarting the system after the power cycle and was able to recover the OpenOffice.org document I was editing.

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