HP 2133 mini laptop challenges Asus's EEE PC

HP is the first major contender to challenge Asus's already-classic EEE Laptop with a new miniature, low cost computer, the HP 2133 Mini-note PC.

Destined at the education market, the 2133 is bound to make waves in the business and mobile market as well due to its great looks, equally superb configuration and the fact that it will be sold by a recognised Tier-1 manufacturer.

The laptop will be sold in UK and Ireland as from May and will initially be available from education supplier RM, which also markets the EEE PC. However, it wouldn't be surprising if the 2133 finds its way to other e-tailers as well.

The mini-note is be powered by a VIA C7-M Ultra-Low Voltage processor, a surprising choice given the push by Intel to flood the segment with Atom Processors. The entry level version will come with 1GB memory, a 120GB HDD and a 3-cell battery while the OS will be a SUSE Linux distro.

A more expensive version will come with a 6-cell battery - which is expected to last for 4.5 hours, 2GB memory and WIndows Vista.

Both versions will integrate a feature, called 3D DriveGuard, which switches off the hard disk as soon as it detects a sudden shock or movement and a 8.9-inch WXGA (1280x768 pixels), much larger than the EEE's 7-inch screen, which will be powered by a VIA media chipset.

At 1.27Kg, the 2133 will also rival posher (and more expensive) ultra mobile laptops; like the Macbook Air, it will sport a solid lightweight anodised aluminium case.

You can view our review of the Asus EEE laptop here.