It may have one seriously thick bezel, but if it turns out to be real, the HP Compaq 2133 UMPC will have addressed just about every single issue I had with the ASUS Eee PC in my short time with it. And as I guessed, the device is built around a larger, higher resolution display.
Image courtesy of Engadget
Some information of a possible UMPC from HP leaked out yesterday via CNET’s Crave blog, where the comments leads one to believe the device will the targeted at a low price point, while addressing some of the problems people have had with the ASUS Eee PC. From one of the HP staff:
…you won’t even need to consider this purchase. You’ll buy it like a handphone without a thought…
So what were some of the problems I had with the ASUS Eee PC and how does HP rectify them?
- 7″ screen too small and 800×480 resolution too low – HP is fitting the 2133 with a 8.9″ LCD, but more importantly, a 1366×768 resolution (although even standard WXGA, 1280×800 would suffice). We’re talking nearly 3 times the resolution of the Eee PC’s display.
- Keyboard is difficult to use – And that’s where the thick bezels come in on HP’s rumoured offering. They’ve been able to fit in a keyboard that is 95% the size of a standard QWERTY keyboard. Compare that to Sony’s TZ series laptop, which manages to fit in a keyboard about 90% of standard size. This number also gives us a peek into the overall size of the HP 2133 – probably around the same footprint as a Sony TZ, which isn’t bad at all.
- Power consumption/Battery life – The ASUS Eee PC doesn’t have terrible battery life, far from it, but at a bit over 3 hours of web browsing, it’s also not befitting of a super-portable device that’s supposed to be on the go with you, where ever you happen to be. But if you need to use it for more than 3 hours, you’ll have to bring along a power adapter, which hurts the proposition. HP is targeting improved battery life with its 2133 UMPC.
The main issue will be how HP chooses to price the device. Anodized aluminum, a high resolution display, and gigabit ethernet don’t seem to place this in the bargain bin, which conflicts somewhat with the comment by HP staff. I’m more than willing to be pleasantly surprised though. Less than $600? I just may take them up on one.
On a somewhat related note, Hewlett Packard reported Q1 earnings that surpassed analyst expectations (again) and full-year forecasts were also raised. It seems like the well-diversified tech giants, including IBM, HP and Microsoft, are finding success in the difficult economic environment, while more focused companies, such as Cisco, Intel and Google are running into some trouble.