HP 2133 UMPC: What the MacBook Air should have been.

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by kzin, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #1
    If the MacBook Air has been in this device's category, then I'd have been behind it, and probably well on my way to returning to the Mac community (started leaving in September, when I was forced to choose between a Nokia N800 and an iPhone/iTouch, and correctly decided the Nokia was a better choice).

    HP 2133 UMPC

    It's HP's competitor for the EeePC, but it has a few advantages over the EeePC:

    1) bluetooth
    2) SSD storage option
    3) express card slot

    With #1 (with bluetooth FTP) and #2, I can use it as an in-backpack file server for my Nokia N810 (upgraded in November). With the wifi in access-point mode, and with a WWAN card in the express card slot, I can use it as a personal wireless gateway for my N810. And then I can use it directly for those few cases where I really need a bigger device than my N810 (which pretty much only means "when I run OpenOffice and Thunderbird"... I do just about everything else, quite successfully, on my N810).

    The other big surprise is: HP will directly distribute Linux on the device. Hopefully ubuntu or kubuntu.

    If they keep the price under $500 I'll be there the first month. Unless Apple enters this market (EeePC sized "mini-laptop", with bluetooth FTP, 1.8" or 2.x" HDD and SDD storage options, micro-dvi out and USB for using it as a light desktop, and an express card slot, base unit priced around $500) before I buy the HP. Then I'd gladly have the Apple instead.

    But this will probably be Apple's last chance to keep me from completely leaving them behind. I haven't found that I've lost anything significant by switching to Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. ... the latest Linux GUI's (ubuntu and kde) are at the point of being "good enough to not offend me", the price points are cheaper, and you don't have to deal with draconian "obey or we'll brick your device" tactics.

    Yeah, yeah, none of you will miss me (I'm sure none of you even remember any of my few posts here; and I expect a few "don't let the door smack in hte ass" type comments). I don't expect any tears. Just saying: Apple's losing the things that made them an advantage 7 years ago, without having replaced those things with anything compelling in the mean time. This device is probably the final nail in that coffin, as far as I'm concerned.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #2
    Who needs a playskool laptop?

    Most of us I think want portables that don't sacrifice practically everything there is. All those short and stumpy, tiny screens, tiny keyboards, cheap plastic, tiny specs is not useful at all. Looks more like something you'd keep on your kitchen counter.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #3
    Are we talking about the Macbook Air here or...? :p
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    #4
    agreed about the playskool laptop. that asus eee pc has 2 gb of storage... what can you do with that? it can't really do anything the iphone can't . the iphone is better than that and in some ways is their entry into that market. Anyway i think it would be interesting to see apple enter this market too, but really i dont think it will happen for at least a year. apple does a lot of research, the market is new and they will see how it performs before thinking about entering it.
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    #5
    You know, that seems like a VERY interesting laptop! I have been thinking of getting the EEE or something similar, since deep down I have always liked Linux :). That device would fit the bill perfectly, especially if they keep the price down.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Airforce

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #6
    Flash websites :)
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    #7
    I think there are different storage-options available... And you can do plenty with 2GB. If you keep the limitations in mind, the device can be VERY useful.

    Spreadsheets, word-processing, portable recording studio (that's how Scott Bourne uses his EEE)...

    I have iPod touch and I absolutely adore that device. And I cant wait to get my hands on some of those apps that are going to be released. But I still do not think that iPhone/touch can be a 1:1 substitute for a proper computer. It can supplement it, but it can't really replace it 100%.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #8
    With the EeePC, you're right. Too little storage, no real expansion capability.

    With the HP 2133, you've got an express card, and an SSD capability (which I expect to give you a LOT more room than 2GB of storage), and video-out (pretty sure the EeePC doesn't have video out, could be wrong).

    As for the tiny screen: in my life, having had a few laptops, I have found that I don't need a 13"-15" screen (and a 17" laptop is just inane, IMO). When I'm mobile, I'm actually 90% fine with my Nokia N810's 5" screen. An 8" screen would be just fine for the things I'd do when mobile.

    When I'm not mobile, I'd rather use an external display than a 15" or smaller screen.

    When you look at it like that, all laptop screens are in the "playskool" category.

    Really, for me, this category of device is more like an "in-backpack" file server and airport-base-station for my N810 (or iPhone/iTouch, if you prefer, and if the iTouch didn't have a glaring feature hole in the lack of bluetooth FTP). I only intend to use it directly when I have to do something that really can't be done on the 5" screen. And 90% of that I expect to do on an external monitor or screen projector.

    In that regard, it'll probably replace my igloo iMac, as well.
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #9
    Well it's quite a nice little toy computer for basic web browsing. Whether it will catch on as well as the EeePC remains to be seen.

    Most bags that can fit this in (and it's hardly going to go in your pocket :eek:) will also comfortably hold the Air, so I can't really see the point. I also doubt it's packing a 64bit Core 2 Duo in that case either.

    On the flip side, it does look like it has ethernet and will probably be cheaper, although I don't think it is targeted at the same demographic as the Air.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #10
    Email, web stuff (problem ticket tracking, oracle calendar, editing wiki documentation, etc.), IM, and coding in terminal windows is 90% of what I do on the computer for work. And this device should do all of that nicely. "nice little toy" == machine for real work.

    I don't expect it to fit in my pocket, that's that my N810 is for :) ... and I've found a few bags that are too small for the Air, but would fit this (or an EeePC) just fine. Especially the Maxpedition "Fat Boy", "Jumbo", "Manta", and "Colossus" bags. (I have the "Fat Boy") Too small for a laptop. Just fine for a MID/UMPC. Just right for me.

    Who needs a 64bit core 2 duo _laptop_? It's nice, certainly, lord knows I wanted a multi-processing laptop for many many years ... but necessary? For the things I listed above, a 32 bit single core is plenty powerful enough.

    Definitely not. And I'll refrain from making derogatory comments (that favor the UMPC users, and degrade the Air users) about it.

    Honestly, I really would rather have an Apple entry into this market space. Call it a "MacBook Mini" even. But, having a device in this market space is more important to me than having another device from Apple.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    #11
    Air is the only one in its class. I needed a laptop thats very portable, but also fully functional. I haven't used a desktop since I got my Air.
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Central Florida!
    #12
    you have to be kidding, I cant even stand to look at that thing!
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #13
    If the Air would have been this size, I wouldn't have bought one. It would have crossed my personal comfort and usability threshold by being too small.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    #14
    I've used numerous ultraportables -- that screen is way too small for a device with a serious keyboard.

    Devices like the iPhone and your N810 work because they are designed to be held much closer to your face than an actual laptop.

    While you may bring this kind of laptop with you everywhere, once you take it out of your bag, set it on a desk/lap, and start USING it, you'll be wishing for something much more friendly to use. Ironically, you'll then stop bringing it with you everywhere. I've owned laptops in this size class since 2003 -- this is the reality of ownership.

    We're not going hunting :p Most people need a bag that can actually fit a standard folder or piece of paper without having to fold it. The great thing about the MBA form factor is that it can fit in practically any bag that can hold those things.
     
  15. macrumors member

    macsensei

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
  16. macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #16
    I was thinking of a regular backpack/holdall/briefcase when I wrote my original piece!
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #17
    Obviously if it had been done by Apple it would have been more aesthetically pleasing. The functional aspects (size, features, capabilities) are what I'm talking about, not the fashionable ones.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #18
    Wow, that thing looks so small that I could type on it with one hand. And only one hand.

    The Air is an awesome machine and I think it'll be very popular. Would I like to see Apple create something smaller still? Yes. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't have made the Air.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #19
    And why should the MBA be this?

    Name three places you can take this but not an MBA.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #20
    You can also find bags in that size range from Tom Bihn (messenger type bags, not hunting/military focused), and some other vendors. The point is, lots of people have no need to carry something as garishly large as a 12" or 13" laptop.

    Not in my observation of "most people". And I work at a university, where "paper" is important. And my observation also holds for the tech industry (I'm not far from silicon valley).

    Most people don't want to carry paper, nor paper-sized stuff, if they don't have to.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #21
    Because it's an actually useful product space, as opposed to the MBA which is ... just a thin macbook. Look at how poorly the ultra-thin laptops have done in the past. Look at how well the EeePC is doing now (and how many imitators, like the Cloudbook, are coming out).

    Name three places I'd rather take an MBA than something this size.

    The answer is: there aren't ANY places I'd want to take an MBA sized device. The 12"-17" laptop is about to go the way of the dinosaur.
     
  22. macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Location:
    Central Florida!
    #22
    For me the size is too small this is perfect for me.....
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Whorehay

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #23
    I dunno. I kinda like the way it looks. I guess I am the minority.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #24
    Not to those interesting in retaining their eyesight and enjoy typing something with normal size fingers. But maybe you foresee a future population of dwarf cyclops.
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #25
    I have large fingers, and wear glasses. And I do fine for average stuff on a 5" device. When I need more than that, I use external devices. Just like when I used to use a laptop for that kinda stuff.

    Just like what will happen when the laptop goes the way of the dodo.
     

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