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Intel, HP keeping it green in RP

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THE technology sector is at the forefront of this era's green movement. Natural ly, HP and Intel - two of the largest tech companies in the world right now -- are advocates. The two companies are channeling innovation into this movement and their mantra can be deduced to three words: "less is more" -- from manufacturing computer c hips that run on less power to redesigning product packaging that use less raw materials. In their annual Synergy press off-site , dubbed "Greenergy" to conform with the theme, HP and Intel talk about local green initiatives.

Mini with a punch

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By Alex Villafania INQUIRER.net THE ASIAN brands were the first to start the subnotebook revolution but n ow that the market seems to be more acceptable, US brand HP wants a piece of th e action, and so they introduced the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC. Design There are certainly several aspects of the Mini-Note that other subnotebooks do n't have; one in particular is design. The Asus Eee PC, the Blue H1 and the Red Fox Wizbook didn't bother much regarding aesthetics so they left their own sub notebooks looking a lot like toys. HP put some effort with the design and easil y, the HP Mini-Note is a standout. Its body has an aluminum finish. The entire device, save for the screen area, is in metallic gray, which gives it a tough i ndustrial look. There are no other objects protruding from the body, though an extended battery could give it some bulk, especially when it is placed on top o f a desk. The Mini-Note has one of the sleekest designs yet in the subnotebook segment, m atched only by the Asus Eee PC's simplistic design. From afar, the Mini-Note lo oks like nothing more than an aluminum case for small paper notebooks. Even the ports and switches are neatly tucked in around the sides of the unit. Truth be told, it might actually look boring to some people. But that's where the borin g part ends. Keyboard, screen and speakers Upon opening up the unit, the very first things that the user will notice are t he larger LCD screen at 8.9 inches, the two speaker sets on either side of the screen, and the surprisingly normal-size keyboard, which covers just about the entire frame of the lower half of the unit. According to HP, the keyboard is ab out 92 percent the size of regular desktop keyboards. These features are not fo und in any of the subnotebooks from other brands. The keyboard is perhaps the most tactile of all the keyboards in the same categ ory. Because of its size, it becomes appealing to hardcore desktop users or tho se that have huge hands. In other subnotebooks the keys are 2/3 the size of reg ular keyboards, which makes it difficult for most people to type with. Likewise, the 8.9-inch screen is also particularly bright and can render images at around 1280x768 pixels, nearly as high as 15-inch LCD monitors. If that's not enough, the LCD is covered in clear glass, lessening the chances of damagin g the soft panel. There is a downside to the use of a glass cover though as it could reflect light coming from the front of the screen. Even when the backligh t is set to high, more powerful light sources can cause glare on the screen, wh ich can give migraine sufferers a bit of a headache. The speakers on either side of the screens are also a plus factor for getting a Mini-Note as these are the most powerful in this category. It is also one of the few subnotebooks that have the audio on either side of th e screen and taking up much of the space, thus avoiding empty and useless space . Connectivity and battery life The unit comes with two USB ports one on either side, a LAN port to the right s ide of the unit, an ExpressCard slot (one of the few subnotebooks to actually i ncorporate it), and an SD card reader just below the ExpressCard slot. It is already a given that the Mini-Note's LAN port can easily access the Internet via a LAN cable attached to an office network. Nevertheless, it is also incorporated with 802.11a/b/g wifi and Bluetooth conne ctivity. These can be toggled on or off either through the software or by a sli ding a switch on the front side. One slide will light up blue, indicating that Bluetooth is active, while an orange light means that its WiFi has been activat ed. Incidentally, the power button is also on the front side of the device and is also a sliding switch to match the design of the unit. However, not surprisingly, switching on wifi or Bluetooth will significantly dr ain the Mini-Note's three-cell battery. When used on standard mode (all connect ivity turned off, no USB attachments) the Mini-Note can stand for a minimum of one hour and 20 minutes. If external devices such as an external hard disk an d mouse are attached, the power is drained within 40 minutes. Same goes when al l connectivity functions are powered up, along with external peripherals. Of co urse this is understandable considering the Mini-Note is focused more on a nich e market of basic users than the power user. Perhaps the Mini-Note would have a longer battery life if its battery is the six-cell version. System performance A major surprise however, is the Mini-Note's speed. It's already a fact that a processor that runs faster than 1 gigahertz can operate fast. The same should h old true for the Mini-Note because it runs a Via C7 processor running at 1.2 GH z, in addition to a 2 GB RAM. However, the Mini-Note has a problem running an operating system, particularly Microsoft Windows Vista Business. It took a full one minute and 20 seconds for Windows Vista to appear. Here's a video I took. Indeed, Vista is a system hog so it's a disappointment that the company did not include the more outdated but less system-heavy Windows XP operating system. H P does have a reason though for not installing Windows XP primarily because Mic rosoft had announced that it is ramping down support for their previous Windows product. I was somewhat challenged by the idea of installing Windows XP on the test unit just to see if it would run, though my curiosity was not satisfied. Likewise, the Mini-Note (or is it Windows Vista?) has problems playing videos, particularly files encoded in .MOV and .AVI formats. Try watching a video on st reaming video sites on the Mini-Note and you'll see a significant lag, even wit h a broadband connection. Heat problem The most significant downside to having a Mini-Note is heat that becomes uncomf ortable and could become a concern the longer it operates. This is the first ti me that a subnotebook could heat up like this. Temperatures could rise up to 40 degrees Celsius, which is particularly h ot by computer standards. Curiously, it is known that some manufacturers overtl y use aluminum casings as part of their product designs to help reduce heat fro m inside a notebook body to be drawn out of the aerated side. I've sent an e-ma il to HP's headquarters in the US to ask about the heat problem though the comp any has not responded as of this writing. I would still give HP the benefit of the doubt regarding the heat issue as for sure, the company tested out the device before finally releasing it. Conclusion So far, HP seems able to match Asus in the subnotebook space, especially as it incorporated many design features on the Mini-Note not present in other brands. Noteworthy are the larger keyboard, a bigger and brighter LCD screen, better s tereo speakers, ExpressCard slot, and large hard disk drive (120 GB). However, its main flaw will be its slow processor and the heat, which becomes u ncomfortable -- scary even -- when used on a person's lap. It's also understandable that HP would not use Windows XP on the Mini-Note sinc e Microsoft announced that it will not support their old product in the future. It is curious, however, to note that HP did not even consider using an underpo wered Intel Celeron processor, which seems to be more stable than a Via process or, unless it was sure that a Via C7 1.2 Ghz processor can handle the processin g requirements of an OS like Windows Vista. Honestly, it is slow and is no diff erent from running Vista on an ordinary laptop. Perhaps the company just couldn't wait until Intel comes out with its Atom proc essor for machines similar to the Mini-Note and Eee PC. Perhaps it doesn't want to be beaten in the subnotebook market by Asus or any other brand. Or perhaps it's a calculated risk by HP to release a product like the Mini-Note to whet the appetite of the subnotebook market unt il it comes out with a better model in the future. Nevertheless, the Mini-Note will enjoy quite a buzz among mini-laptop enthusiasts. HP Mini-Note 2133 Processor: Via C7 1.2 Ghz Memory: 2 GB RAM Hard Disk: 120 GB hard disk space with integrated 4 GB solid state drive Sound and webcam: Two front-firing stereo speakers and webcam Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g wifi, Bluetooth, LAN, 2 USB ports, SD card reader, ExpressCard port Software: Suse Linux or Microsoft Windows Vista Weight: 1.27 kilograms (2.8 lbs)
By Alex Villafania INQUIRER.net THE BATTLE for the sub-notebook market is heating up as HP enters the fray. It may not be the first to introduce a laptop in the below-12" inch segment but it is the first branded, non-Taiwanese vendor to do so in the Philippines. The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC has the unmistakable HP design all over it: curved cor ners and tapering edges and a semi-shiny aluminum finish. It could be mistaken for a metal folder if its top half isn't pulled up. When it is opened up, the very first thing you notice is the keyboard; unlike m ost notebooks with the same form factor, the Mini-Note's key buttons are full-s ize. Instead of being extended, the keyboard takes up the entire length of the unit's lower portion, leaving barely 5 millimeters of space between the edge of the keys and the edge of the lower portion of the Mini-Note. It is also the fi rst one to have a full-size Shift key, the most undersized key among sub-notebo oks and even full-size laptops. An aluminum track pad is in the middle, just be low the keyboard. It is quite small, barely 50 millimeters across. The left and right mouse buttons are literally on its left and right sides. There is also an integrated webcam on the Mini-Note, which can be handy when ta lking to someone on instant messenger applications such as Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk. The Mini-Note can connect to the Internet via a LAN cable or wifi . It also has Bluetooth connectivity. The Mini-Note only has two USB connections, one on the left and another on the right side of its body, whereas other notebooks in the same category would have at least three. However, take note that sub-notebooks are not normally used as full notebooks and are primarily used for quick desktop editing work and web b rowsing. USB attachments could only include an extra mouse and an external hard drive. Other connections are one microphone/earphone jack on the left side, an externa l VGA monitor also on the left side, and a RJ-45 LAN slot. It also has a SD car d reader and, surprisingly, an Express Card slot, which is rarely seen on sub-n otebooks. The screen is also one of the proud features of the Mini-Note as it could rende r at 1280x768 pixels, just a bit better than that of the Asus Eee PC 900, curre ntly the most popular sub-notebook in the market. The screen may not look stunn ing enough when using an optional Suse Linux operating system, but it does look good when the Mini-Note is installed with Windows Vista Home Basic, also optio nal. This will also be the first sub-notebook to have the system-hogging Vista installed. Surprisingly, the Mini-Note uses the low-power Via C7-M processor, which runs u p to 1.6 Gigahertz. Previous tests showed that this particular chip could do so me basic processing at faster rates than using even the Intel Celeron. This is because the Via chip is designed to run only basic functions, not multi-tasking . The graphics is also the Via chip Chrome9, which apparently can run the graph ics requirements of Vista OS. For such a small form factor, the Mini-Note can be integrated with a 2.5" noteb ook hard drive, ranging from 120 Gigabytes to 160 Gigabytes. If the user prefer s to use Linux, the Mini-Note can be integrated with a 4 Gb solid state drive. It would still be a treat if it had an 8 Gb or higher solid state drive. The Mini-Note competes directly with the Asus Eee PC 900 series even at price p oint. While the Eee PC 900 costs P24,950, the HP Mini-Note's basic package also costs the same while the higher models cost from P29,950 to P34,950. Here's a video I took when I interviewed HP Philippines Personal Systems Group general manager Bernadette Nacario. Editor's note: Videos taken by INQUIRER.net community evangelist Alex Villa fania.
By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net hp-2710p.
jpgWHO says business notebook PCs can't look sleek and cool? Computer maker HP has unveiled a new line of notebook PCs this week, designed primarily for tel ecommuting business users. HP unveiled at least three 2000 series notebooks that are ultra-light, weighing less than two kilograms. "There's a lot of demand for mobility. But why can't we make these notebooks st ylish and personal," said Christian Reyes, market development manager under the Personal Systems Group of HP Philippines, during the launch of the notebooks a mid a display of new Volvo cars. HP Philippines officials said the launch of the new notebooks was done in a Vol vo showroom to project the theme of mobility and style, which is consistent wit h their new line of notebooks. With notebook sales growing at about 20 percent in the Philippines, Reyes said its new line of smaller and lighter notebooks are not lightweights. They also come with powerful features, such as hard drive guard that protects t he notebook's hard disk from damage in case it falls. HP Philippines unveiled at least three models: the HP 2710p, 2510, and the 221 0. The 2710p also doubles as a tablet PC. The new notebooks all run on Windows Vista.
IPTV firm DAVE Networks an d Hewlett-Packard have joined forces to launch a new service called NEXT.TV. next-tv.jpg The service will initially be launched in October on HP Pavilion and Compaq Pre sario consumer notebooks. A version of the service, however, will also be avail able for download shortly after the launch to the general public. You can alrea dy sign up for that private beta by going to the NEXT.TV site. NEXT.TV is supposed to bridge the gap between the computer and TV, as NEXT.TV u sers will be able to watch the channels on their TVs by hooking up their HP lap tops. This new online service will offer more than 50 channels, and everything will be free because the content will be ad-supported.

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