[Wolves] HP Mininote 2133 for £200

Political Penguin fish at politicalpenguin.org.uk
Mon Mar 9 02:47:00 UTC 2009

My two pence worth on this subject when I was looking for a Netbook and 
subsequent experiences with running Linux (Ubuntu Hardy and Intrepid).

I picked up an Advent 4211 (rebadged MSI Wind) from *spits in the 
corner* PC World when they first came out last June/July. I was hanging 
around for an Eee PC 1000 series but weighing up the price differential 
and the distinct lack of availability or even known future availability 
of the Asus went for the re-badged MSI Wind even if it did involve a 
trip to PC World in Merry Hill on a Sunday by public transport that took 
4 hours.

Personally I like it a lot. Performance wise it's no different from any 
other of the Atom based netbooks, they're all relatively underpowered if 
you're comparing to a normal laptop but that's the point of them, 
they're not meant for anything particularly taxing. That said, upgraded 
to 2Gb of RAM mine has handled everything I've thrown at it including 
fairly intensive media encoding work. Where I've noticed the lags in 
performance have been generally related to graphics. Runs a full 
Compiz-Fusion desktop very nicely but with the odd lag here and there 
and really doesn't like spherical deformation.

That said, for about 6 months I used it as my primary computer and it 
fared well. The only thing that really drew me back to my desktop was a 
need to do DTP work which really isn't that much fun on a 10" screen.

Apart from it being a netbook with a specification alike most others it 
has one very good feature and one very bad but fixable issue.

The good: The keyboard is excellent. The best I've tried on any netbook 
and took no adaptation time for me to transfer from using a standard 
desktop keyboard to, although the Samsung NC10 is very good and I'd be 
at pains to choose between an MSI Wind or an NC10 if I was looking for a 
Netbook now.

The bad: The standard 3 Cell battery gives you about 2 and a quarter 
hours of run time. There is a nice little place over in Essington that 
sells 6 Cells that are compatible which I duly picked up and now get 
circa 5 hours of usage out of it.

On Linux it was almost a dream. Both Hardy and Intrepid work perfectly 
out of the box with the webcam (note I think later versions have 
different webcams which I don't know about) ,bluetooth and everything 
else that might be tricky with the only problem being the wifi. The 
standard wifi card isn't supported but although when I first had it you 
had to compile the drivers yourself, since then various nice people out 
there have been putting them into debs so getting the wifi up and 
running is little more than a download away these days and they're about 
for pretty much all the versions of the Linux kernel.

I haven't looked into how people have got on with Linux on the NC10 but 
if you're just after something that won't take long to set up and just 
works then the MSI Wind + Ubuntu does nicely.

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