As expected, HP have today released their new wave of 2133 Mini-Note ultraportables running Windows XP rather than Vista or SUSE Linux. However, while the leaked pricing may have been correct, what the tips didn’t tell us was that HP would be pushing the Vista-downgrade route to XP rather than supplying XP alone. Microsoft allow users of certain versions of Vista to “downgrade”, free, their OS to XP. In fact, the option to do so was already available on the 2133 KX870AT, which runs Vista Business.
None of the newly-announced XP versions have identical spec to the existing Vista models, so it’s difficult to say exactly how much HP are charging to downgrade the software on your behalf. However the KX870AT differs from the new KR964UT only in having 40GB less hard-drive capacity, but the price difference is $70.
HP also added a self-configuration tool to the product page, allowing you to specify your own Mini-Note, but at the moment the only options it permits mimic the setup of the pre-built systems. It’s possible that this is a teething error rather than the way the company intends it to operate. For now, though, I’d give the XP systems a miss.
[via HP 2133 Guide]