HP Compaq 2133 – Entry Level – $499, VIA?

HP Compaq 2133 I mentioned an article on CNET about how maybe the Palm Foleo wasn’t such a bad idea. There was a single line in the article that mentioned the would-be UMPC laptop (or subnotebook or whatever) from HP, the HP Compaq 2133, and Kevin Tofel at jkOnTheRun mentioned it while I ignored it.

The line was this: The 2133 from HP will have an entry level model priced at $499, and will have a Via processor, we’re told.

I ignored it because I’ve now heard speculation, rumors, and “insider” information that it will have AMD, Via, or Intel CPUs.

Kevin has been paying attention to UltraMobileLife, which is sponsored by VIA and features entries from VIA employees writing in an official capacity. A VIA employee posted this:

While I can’t make any comments about which platform HP would be using for a UMPC, I can certainly say they would be a welcome addition to the UMPC market……..

……Me? I’m hoping for a super thin 9″ mini-note with HSDPA built-in.

It’s a very interesting comment. The way my mind works, it almost sounds like the author of that entry is writing in such a way as to maintain an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). If they knew it wasn’t a VIA CPU, they probably would have said – they certainly wouldn’t have been prevented from disclosing that it’s not using a VIA CPU – other entries about other UMPCs, etc., mention VIA CPUs and non-VIA CPUs (of course they all deal with released or officially announced product).

Kevin points out that it still leaves wiggle room to use Intel CPUs in would-be higher-end versions of the 2133. It also matches the original comments made about such a device which first generated all of the interest in this device, namely that it would be competitively priced and that there would be no question for many people about buying.

$499 – that could be a no-brainer for many and that would definitely pit it against the Asus Eee PC. It would be slightly disappointing to some who would decide they needed something a little bit more powerful and perhaps move up to the Fujitsu P1620. HOWEVER, if you have both VIA and Intel CPUS (as Digitimes reported), you could have something that creeps up in the $600-700 range that is more powerful, and would appeal to those who want something a little bigger and more powerful than the Eee PC…..