Test Drive with the HP 2133 Subcompact

Several weeks ago one of my principals inquired about creating a mobile computer lab using something other than full-sized laptops. At the time, the only thing available was one of the AlphaSmart labs. However, those tend to have very limited capabilities. I knew that there would be a whole bunch of OLPC imitators hitting the market soon that would have full-computer capabilities for a similar price point to the AlphaSmart solution.

So, we waited and watched as new laptops were released into the wild for around $500 that might fit the bill. Asus has some units in its EEPC line, but the one that really caught my eye was the new HP 2133 subcompact unit. It was this one that I decided to test drive. It arrived Monday, and I’ve been putting it through its paces.

The unit I got has 2 GB RAM and 120 GB hard disk space. It sports a VIA C7-M processor running at 1.6 GHz. I wouldn’t try to do Photoshop or any heavy graphics processing, but for general web surfing and most everything else it should be fine. It has WiFi, Bluetooth, as well as two USB ports and SVGA out. It doesn’t have a CD or DVD drive, but it does have an SD slot. It has a built-in webcam. Mine came with Vista Basic, but the unit is available with LInux.

Usually, the size of the computer is inversely proportional to its cost. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, especially with this new crop of laptops. As configured, this unit sells for about $750 – more expensive than the Asus products, but still cheaper than a full laptop.

Those are the official specs – now for the hands-on…

Continue reading “Test Drive with the HP 2133 Subcompact”

2 Much 2.0?

Discovery Education is playing a large role in this week’s workshops sponsored by SCETV. After all, through their partnership with SCETV, all schools in the state have access to on-demand video via StreamlineSC. This evening I joined a large group of local educators who are part of the Discovery Education Network for dinner and discussion. … Continue reading 2 Much 2.0?


Today’s workshops went very well. As with yesterday, I did a basic Google Earth workshop then an advanced session. Both sessions were well-received, and I got some good positive feedback. By sheer happenstance these workshops are following a logical progression. The basic session focuses on just getting used to the program. First, there is simple … Continue reading SCETV Day 2

(Google) Earth Day

Since this is Earth Day, it seems only fitting that I spent the day doing workshops for SCETV on Google Earth. I did one basic session, which covered getting use the the controls, searching, basic placemarks, and learning how to manage layers and folders. The second session was an advanced session where we started embedding … Continue reading (Google) Earth Day

Total Cost of Ownership

It’s a tight budget year. We’re trying to build two schools and a new fine arts center. Add to that the fact that we’re facing funding cuts and inflation, and our education dollars just aren’t going as far as they once did. Despite these pressures, I keep getting requests from principals and department heads for additional computers. I would love to provide them everything they want, but the funds will only go so far.

So, at our last principals meeting I tried to impress upon our staff all of the costs involved in putting one computer on our school’s network. This was nowhere near as comprehensive as the Gartner Group’s Total Cost of Ownership calculations, but it got the point across. I thought it might be worthwhile to repeat it here.

One-time costs:

  • Hardware – computer and monitor
  • Extended Warranty
  • MS-Office Licensing – we purchase a copy for each new computer as needed
  • Deployment – setup, unboxing, imaging, asset tags
  • Curriculum software licensing

Recurring costs:

  • Antivirus
  • Novell Network and Groupwise e-mail licensing
  • Internet Filtering
  • Anti-Spam software

Other costs:

  • Data port connections – about $200 per active port (usually covered in construction and other costs, but may come into play if additional ports are needed.)
  • Replacement/Refresh Costs – computers are replaced every five years
  • Disposal at end-of-life – involves data security, recycling, hazardous waste disposal, etc.
  • Personnel and support costs Continue reading “Total Cost of Ownership”