HP 2133 competition winners announced!

First up can we say what an exceptional job you all did with your reviews. Given our past experience with running competitions where readers have to go to some effort to enter we didn’t expect to get this many entries nor such comprehensively good quality efforts.

It was excruciatingly difficult to choose the best 10 out of the 270 reviews – hence why we’re still up at 12:30am writing this.

As much as we’d like to be able to give an HP 2133 UMPC to everyone that entered (except for some very odd entries from abroad that basically just said “gimme the computer kthx”) there have to be ten winners. Ultimately the reason the 10 below won is because they passed the test of “would I like to print this out take it with me and read it on the bus/in a uni lecture/in a staff meeting at work/on the dunny?” All 10 are a great mix of entertaining writing with informative content.

Congratulations to the following users who wrote these reviews who we’ll be contacting in the next few days and making arrangements for delivery of their new HP 2133 ultramobile PC!

NOTE: although we have linked to the reviews below we apologise in advance for the attrocious response times of the forums. It will take up to a couple of minutes for each forum page to load. Our developers have been working on this problem for the last couple of days and have finally identified the cause (a weird problem with our SQL Server and delays writing to its database transaction log). We hope to have a fix in place soon but in the meantime thanks for your patience. This has now been fixed.

1. A Gift to My Son by Flash (Gordon)

Beautifully written review of an Acer tablet PC with the heartwarming tale at the beginning: ” My 4 year old son asked me today “Dad this is my ‘puter? Can you give it to me? As I looked down at my favourite ever computer the irony that he was getting a present on my birthday struck me. I hesitated. I didn’t really want to give him the Acer but after a pause I said “sure mate it’s your computer now.”

2. Marvellous review of $4million SGI supercomputer by Logan5

Highlights of the review: Let’s face it you don’t own an SGI supercomputer because you want something understated.

“I don’t know Martha. That second V-Brick graphics array just clashes horribly with the chaise longue in the drawing room. I shudder to think what the vicar would say if he saw that at brunch tomorrow.”

I won’t lie though – it’s a little short on games.

3. Clevo D900K review by nickmcg27

Highlights of the review: When you look at the Clevo D900K something says prehistoric. Could it be that it is the tank of all notebooks massive yet powerful. Not to mention the sub power station you have to keep by its side both hotter than molten rock.

4. The Mike Master PC2000 by Georgie Gold

Highlights of the review: The Mike-Master 2000 generally runs on Linux has some serious memory in it is black and runs pretty quietly. It has a flashy red and blue light when it starts up and a flat screen monitor.

And although sometimes I just wish for a return of the simple days when I had a Windows Operating System Office Internet Explorer and iTunes I’m not a sell-out. I’ll cope with the occasional inconvenience and frustration that comes with regularly upgrading and using systems and programs that aren’t made by meglomanic world domination blokes even if I have to ask where my email has gone.

5. My adventures in tech by Sonar

Highlights of the review: This is something Ive wanted to say quite a few times but never really got down to putting it into text. Its about how i went from not knowing anything about how a pc works to building and upgrading my PC and reviewing that process.

Up until late 2003 my only PC was a old Pentium 90 that was bought by my father for $100. It also came with a 21 inch NEC Nsync crt monitor that weighed more than a full set of World Book Encyclopedia. Around mid 2003 I started buying all the PC magazines I could get my hands on and absorbing every piece of terminology (Geek Speak as I called it) even though at first I didn’t understand it all (thankyou to APC whom tought me most of what I know today).

I don’t think a opinion on this experience can so easily be put into numbers so Ill just end with the following. If you’ve ever been interested in how PC’s work or felt that you were paying more for what you were getting out of the pre built systems seriously consider building your own PC. PC’s are easier to assemble than you would think they’re pretty much fool proof If you use some common sense and remember to use a anti static wristband or ground yourself regularly. Read up get in there and have fun.

6.Surprise from the Supermarket by Abaddon

Highlights of the review: Let’s get the obvious out of the way first it’s a supermarket PC. Surprised? I know I was; “Milk…Eggs…Nappies…Low Cost High Performance Personal Computer…” I picked up my jaw and then the best PC buy of my life!

7. APPLE IBOOK 14inch G3 700mhz -2003 model by Fabian

Highlights of the review: Unfortunately the stereotypical Mac user is a ponytail wearing yuppie who considers himself a creative genius with unlimited disposable income to spend of gadgets to make themselves look important. You would be amazed at how true this generalization is. Just remember that those guys are more likely to be clutching an ultra thin $7000 Powerbook and would have nothing to brag about if they owned a cheaper lower spec Ibook.

The ibook proved to PC users “ You don’t have to be a tool to use one”.

8. RIP the obscure Excel D410J Laptop by GoughLui

Highlights of the review: Without going into the gruesome details the amount of replacement parts that have gone into the laptop exceeds the original price paid. When you include the labour to perform the warranty repairs – this laptop is more than a loss. At the last repair – I was told that the company has treated this last case as a “physical” damage repair and that they will repair it for free however no subsequent repairs will be performed. Being less than a month away from the end of the warranty – I signed to save myself the cost of repair. However it wasn’t physical damage at all.

All along it was poor design. It appears that their choice of plastic (of which the screws for the screen are screwed into nuts which are anchored in the plastic) were poor causing the hinge to crack. This plastic while it felt solid was very brittle and took very little flexing to make it crack. This is the cost of “value”.

9. My Girlfriend by stefcep

Highlights of the review: Amiga is Spanish for “girlfriend”. And like a girlfriend my Commodore Amiga 1200 computer is pretty to look at elegant able to do and think lots of different things at the same time and has cost me way too much money.

Recently my 13 year old son Alex had to create his first multimedia presentation and a project on France. Having inherited the laziness gene he thought: “Why not a multimedia presentation about France?”

Alex had seen me use my A1200 and its multimedia software Scala MM400. He used this to create an interactive page of clickable buttons that brought up text and pictures such as the French flag and coat of arms a map of France (that when clicking on major cities smoothly brought up further relevant pictures and text) French History French food and wine French sport that included an animation of Zidane head butting Matarazzi in the World Cup Final (!) and a button that played the French National Anthem. We configured the presentations to start on boot so the OS was never visible. Alex took the A1200 into school plugged its composite output and RCA sound outputs into a TV and played the presentation.

Alex’s Multimedia studies teacher gave him a B+ but Alex was disappointed that he only got a “C” from his French teacher. Turns out the French Anthem button played back the Brisbane Lions Club song whilst showing an album of pictures of Lions players in action and culminating in a full screen fade of Leigh Mathews and Michael Voss holding the AFL Cup…

10. The Ultimate Media Centre for Families by kearnsy

Highlights of the review: There is something uniquely rewarding when you build something for yourself a bond between man and creation that extends beyond its lifetime. It’s one thing however to build a computer for one’s personal use but the icing on the cake is when you pull off a custom build that is built for a busy family connected to the most sacred part of all our lives… the TV.

Building a HTPC from scratch is not for the faint hearted whilst the build itself is relatively straight forward the stress of not passing the W.A.T (Wife Acceptance Test) will undoubtedly cause stress beyond ones imagination.