Review - HP tx1000

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HP tx1000

 

NOTE:  Please be aware that not all models have Tablet PC-functionality.  I want to be sure that you understand this before you decide to purchase one.  See more details at the end of this review.

I've had the new HP tx1000 for a little over a week now and find it to be exactly as promoted.  This is an excellent portable entertainment machine that takes advantage of all the multi-media options found in Windows Vista Premium Home Edition, including Media Center options.

If you're looking for the best Tablet PC to use primarily as a note-taking machine, this may not be your best choice.  I'll explain more a bit deeper into the review.

If you're looking for a machine packed with features for overall computing and your entertainment needs available at the touch of a finger, yet may want to  take notes occasionally, then this is a Tablet PC you should consider.

The model I received for review is a Tablet PC with the optional touch screen. It was great to receive a review unit that had adequate ram (2G) rather than the minimum required.

What's new and different about the tx1000?  This is a Tablet PC that uses the 64-bit AMD Turion Dual Core T-60 processor.  I've asked for a few years why AMD wasn't visible in the Tablet PC market, and now I no longer need to ask. 

As soon as I saw the tx1000, it was obvious that HP has taken some small items into consideration.  The case is subtly enhanced with a pattern, then a clear overlay is applied to protect it, giving it a stylish appearance.

The HP tx1000 uses a 12.1" BrightView screen and offers an option of a touchscreen to turn this unit into a true Tablet PC. 

The tx1000 also includes an option many users have asked for since Tablets were first introduced - an integrated DVD-RW.  This is an option that many users have been waiting for.  As this unit is being marketed as a portable entertainment machine, having the DVD-RW included is a must!  Even better, the DVD-RW is removable so you can insert an extra long-life battery for those times when you need more time. 

As an entertainment computer, the HP tx1000 offers QuickPlay - a simple-to-use interface for navigating between options such as

  • DVD functions
  • Video
  • TV
  • Karaoke
  • Updates
  • Integrated Web Camera (optional)

There's also a remote control that's slips right into the Tablet PC for safekeeping.  Large Altec Lansing speakers give some of the best sound I've ever heard on a portable computer.

Although the HP tx1000 comes pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Premium Edition, it's eligible for Microsoft Windows Anytime Upgrade if you decide to move to Windows Vista Business or Windows Vista Ultimate operating systems.  Windows Vista Ultimate is available for the tx1000 in 64-bit as well.  I'd like to see the Windows Vista 64-bit operating system included on all 64-bit machines.

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Front Connectors

  • Power switch
  • Receiver
  • SPDIF - Headphones (2 sets included)
  • Microphone
  • Wireless On/Off

Left Connectors

  • Pen
  • USB
  • Ethernet
  • Expansion Port 3
  • VGA connector
  • SVideo
  • Fan vent

Right Connectors

  • Power Connector
  • Card Slot
  • Remote Control Slot
  • DVD-RW

 

Rear Connectors

  • Fan Vent

  • Modem

  • USB

  • Lock

I love the new touchpad. The perforations give it a unique feel that lets me navigate without looking to see where I am on the pad. The scroll bar to the right of the touchpad takes some getting used to - not in a way that's hard to use, but just because it's not what I'm used to.  (Click on the photo to the right to see a larger photo of the touchpad)
 
The screen photos are not indicative of how bright the screen really is. In fact, it's because it's so bright that the photos aren't.  I had to move to the side and above to stop having the camera reflected on the screen.
 
I highly recommend that you tether the pen to the computer. Although the pen isn't as integral to the operation as on a fully digitized Tablet PC, losing it isn't something that you'll want to do.  Bumping the pen while handling the Tablet can cause it to pop out.  If it weren't tethered, I'd probably have lost it by now.
 
There are a few other things I'm not particularly fond of on the tx1000. 
 
The handwriting isn't on a par with most of the other Tablet PCs I've used.  If you're used to writing on a Tablet, you probably will be disappointed in the tx1000.  On the other hand, if you're used to a PDA, you should be quite comfortable using the ink here.
 
This is a pet peeve of mine and not restricted to the HP tx1000.  When I switch to portrait mode, I'd like to see a full background, not one that's shrunk to fit portrait, with black bands top and bottom.
 
I'm not a fan of these ultra-bright screens, but this is a purely personal preference.  My eyes tend to see every reflection on them and I find it distracting.  That doesn't take away from the fact that these screens are perfect for most users.
 
Entertainment options are far and away better than most, primarily due to the DVD-RW.  Battery life isn't great, especially with wireless, so I have to wonder what it will be when WWAN options become available.
 
NOTE:  As I stated above, not all models have Tablet ink or touch capabilities.  The unit that does not have touch or ink looks almost exactly the same as the Entertainment machine with the exception of there being no holder for the pen.  I let them know my feelings about the fact that many people are probably going to think that they're buying a full Tablet just because of the swivel screen.

He told me that Best Buy did not want to sell a Tablet, so they are carrying ONLY the non-touch, non-ink model.  In other words (for those who may not know), it's a regular notebook with a swivel screen.  There are absolutely no other Tablet features on it.

Other retailers are carrying both the non-Tablet as well as the one that has some Tablet capabilities.  He told me (and I'll follow up on this more) that the 'BrightView' does not have Tablet capabilities and that it is not
marketed as such.  No where on the specs or the ads in the stores show it as a Tablet.  If you're checking the HP Web site, you'll see -

12.1" WXGA BrightView Widescreen (1280x800) (and in much smaller print - Twist only display without the intuitive touchscreen) or
 
12.1" WXGA BrightView w/Integrated Touch-screen -
Intuitive touchscreen with integrated software makes it easy to tap the icons, file menus, draw a picture to illustrate a point and perform limited handwriting. Stylus included with this option.  This option is an additional $125. 
 
Now, the main question is if the retailers make sure that consumers understand the differences.  I'll be checking my local stores to see how the sales clerks describe the units.

 
For full specifications, see our Comparison Charts or visit HP.

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