With an AMD Turion dual-core processor, room for up to 4 GB of RAM, a touchscreen and a sensitive pen-driven tablet interface, the HP tx2000z tablet PC is more than just a worthy successor to the company’s tx1000 notebook series. It’s a truly creditable workhorse machine that combines very good tablet functionality with decent notebook PC chops, at an entirely fair price (it’s available for as little as $900 direct from HP, but would retail for about $1,660 as tested with the extra options — see Table 1 for details later in this story).
We’ve been interested in Tablet PC technology for years, but this is the first tablet notebook we’ve worked with that made us actually want to own one.
Introducing the HP tx2000z
The HP tx2000z’s high-gloss finish is a magnet for fingerprints and smudges, but is also pleasing to the eye. As Figure 1 illustrates, the outer shell features a subtle inlaid design (called the Echo HP Imprint Finish, which is a $25 extra cost option with a microphone, fingerprint reader and Webcam) that repeats in subtle fashion around the screen and the keyboard deck on the inside surfaces as well.
This unit is both solid and compact and weighs about 4.29 lbs. with a four-cell battery and 4.8 lbs with an eight-cell battery, which makes it pretty portable. The touch-screen automatically boosts its own sensitivity when you use the stylus that’s included with the unit, and with the pen driving the interface, the tablet interface is fast and accurate (the tx1000 required users to finger the screen, and was both slower and less sensitive). Its ability to switch between touch-screen and active digitizer quickly makes using this tablet PC a real pleasure.
The glossy bright WXGA display on the tx2000z measures 12.1" on the diagonal, at a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. Its dimensions are svelte: 8.82" x 12.05" 1.23" (four-cell battery)/1.52" (eight-cell battery). The unit may be configured with a 160-GB, 250-GB or 320-GB hard disk (ours came with a 250-GB model). It offers 802.11n as an option (ours included a Broadcom 4321AG 802.11 a/b/g/draft-n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapter, which is a $65 add-on to the base 802.11 b/g model included by default).
It comes equipped with 2 GB of memory by default — a wise option, considering that HP also makes Vista Home Premium its default operating system (ours included Windows Vista Ultimate instead, which is a $160 add-on). But our review unit came fully-loaded with 4 GB of RAM (because it also included 32-bit Vista Ultimate, however, video memory essentially gets siphoned out of system memory. See "When is 4 GB of RAM really not 4 GB?" for a more detailed explanation.