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HP Takes Tablets Mainstream

HP Takes Tablets Mainstream
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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.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 7, 2008 7:28 AM
    this post seems seriously outdated... hp has updated the tx2000 series to the tx2500 with the AMD puma platform... the GPU is now an integrated hd3200 no longer the 6150.
  • 0 Hide
    piratepast40 , July 7, 2008 2:10 PM
    I agree. This model isn't even listed on the HP site anymore. I did notice that Office Depot is having drastic reductions in all the older HP notebooks in preparation for the puma models. But they are selling the tx2500z.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 7, 2008 6:14 PM
    Would like to see a review on the differences between the standard Turion and the optional Turion Ultra processors-all available on the tx2500 line (RM vs. ZM-I think). It would be interesting to see now the differences between the Nvidia vs. AMD chipsets though.
  • 0 Hide
    piratepast40 , July 7, 2008 8:31 PM
    Although the Griffin chip has some attributes from Phenom, I don't think the improvements will be readily apparent to us mere mortals. If you're interested, this article: talks about the integrated performance with the 3200 IGP and also has links to reviews of the 2 HP notebooks with the Puma platform (that includes the tx2500z).
  • 0 Hide
    piratepast40 , July 7, 2008 8:33 PM
    oops - inserting the link didn't work. try it here: http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4478
  • 0 Hide
    Luscious , July 7, 2008 8:40 PM
    Wonderful - a review of something that's obsolete!

    Perhaps you guys should have reviewed the new HP dv5z series notebook instead. The 15" is already out, with a 14" and 17" model to follow shortly.

    Can you get your act together?
  • 0 Hide
    piratepast40 , July 8, 2008 12:45 AM
    ^I agree but was trying to be nice. The guys over at notebookreview.com did a short review of the dv5c but it doesn't have the 3450 so no crossfire - just the 3200 IGP. Here's the link: http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4482. I'm waiting to see the first Fujitsu with a PCIe 2.0 interface and the XGP box.
  • 0 Hide
    etittel , July 12, 2008 9:46 PM
    I'm working on lining up the newer units for review. I cheerfully but abashedly concede this review should have posted in March or April, but I got hung up with some horrible family stuff (you don't want to know). All that said, this unit remains a good buy for those buying on the trailing edge, or for those who--as the other poster pointed out--are looking for bargains.
    I have spoken with HP PR about lining up reviews of the models with the newer graphics chipsets and more advanced CPUs, and will do my best to get them out in the next 30-45 days.
    My apologies to one and all for the delay in delivery.
    --Ed--
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