by Arsenio Martins
HP tx2000z Tablet PC User Review
Let me just say that this isn’t my first venture into owning a tablet. I owned a used Toshiba model about three to four years ago and subsequently sold it due to a lag when taking notes. This was totally unacceptable… especially now that I am in a health graduate program where I need every piece of information I can get. Therefore I did have my doubts before selling off my Apple MacBook and taking the plunge back into the tablet arena. I had concerns regarding battery issues, heat, processing power, lag and the list goes on and on. Surely many of you are faced with the same concerns also. Well I can certainly say that I have no regrets with the tx2000z.
The tx2000z converting to tablet mode. (view large image)
Many Tablet PC buyers remember the infamous HP Pavilion tx1000. Why is it infamous you say? HP’s exclusion of an active digitizer created a stir of buyer’s remorse, especially those that relied heavily on handwritten content. Since then HP has heard the crying of the masses and released the HP Pavilion tx2000z, the much needed update to its predecessor. It retains the similar style and body shape, includes an active digitizer and a faster AMD processor.
Specs of my HP Pavilion tx2000z customizable Notebook PC:
- Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit)
- AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile Technology TL-62 (2.1GHz, 512KB+512KB L2 Cache)
- 12.1" WXGA High-Definition HP BrightView Widescreen Display(1280 x 800) with Integrated Touch-screen
- 2GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
- NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150
- FREE Upgrade to HP Imprint Finish (Echo) + Fingerprint Reader + Webcam + Microphone!
- 802.11b/g WLAN and Bluetooth
- 160GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
- FREE Upgrade to LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer Support!
- No TV Tuner w/remote control
- 8-cell Lithium Ion Battery
- Microsoft Works 9.0
- Cost: $1,242.94
Reason for Purchasing
Originally I had bought a Gateway C-140s and promptly returned it upon discovering the price and features of the tx2000z greatly outweighed that of the C140s. With everything HP included it was just too good to pass up. It offered portability, a card reader, plenty of USB ports, a fingerprint reader (protects patient information), DVD burner, weightsaver sleeve for the removable DVD drive slot, etc, etc. I just couldn’t find any other brands that included all those features at this price point so I pulled the trigger and ordered one (actually two, more on that later).
The HP tx2000z comes in your standard brown box. No Apple designers here but hey whatever keeps the price point down. Your usual standard equipment was included such as user guide, manuals, pen, nibs, battery and charger.
Design and Build
I had some worries about the "Echo" design on the lid of the laptop. It’s also "echoed", no pun intended, even extending on to the palm rests of the keyboard. I’m 28 going on 40 and although I thought it looked nice I didn’t want it to "stick out" among the crowd and was worried about looking unprofessional. I was pleasantly surprised that the design is somewhat subtle. From a distance it just looks gloss black and you really have to look hard to see the imprint. I mean it’s there, but not as noticeable as I had originally thought.
Echo imprint finish on the lid. (view large image)
Echo imprint finish on the inside, palm rest area. (view large image)
The overall construction of the laptop is very good in my opinion. Every person’s opinion varies, but I feel it can handle the tasks of every day abuse. After inspecting the outside I installed the 8-cell battery. This is the larger battery which protrudes from the bottom and elevates the tablet slightly off the surface. I had some reservations about this and now I actually love it. It provides better air flow around the tablet and a more comfortable angle for typing. Also, when I have it in portrait mode on my desk, with the battery to the right it causes the screen to angle towards me improving visibility. The same occurs when I have the tablet in landscape orientation; it’s as if the tablet is on an easel. When holding it with one arm it serves as a comfortable grip as well.
The screen itself has what some might call the screen door effect. Now don’t take that to heart. It’s actually a good screen. It’s not clear like a normal laptop screen by any means and I think we all now that many tablets aren’t. But, aside from that it holds up pretty well and I get good visibility under the classroom fluorescent lights. Again, the angle that the battery provides is useful especially in this instance. The hinge is very sturdy too and I don’t imagine having any problems with it myself.
The tx2000 screen, now has an active digitizer. (view large image)
The keyboard has a nice feel and response. The keys can be a little chatty depending on how hard you press on them obviously. If you’re a light typer then there shouldn’t be any issues. Again, in a class with 150 students no one has noticed.
The touchpad also provides some nice feedback due to its dimpled texture. Although, the mouse buttons can feel small at first, one can quickly adjust. At the very upper left corner of the keyboard you will also find volume and mute keys.
Processor and System Performance
Upon first boot the computer literally takes 10-15 minutes to start up. It’s in the process of loading all the bloatware, which I promptly removed after the tests I ran. Once on the main screen I ran Windows Vista experience. The tx2000z received a 3.0 due to the on board graphics, which is very common in most tablets. I also ran the PCMark and 3DMark benchmark tests.
The AMD Turion processor performed fairly well. I never received any lag in high performance mode and I only noticed a small amount of lag while starting up an application during power saver mode, which is to be somewhat expected. What was important to me was that there was no lag during note taking. In high performance mode, some heat is generated from the upper left of the tablet, but honestly, not enough to make me not buy it. My MacBook has gotten a lot hotter than the tx2000z ever has. And when it does get warm the fan is very silent. As a matter of fact the fan has never gone on in power saver mode, which is a blessing when your in an auditorium filled with 150 students and a lecturer.
Comparison Results for PCMark05
PCMark05 measures the systems performance as a whole.
|HP tx2000 (AMD Turion 64X 2 2.1GHz, Nvidia Go 6150 graphics)||3,553 PCMarks|
|Asus R1E (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, GMA 965 chipset)||4,679 PCMarks|
|Gateway C-140x (Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz, ATI X2300 HD graphics)||4,342 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||4,171 PCMarks|
|HP tx2000 (AMD Turion 64 X2 2.3GHz, Nvidia Go 6150 graphics)||3,738 PCMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||3,473 PCMarks|
|Toshiba Portege M700 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA 965 chipset)||3,399 PCMarks|
|HP tx1000 (AMD Turion X2 2.0GHz, Nvidia Go 6150)||3,052 PCMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X60t (1.66GHz LV Core Duo)||2,860 PCMarks|
|Toshiba Tecra M6 (1.66GHz Intel T2300E, Intel GMA 950)||2,732 PCMarks|
|Asus R1F (1.66GHz Core Duo, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,724 PCMarks|
|LG C1 (Intel Core Duo 1.2GHz, Nvidia Go 7300)||2,568 PCMarks|
|HP Compaq 2710p (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||2,453 PCMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T2010 (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics)||2,334 PCMarks|
|Gateway E-155C (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.06GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,205 PCMarks|
|Toshiba R400 (Intel Core Duo ULV 1.2GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics)||2,187 PCMarks|
Comparison Results for 3Dmark05
3DMark05 tests the overall graphic capabilities of a notebook.
|Notebook||3D Mark 05 Results|
|HP tx2000 (2.1GHz AMD Turion 64 X2, Nvidia Go 6150 graphics)||619 3DMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400 128MB)||2,092 3DMarks|
|Gateway C-140x (2GHz Core 2 Duo, ATI X2300 HD graphics)||1,956 3DMarks|
|LG C1 (1.2GHz Intel Core Duo, Nvidia Go 7300)||1,392 3DMarks|
|Toshiba Portege M700 (2.2GHz Core 2 Duo, GMA 965 chipset)||940 3DMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (2.2GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA X3100 graphics)||925 3DMarks|
|Asus R1E (2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, GMA 965 chipset)||923 3DMarks|
|Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (1.6GHz Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA X3100 graphics)||812 3DMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook S2210 (1.6GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-52, ATI x1150)||810 3DMarks|
|HP tx2000 (2.3GHz AMD Turion 64 X2, Nvidia Go 6150 graphics)||636 3DMarks|
|HP Compaq 2710p (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, GMA X3100 graphics)||634 3DMarks|
|Fujitsu LifeBook T2010 (1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, GMA X3100 graphics)||566 3DMarks|
|Toshiba Satellite A135 (1.73GHz Core Duo, Intel GMA 950)||519 3DMarks|
|Gateway E-155C (1.06GHz ULV Core 2 Duo, Intel GMA 950)||500 3DMarks|
Windows Vista Experience:
Windows Vista Experience test. (view large image)
Tablet PC Features
Now to the tablet functions that everyone wants to know about. The tablet features work very, very well. I never receive any lag when writing and always get great response. It flows well and is very smooth. The touchscreen, is fairly accurate. I ended up turning this off because I will hardly use it.
The tx2000 in tablet mode. (view large image)
Also there were a few times when I was touching the screen with my wrist and lifted the pen to high causing writing marks on the screen, so I decided it was best to disable the touchscreen feature. I think it’s a great feature especially if your utilizing the entertainment features of the tablet.
There are two USB ports on the back of the unit as well as a modem port. On the left there is the express card slot, card reader and removable DVD drive. On the right an additional USB port, a network connection, the expansion port 3 slot, VGA and s-video out. The front of the tx2000 includes a microphone jack and two headphone jacks. It has a decent array of connections and I especially appreciate the s-video jack.
The screen itself has a fingerprint reader on the left bezel, a screen rotation button and Windows Mobility Center (settings) buttons on the lower right bottom of the screen, and DVD and Quick Play buttons on the lower left. What is really nice is the inclusion of dual microphones on the top of the screen. This improves on sensitivity, which is great for school lectures or meetings. A webcam is also built in at the top center of the screen, great for chatting with friends or co-workers.
Front view of the tx2000. (view large image)
Left side view of the ports. (view large image)
Right side view of the ports. (view large image)
Back view of the tx2000. (view large image)
Last but not least we get to the battery. Now all I did was take the stock system and remove the bloatware, shut off the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and I also installed 4GB of RAM. In just doing that and on a full charge I got about 4.5 to 5 hours with the 8-cell battery. That was with one start up, one shutdown, another startup, taking notes while recording audio the whole time and the screen dimming out for about 5-10 minutes. My MacBook used to get about 4 to 4.5 hours, so I am extremely happy with that performance. I have had the issue that some other users have mentioned where the battery wiggles ever so slightly. It can get annoying and I plan to adjust it by wedging something in there like thick tape. It’s nothing major at all though.
Overall I would totally recommend this system to anyone. A classmate of mine has the Lenovo X61 that he paid $4000 dollars for, and the tx2000z can do everything it does and more. He was looking at my system and saying "Wow, it has that in it too…you got all that for how much?" So I think it’s safe to say I got a good deal. Any user that is looking for a solid, consumer friendly, affordable tablet can’t go wrong with the tx2000z.
I will be getting another tx2000 in about a week and a half, which is at the other end of the spectrum and is fully loaded. I am going to install 4GB of RAM into this system and run some benchmarks and battery tests. I’ll keep you everyone updated on that project.