This is my review video of the HP tm2 laptop [affiliate] - also known as a tablet PC because of the touch screen, though it's worth pointing out that HP doesn't use that term anymore. My unboxing and first impressions video is here if you haven't already watched it. The exact model I'm reviewing is the 1070ca, on loan to me for a few weeks from HP Canada. The exact model and configuration will change depending on where you are in the world, but the basics are the same.
Running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, this model has an Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 running at 1.3 Ghz, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM (up to 8 GB is supported, but there are only two RAM slots), a 500 GB 7200 RPM hard drive, and a 12.1" HP LED BrightView display at 1280 x 800 resolution. The screen is multi-touch capable, and you can use either the pen or your fingers to interact with it. There's also a 5 in 1 memory card reader, a Webcam (1.3 megapixels most likely), Altec Lansing speakers with Dolby Advanced Audio, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and a 6-cell battery.
This was definitely not one of the more well-liked products to cross my way in recent memory, and I think you can tell that in the video. Having been using touch-based handheld devices for so long, I have a certain level of expectation that comes from a touch interface...and unfortunately the combination of Windows 7 and the hardware on the HP tm2 don't lend themselves to a great experience. For some people who need a touch-based computer, the tm2 might do the trick. But unless you really need it, you're giving up performance, adding weight, and paying more than you should for the hardware.
On the plus side, the battery life is solid, making it through the 2 hours 51 minutes of the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition with 40% battery life left - but unless you're a light multi-tasker, I can't recommend the 1.3 Ghz CPU on the version I was sent. I have the same Intel SU7300 CPU on my Dell Vostro V13, and I routinely curse at it for bogging down. There's a newer configuration of the tm2 out now that comes with a Core i3 CPU that should hopefully have more zip.
The HP tm2 is in a tough position in the market - I personally prefer thinner, lighter products - and even though the battery life is fairly good on this product, you'd have to really want the touch features to be willing to put up with the added thickness and weight of this machine.
Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, his wonderful son, and his mostly obedient dog. He's wondering why no one is putting a 1440 x 900 resolution screen on a 13.3" or 14" laptop any more.
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I've always liked the concept (and the price) that HP came up with for this series, but I've never quite liked the execution. Too big, too heavy, and indifferent battery life in the earlier models like the tx2.
"A planner is a gentle man, with neither sword nor pistol.
He walks along most daintily, because his balls are crystal."
Thanks for the review, Jason. Over time I have had a Tx1000 and two Tx2000s in the family. Pretty impressed by those units. They were a bit heavy, but the 2000s were very responsive to both touch and pen. They even had DVD drives, and all manner of ports. Gave the 1000 to a daughter, sold one 2000, and recently traded the other 2000 for a kayak. That last move was based on HP intending to produce a Win 7 Slate. Looked like a nice device that got rid of the bulk, added some battery life and retained the dual touch and pen screen. Seemed like the ideal replacement, for quick convenient media consumption and light work, and a bit more in depth work when paired with a small BT keyboard and mouse. With the indication that there won't be an HP Slate, at least not a Win 7 one, I was considering the TM2. Not any more. Don't know who they fired, but it was apparently the guy that could reduce the package size and increase the capability over time, instead of going the other way. Guess I will keep looking, and/or hoping. I'd still buy a Win 7 HP slate if they would bother to produce it, instead of following the belief that what people want is a big phone they can poke with their fingers. (I have one of those BTW. Neat device, does what it does very well. It is not, however, a PC...Mac or Windows)
Sometimes you are the anteater, sometimes you are the ant.
I just got one of these, and I'm not too happy with it yet; maybe I'll get to like it more.
Mine has a Core i5 1.2Ghz, so 4 logical processors; I've added a partition and am installing W7 Enterprise, so we'll see how that works.
I agree with Jason's comment about the stupid design on the outside. I would not buy one having see that. However, I was mostly looking for better battery life, and I really like a convertable tablet for taking notes with the pen in a meeting (with the device not sticking up looking like I'm not paying attention).
At a little over $900 for 6GB of memory and a 500GB drive, this seemed to have a lot of value.
Unfortunately, it came broken -- the touch pad would not work. The support call (tried an online case first) was a miserable experience at 1 hour and 40 minutes to conclude "the touch pad doesn't work". HP could not email me a shipping label so I had to drive tio to the FexEx office, where they could look up the RMA number. It came back in about a week (al they had to do is open it and plug the touch pad in). However that experience alone will make it difficult for me to try HP again any time soon.
I also have the same problem as Jason with the power switch not being easy to use, so it seems to be congential. You are going to need a finger nail to operate it. I'd much prefer a button above the keyboard.
I'm having a difficult time with the very glossy screen. I'll "see" in the coming weeks if I can get used to that in various ligihting situations.
I'm also having trouble getting used the the mouse "buttons" on the touch pad.
If the battery really goes a few hours I'm not going to mind the size and weight (I won't need to carry a power brick with me to the meetings).
The eraser on the pen is a great feature; not all of them have that; I've missed that will my Dell tablet.
Speaking of pens, this one fits very poorly in the slot and rattles around. Otherwise the build quality (other than the touch pad!) seems ok.
I've had many different tablets; I've been using a Dell and a Lenovo daily for a coulple years; both have had their issues. I'm hoping this HP is an improvement, but it might not be.