The HP TX1000 Entertainment Notebook (available in different configurations), which also doubles as a Tablet PC in most models, has been out on the market for a couple months. Because of the nightmares I've had from owning this so-called "computer," it has taken me two months to come to grips with myself in order to write a review. I've been concerned with HP for a while because while they have made some of the best desktop PCs over the past ten years, their notebook PCs show problems: cheaply made, inferior "stereo" speakers, poor unsaturated screen, and very short battery life.
When I first saw the HP TX1000 at Fry's, I just had to try it out. I couldn't believe an actual Tablet PC (even though it's more advertised as an Entertainment PC) could cost under $1300 and have some great features: 160 GB hard drive; 2 GB SDRAM; 802.11a/b/g/n (draft 802.11n) WLAN & Bluetooth; NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 video graphics (with up to 335MB total available graphics memory); and a 2.0 GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile Technology TL-60 processor. When I saw that the processor was an AMD Turion, I should have predicted that the battery life would be bad and it was, especially when running wireless.
Warning to all those planning to buy the HP TX1000 to use as a Tablet PC: stay far away! The inking experience on this so called "Entertainment PC" was uncomfortable, inconsistent, and offensive to geeks who understand how a Tablet PC is supposed to work. The digitizer on the HP TX1000 is passive, meaning you don't need a special kind of pen in order to ink. Some tablets with a passive digitizer have been somewhat successful (Fujitsu P1610), but not this one. The inking experience was the equivalent of writing on a pad of paper with a broken pen, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Apparently, the Quality Control Department at HP was sleeping during production of this unit, because the screen does not calibrate correctly. This isn't a problem if you like writing and having the ink show up about a sixth of an inch away from your stylus. Overall, I would recommend an Etch-A-Sketch over the HP TX1000 for your tablet needs.
But the tablet portion isn't the only problem with this computing disaster. If you plan to use it as an "Entertainment" PC, please be sure to watch the movies at a direct angle from the screen. If you turn the screen slightly to the left, right, up, or down, the colors start disappearing and the screen appears washed out. Also, don't expect any magic from the "Altec Lansing" stereo speakers. They are loud, but the sound is often muffled and unclear. I thought that the poor speaker quality, at first, wasn't a technical issue since I was forced to listen to my nephew's Gwen Stefani records. However, playing the Lord of The Rings DVD was also a difficult experience soundwise (as well the picture and everything else).
If I still didn't convince you not to get this PC, then please be able to bring the AC adapter with you wherever you go. If you plan to use this in places that don't have electrical outlets, then you are pretty much out of luck. The TX1000 battery life is extremely short. Though it advertises three hours of use, I could barely watch a movie (with WiFi connected) without the battery life draining in less than fifty minutes. In other words, don't take this on a plane.
Those of you who want a true portable Entertainment/Tablet PC with a decent amount of hard drive memory and RAM may want to look at the higher end Fujitsu T4215. The unit will run you over $2,0000, but you get the best of both worlds: a tablet that you can feel comfortable writing on (just don't put it on your lap because you may get third degree burns), and a unit with a beautiful screen that can be seen, without looking washed out, at all different angles. The speakers on this unit are not loud, but at least produce sound decently so it doesn't sound all muffled. If you can forget about the tablet part (and I still believe pen and paper is far more useful than anything a Tablet PC can offer), the $2,000 + Sony TX series is an incredible piece of portable computing for productivity and entertainment. But please, and I mean PLEASE, stay away from the HP TX1000 Entertainment PC. If there is one lesson to learn with this computer it is that cheaper prices in the geek world often mean cheaper quality as well.Powered by Sidelines