2740p Order Delay -- Official

Discussion in 'HP Elitebooks' started by Techfinance, Jul 13, 2010.

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  1. Techfinance

    Techfinance Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I just got off the phone with HP and the Small/Medium Size Business sales rep informed me there is a 5 week delay due to LED screen supply issues. And what's worse is the prebuilt/lower price 2740p's are on the same back order, so it doesn't matter that I'm doing it CTO.

    He also corrected the previous sales rep who told me the outdoor screen was Multi-Touch -- it is not. I almost ordered the outdoor screen thinking it was Multi-Touch. I am now torn between Lenovo and HP because Lenovo is shipping within 9 days of ordering.

    Is there a significant difference between the x201 and the 2740p beyond the
    i7 only in the x201 and the higher price??
     
  2. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    What is it about outdoor displays that does not permit them to be multitouch? Ironically, these are two of the only features that are deal breakers for my needs as a field notebook.:( Is there some physical reason they can't both be installed on the same unit?
     
  3. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    I am so sorry you are suffering through the same issues I, and many others, have had to deal with trying to get a well built and equipped, powerful (Core i5/7) convertible tablet. A few thoughts:

    1) I ordered my 2740p, the "Pre built Smart Buy" configuration with the Core i5-540, 250GB HDD, $1,699 list. If I decide to keep it, I will buy the slice battery ($189), possibly the slim dock (price cut in half to $149 for: integrated dvd burner, many useful ports, including eSATA and DVI, which I think can be converted via a dongle to HDMI) and ultimately, the largest capacity SSD I can find. Also will purchase the $89 upgrade of the 3 yr wtty to include accidental damage.

    So here are the major differences between the 2740 and Lenovo X201t

    By far and away IMHO the biggest difference is that the HP is restricted to a 1.8" storage drive (HDD or SSD) and the Lenovo accepts standard 2.5" drives. The 1.8" size is very rare and there are only 2-3 mfrs making them. Worst of all, the largest HDD you can get in the aftermarket is 320GB at 5400 rpm. The largest SSD you can get is 160 GB, but it is just as speedy as any 2.5" SSD. To my knowledge, 1.8" drives are used as much in handheld devices, including some cell phones, as they are in computers! Even netbooks use 2.5" drives. This is the only significant engineering failure, again IMO, Hp made in this computer, but it could be a deal-breaker for me. Besides only coming in 5400 rpm, the 1.8" drive tests slower than same-capacity and speed drives at 2.5" I regret to tell you that the lag is noticeable, though definitely not productivity affecting. Programs take noticeably longer, but we're talking fractions of seconds to maybe 2-4 seconds to bring up apps, including browser windows. Remember, your perception of access speed will depend on what you're used to or what other computer you use daily. For me, that's an HP dv8 with Core i7 quad cpu and 500GB 7200 rpm HDD. I don't think the cpu has any effect I can notice on speed for the apps I use - if anything it is faster than the Core i7 because it runs at a higher clock frequency and has higher benchmarks for non-multithreaded apps, which for now is 95% of them, the 5% being mostly games, which this machine can't play anyway. There are workarounds: a) get an SSD if you can live with 160GB; the 1.8" SSD is just as fast as larger dimensioned ones, b) I believe judicious use of "ram disk" software will create a much larger "solid state" disk cache and thereby speed up considerably the time it takes. I don't know all the details, but I have done this in the past. It is likely that this will work even better if you get 6 or 8 GB of ram, vs. 4GB which is more than most people need for multitasking demanding apps. In sum, the storage drive dimension limitation will limit the internal storage capacity of the 2740 vs the X-201t - as well as 95% of the notebook computers out there - and the HDD will be noticeably slower. The SSD will not be slower, but maxes out in capacity at 160GB today. There may be some workarounds with ram caching that will speed up the access times with the HP HDD and may make the difference irrelevant. Finally, the HP's stored data/program access disadvantage (with spinning drive only) will not harm your productivity, just take some of the "wow factor" out of using you otherwise extremely powerful little tablet. For most users, SSD upgrades are fast becoming must-have options. Once you do this, you are back at parity with Lenovo, and SSDs over 160 GB are really kind of cost prohibitive for the time being anyway.

    With the one big difference out of the way, here are some minor ones, with nods going in both directions:

    1) Though I have not used the X201t, I have read many reviews of both and virtually all give the nod to the Lenovo without regard for price, but most put the 2740 about 1/2 star lower, but still rate it highly and recommend it.

    2) I think the standard 3 yr wtty plus the $89 accidental damage upgrade are major advantages of the HP over the Lenovo. You can purchase equivalent coverage for the X201t, but it adds, I think, about $400 to an already pricier machine.

    3) I believe the battery life on both are the same with standard batteries (about 3 hrs) and with expanded batteries (about 9 hrs). The Lenovo's hi capacity battery is heavy and causes the balance of the notebook to be a bit off; the HP slice battery goes on snug and adds about 0.4 lbs, but as it covers the entire base of the notebook evenly, it has no effect on balance and feels as if it is the OEM notebook, just a little heavier.

    4) I think most give Lenovo the nod on screens, but that is mostly for the outdoor screen, and those don't do touch on either machine. For the base touchscreen, I think they are on par. The 2740 touchscreen on mine gets extremely bright (my guess: 275 nit or higher), has excellent color saturation and fair to good contrast. The Lenovo may have better contrast, but not likely by much.

    5) Some say the Lenovo keyboard is unparalleled among ALL keyboards in the industry. I like it but don't love it. The 2740 has an excellent keyboard and pointing stick (don't believe reviews saying it's stick is worse than Lenovo's, just not true), and like the Lenovo, is spill proof.

    6) The Lenovo has a suite of proprietary tools and I am really not familiar with what they are and do (I know some are for security, quick, easy back up and recovery, but there are quite a few others), but I know many find them quite useful. I would look into these, but also into HPs; HP has several security utilites which are proprietary and apparently are quite robust. I'm guessing Lenovo has the nod on these proprietary utilities, but it is not by much and this is hardly a make/break area.

    So much for differences. Let me address the ordering woes. I had my ship date revised 5 times from the original order, and the last "official" email notice I got from HP was that July 30 (for a June 4 order) was the soonest to expect shipment. They claimed that the parts shortage was primarily, ready, HINGES! The very next day, I got notice my machine had shipped and I got a FEDEX tracking number!

    Now, I attribute my sudden shipment to a combination of factors, but the largest among them was that I emailed and called nearly every other day to the Order Processing Department, contact info:

    Andre Navarette
    andresn@hp.com
    Anna Valencia
    valenciaa@hp.com
    Volume Direct Operations
    Hewlett-Packard Company
    CBC Order Management
    Phone: 1 800 888 0292 ext.
    Fax 1 866 908 14

    These were the people who finally made it happen for me. After weeks of claims throughout HP that there were simply no 2740s to ship, suddenly one was "found" and shipped to me. If you are anxious enough for delivery, and you are willing to take a pre-built model, you may want to follow in my footsteps here.

    Finally, In one week of ownership, I like the 2740, but I am having trouble getting the proper drivers installed and working. Change that, I am having trouble finding good drivers. The laptop (at least mine) ships with poor, out of date drivers, though most of the bad ones are not available through HP, so you have to go to the hdwe component mfr (eg, WACOM, Digital Persona, Validity Sensor, etc.) and through trial and error or Googling for advice from forums, I have read you can really make this machine sing. It has the right components inside, so it should be just a case of finding the right drivers. Once I am successful, I will post. (If anyone reading this has a list of, or links to, the best drivers for the 2740, this would be appreciated by all:)

    Hope this helps you and others who are trying to make this decision. FWIW, I will return this within the time frame for getting a full refund if I cannot get it functioning as it should, though I believe I will based on, in particular, a post by someone recently to this forum, who said he called HP tech support and they took access to his computer and made many changes to drivers, including removing the ones from HP's site and putting mfr drivers in place, and when it was all done, everything worked!
     
  4. jeffghs

    jeffghs Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I would suggest looking at Cost Central for the slice batteries ($150) and expansion base ($125), and the additional stylus($37.50). They seem to have pretty good user reviews and all items show in stock. From another user, the additional stylus is good to have, plus it comes with additional felt tips as well as the standard, so you can get a better feel while inking.
     
  5. Fishface

    Fishface Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Great post Lovelaptops, it should be stickied somewhere since 2740p and x201t are the current top end best buys.

    Regarding the drive issue, personally I think if you've already got $1700 to sling around, if you can somehow carve out $200-300 off that budget for a SSD, you should do it any way possible (slower processor, less ram, less options, go refurb, etc). It makes a huge difference, my wife's machine has an SSD and she doesn't even bother to use sleep mode any more, just straight in/out of hibernation takes less than a minute.
     
  6. Techfinance

    Techfinance Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you all for the great comments.

    After some final reviews and research I am 95% sure I am going to buy the HP and just wait for it to ship. I did ask about the HP screen and they told me it is 200 NIT vs. the Lenovo 270 NIT -- but I am not that concerned about it.

    I did decide to by the "Smart Buy" machine with Windows 7 Professional and add on the slice battery, expansion dock (not docking station), Office Pro, leather pc bag and the accidental protection coverage. All said I save $250 from building it myself online – and they even waived 2 day shipping.

    I would have to say what got me was the warranty pricing difference because Lenovo gave me a code for 10% off when I called to inquire. But when I added the apples to apples warranty the Lenovo, with tax, ended up being $400 more at almost $3,100. . .with the discount.

    I get that the 1.8" drive isn't ideal, but I am coming from a 5+ year old Dell with 1G of RAM and a 1st generation Centrino processor . . . if I don't like the HP there will be something wrong with me.
     
  7. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    I'm glad you settled on something you are pleased about. I am surprised you didn't save more than $250 vs CTO, but maybe some of the accessories you bought would be discounted on a CTO order but not as additions to your Smart Buy purchase. Normally, the difference is in the $500 range though, again, many have reported no uniformity of discounting, and I think some are getting large enough discounts on CTO orders that they are at parity (net of upgrades) with the Smart buy price. One thing I forgot to tell you: I was given a $260 discount by the people in order processing who fielded my constant calls and emails (always polite, but also frustrated with conflicting/no news. As it turned out, my 6/4 order was shipped on 6/29, so it took a lot of work, but I got mine pretty much on time and for $1,440 for the $1,699 model.

    I'm disappointed to hear the screen is only 200 nit. Funny how it has been looking dimmer since I read that from you, lol. Did you get that from an HP tech person or sales? When Notebookcheck.net tests brightness, they show the variability across the screen (usually about 25% diff betw brightest and dimmest) and publish a number for average, as well as others for contrast, black levels, etc. I'm wondering if 200 nit is the brightest or average brightness for the screen. BTW, they say most users cannot detect the variability with most content. Anyway, I do think you will find the screen to be more than acceptable - just don't sit next to someone with an x-201, lol

    Final question: you said that your 2740 order ended up about $400 less than the Lenovo with a 10% discount and purchased wtty and everything apples to apples. That's a bit surprising too. When last I checked, the x201t was about $800 more than the Smart Buy $1,699, with ram and HDD increased to equate (ie,base x201 had less, I thought), but that was before equating warranties. Not sure what you used on Lenovo's accessory palate to equate to slice battery or the expansion deck, including dvd burner, but there again, I feel certain their prices are higher for a lower featured and way less convenient expansion dock, perhaps a bit less for the battery. In any event, when I add those approximations in my head, take, like $350 off for the Lenovo 10% discount, and I would expect the HP to be closer to $1,000 less. Feeling too lazy to go to Lenovo and configure and compare, can you point out what I got wrong? This is not an academic question; if what I have + plan to order ($1,700 tablet, $190 slice, $150 dock, $89 accidental wtty) if I keep the 2740 totals only $400 less than the equiv. x201t, I would be very tempted to make the opposite decision and go with the Lenovo, which I think beats the 2740 by a "point" margin of around 15%, based on the long analysis I posted earlier.

    Thanks for the added insight. Any help in the price comparison would be appreciated, since you already did the exercise for both computers.

    Jeff
     
  8. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Are these HP parts or third party "clones?" Personally, I would avoid third party products for the little bit of savings. Either way, thanks for the tip.
     
  9. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Thanks for your nice words. Sometimes I get carried away, but I mean to help others where I've already done the research.

    As for the SSD, I will get it, but my concern is the max capacity of 160 GB. It's not like there are two bays. Nonetheless, I think I can get by with 160 on this machine - I'm not going to download and save movies and music on it. Just have to hope software designers don't get too lazy since by later this year, the majority of the user base for even notebooks will be assumed to have 500GB - 1TB on board, cheap as it is to do with one HDD in even small laptops. Or am I missing something? Have you seen a larger SSD than 160GB or this there indeed room for a second 1.8" drive? Thanks, Jeff
     
  10. mazzarin

    mazzarin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Larger capacity 1.8" Intel SSDs will be launching H1 2011. I get what you're saying regarding the frustrating lack of options in the 1.8" form factor but SSDs are the way to go and they are considerably cost-prohibitive above 160gb even at the 2.5" range.

    Anyways, with that being said, I'm disappointed to hear your wavering Jeff! After all that :)

    A colleague of mine got a tricked out x201 + "the works" for accessories, and I've used 10s and 30s in the past so I have a pretty good reference to work from... while I wait for my bloody order :)

    Advantages of the Thinkpad:
    1) Proprietary touch interface for miscellaneous computing functions.
    2) Maybe a slightly brighter screen?

    Adv 2700 / Disadv Thinkpad
    1) First and foremost, the industrial design of the 2700 is far more aesthetically pleasing than the functional design of the Thinkpad.

    2) The x201t extended battery (9-cell) comes in around 5-6 hrs of practical battery life vs. 8+ on the slice config.

    3) X201 series in general utilizes lower-quality Samsung SSDs which don't nearly put the "wow" in your experience due to poorer 4k r/w speeds. In fact, my colleague dismissed the hype of SSDs based on the mediocre performance of the 128GB ssd he received in his unit.


    Regarding the displays in general, they both use IPS panels in their tablet models so they should both be great for saturation and viewing angles and all of that. However, outdoor panel or not, both units will still deliver a sub-par outdoor experience in anything but heavy shade.

    TBH, I read all the reviews and they just don't make much sense in their Thinkpad bias. It's usually something tame like "oh, we like the pointing stick a little better on this model." Really?

    For example, the most recent one (PCmag) compares the brightness of the 2740p multitouch model to an undisclosed X200t. They conclude the 2740p looks darker, OK, no problem.

    Move on into the performance review, and you'll see the 2740p being ranked against TWO X200t units - one MT and the other unspecified, with the unspecified unit getting the editor's choice. I'm thinking that unspecified model was the outdoor screen version otherwise it's victory over the x200t w/ MT is unwarranted! So with that in mind, that helps to put the original brightness complaint in a different light.
     
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