Just bought a TX1030

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by ada, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. dpnow.com

    dpnow.com Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I'm UK based and convinced myself to buy a TX1030ea (Turion X2 TL52, 2GB RAM, 120GB hard disk) yesterday afternoon - from John Lewis, for £999. They throw in a free second year's warranty, too.

    I decided against the TX1080 as I couldn't see that 11% extra CPU speed (and 13% more power drain) or an extra 40GB of hard drive space was really necessary for me. I don't need the DVB-T TV facility either (I have a USB-stick for this anyway).

    The good news - you get two batteries in the box; the 4 and 6 cell versions, which was never made clear in any of HP's documentation. Performance is absolutely fine with the TL52 CPU. I also really like Vista now I have tried it and the tablet functionality blends in very well.

    The middling news - the screen does suffer a lot of reflections in conditions where there are bright lights around, but again, I expected this. The screen does initially look a bit grainy, but you soon get used to this.

    The not so good news - I'm not very optimistic that I will ever get the fingerprint scanner to work properly! Maybe I just need someone to show me how to do it properly :) The touch screen is a bit temperamental. Even if you keep the pen tip securely in touch with the screen surface, it does sometimes suffer breaks in the recorded strokes. However, it does seem to be getting better with use - maybe the screen needs bedding in or something? Using the screen for navigating as a supplement to the touch pad is great, though. I have also used Journal, with mixed results, but I think it will be useful. Early indications are that the pen works well with Photoshop, which is great news for me.

    The UK HP site indicates that FireWire IEEE-1394 is supported, well it's NOT and I have told HP about this anomaly. If you want FireWire, just get an ExpressCard port adapter.

    I haven't calibrated the batteries yet, so all I will say is that I got about an hour and 15 minutes out of the 4 cell battery and nearly two hours from the 6 cell one, though this was not using the power save mode.

    Overall, I'm pleased and relieved with my decision to get the TX1030 - I'd be pleased to answer any questions if anyone has any :)

    Ian
     
  2. JR7

    JR7 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi Ian,

    First and foremost -- congrats on the new machine. :D

    Second, thanks for offering to answer questions! Such as... can you use your finger in the 'clip' tool to cut out part of a screen and paste it into an email or on another page? I do a lot of document markup, and would like to be able to do it with my hands instead of always reaching for a mouse or pen if it works reasonably for that.

    What do you think of the screen for reading? The aforementioned document markup necessitates a lot of reading, and I've noticed some forums commenting that certain screens cause eye strain sooner than others. I know I need to see it for myself, but I won't have an opportunity to do that for weeks.

    On the fun side, would you mind trying out drawing or painting with something other than a pen and telling us how it works? I just wonder if a touch screen would give you basically unlimited pen shapes (as opposed to the basic pencil / paintbrush shapes).

    Have you, or would you, try out the voice recognition? Does the microphone pick up well? I was temporarily one-handed for a while last year, and used an external microphone to dictate to MS Word and AOL Instant Messenger and it was great. I'm hoping to do the same things on the TX but with the built-in microphone.

    Even if you don't have the time to check the above, please do let us know of any new things you discover about your machine. :)

    Thanks,

    JR
     
  3. Anonymouse

    Anonymouse A nondescript mouse

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    As for the comment on whether the touch screen can accept multiple different shape inputs, the answer would be no. Basically the way the touchscreen works is that it records the pressure at all the different points on the screen and it determines where the pressure is most intense (because something is pushing on it). If you use a bigger "brush" then the input will just be a point in the center of the brush.

    This is essentially what causes the problem of vectoring that you may have heard about. If you are writing with the stylus, and push hard enough with your palm elsewhere, the computer will interpret that as a big "pen" and will place the cursor halfway between the two pressure points.

    The only way to get different pen shapes and sizes is through the software. This is true for both touchscreens and active digitizers.
     
  4. alanjrobertson

    alanjrobertson Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hi Ian

    Congrats on the purchase! I received an e-mail from JL today re. their 2 year warranty and went to check out their site. I hadn't realised the 1030ea model had even been released to was very pleased to see your review here!

    I've e-mailed HP too re. their specifications page (http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/ho/WF06a/21675-38187-38191-38191-38191-12925294.html) as it doesn't seem at all clear on the difference between the 1030 and 1080 - it even seems to imply the 1030 doesn't have WiFi which I can't believe!

    After watching a few demos of Vista Speech Recognition I'd also be interested to hear how you've found the microphone.

    I agree that there doesn't seem to be that much difference in spec between the 1030 and 1080 and the JL warranty deal is excellent (also nice to not buy from PC World!).

    What are the problems you're having with the fingerprint reader?

    Also be interested to hear about how you're finding general responsiveness of the machine in Vista.

    Cheers

    Alan
     
  5. dpnow.com

    dpnow.com Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I can't see any support for 'touch' input using fingers, I'm afraid. There would be a touch input tab in the pointer input options, but there isn't. I'm a bit disappointed by this too, really. You can use your fingernail, but that's a lame alternative, really. You can use any pointed object as a stylus, though using some unsuitable hard or sharp pointy materials may damage the surface of the screen.

    As for reading, the clarity is good and the viewing angles are OK. I am used to very small on-screen text though, so I may be more tolerant than you. The main issue with screen clarity is reflections.

    I have just completed a calibration cycle of the 6-cell (bigger) battery and with no power saving enabled at all, it lasted one hour and 50 minutes before hibernating. I will be calibrating the smaller battery later.

    Anonymouse is right about the pen tip sizes - the only factor is the set tip size in the input setting. I don't believe there is any variable pressure sensing with this type of active touch screen, either. I'm not an artist so that doesn't bother me.

    I'm keen to explore the voice recognition potential - I'll try to play with that soon. The built in webcam is OK, but there are minimal adjustments available for colour and highlights bleach out very easily. It's not tilt adjustable either. The fixed focus is more than adequate.

    Ian
     
  6. alanjrobertson

    alanjrobertson Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hi Ian

    Another question I just thought of! - any idea if the 1030 has a TPM? (just I'm interested in the BitLocker encryption). Also it's a bit annoying HP don't offer any choice of OS - I'd prefer to have Vista Ultimate rather than Home Premium but the Vista Anytime Upgrade costs more than Ultimate OEM alone! The difference in price between OEM versions is only £30 or thereabouts so it's annoying to think I'd need to fork out another £90 to put Ultimate on instead. I wonder if there's any way to re-use the Home Premium licence on another PC? (doubt it though as it'll be OEM).

    Alan
     
  7. dpnow.com

    dpnow.com Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Sorry - no idea. Security encryption is not my area I'm afraid.

    Ian
     
  8. dpnow.com

    dpnow.com Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I calibrated the larger 6 cell battery last night with my tx1030ea (no power saving and continuous use until the PC goes into hibernation) and today, using the 'HP Recommended' power saving mode, which actually isn't particularly aggressive, I got two hours and ten minutes. This was browsing, playing some media files and installing software (but all downloaded, no optical drive usage).

    I'll try the more aggressive power saving mode next to see if I can get past the three hour mark. There was a suggestion that 4.5 hours was possible, but I'm less optimistic about that now. But on the other hand, batteries are supposed to initially improve in efficiency after a few recharge cycles when new, so you never know!

    Update - Using the provided power save setting instead of 'HP recommended' and this time doing mainly wifi-connected surfing and a bit of word processing, I managed two hours and 35 minutes with the 6 cell battery. The screen is still quite bright in this mode, so I've created a super-dim custom power save mode, which will be fine for word processing, and will let you know how I get on with that, but I think two and half hours for the 6-cell battery is kind of the 'safe' zone, unless battery efficiency improves significantly (this is after 3 recharge cycles).
    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2015
  9. P8RSON

    P8RSON Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hello Ian,
    You are quite correct in that batteries will improve during the first several charges.
    You may also be interested in reading the comments laid out by BatteryUniversity.com here.

    btw.... and Off Topic but I have just noticed your signature and Photography site.
    I am also based in the UK and Photography is my number one hobby.
    I rather like your site and have bookmarked for later reading. :).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  10. dpnow.com

    dpnow.com Scribbler - Standard Member

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    That's good to know! :) I have written about my tx1030ea at the DPNow forum if you are interested:

    http://dpnow.com/forum2/showthread.php?t=1884

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
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