Looking at the HP tx2

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by davidd31415, May 21, 2009.

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  1. Jorgy

    Jorgy Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm going to start college in Fall this year so I've decided to start looking at laptops. I'm very interested in the convertible tablet laptops. I'm not willing to spend much more than $1000 and I am willing to buy a regular laptop if there are no good options.

    I've been eying up the hp tx2 for obvious reasons, it's cheap. Perhaps too cheap. I'm looking at the tx2-1020us custom model (custom for the 8 cell battery) which will cost about $1080. I've read and read and read again a lot of good things about this laptop, but also a lot of bad things.

    Besides using it for college I also do a lot of programming. Nothing professional, but I am making an application that could benefit from digitizer input. I also want something portable and easy to use for simple things like Windows Live Messenger (digitizer will probably work great in tablet mode), internet browsing, and other simple tasks.

    • I'm not concerned about the heat output, I'll dynamically under clock the cpu based on usage. The rest of the heat output will be fine, I know what to expect from AMD.

    • The screen is my main concern. I've heard they switched to an ugly matte screen. I emailed HP and asked if their refund policy would allow me to get a full refund based on if I liked the screen. Haven't got a reply yet, just emailed them.

    • Loss of pressure sensitivity for Photo Shop and other programs isn't big to me. I don't use them and maybe if I ever did there will be a fix by than.

    • Multi-touch interests me to a point. I am planning on getting windows 7 when it comes out, or shortly after so that would be a nice thing to have. Perhaps, though, a non-multi-touch laptop would be much cheaper and possibly even more reliable. Might be a viable option.

    • Other issues with the tx2 also concern me. I heard stories of the keyboard stop working, half black screens, etc. Perhaps someone with a tx2 could enlighten me on some of this stuff.

    • Would a 2 year warranty be advisable?

    Would you guys say that the tx2-1020us would be a good laptop for me? Any other suggestions are welcome as well. Also if anyone has a tx2 I would love to hear personal stories about the cons and pros of it. I've all ready searched through this forum and many other places, but the more information the better.

    Thanks!
     
  2. davidd31415

    davidd31415 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi Jorgy,

    I picked up a tx2 a little over a week ago.

    Good:

    * Decent screen resolution yet the screen size was small enough to make arm movements similar to those required to use a normal keyboard and mouse (if not less movement).

    * Great for laying out a GUI interface or simple CAD work. Obviously Photoshop pros desire the pressure sensitivity, as you mentioned, but any application which relies on extensive toolbox usage benefits from the touchscreen.

    * Linux Ubuntu works out of the box although tablet support is poor.

    Bad:

    * Windows Vista- I would rather have XP Tablet but I realize there's nothing HP could do about this. On the good side, Vista's tablet support is impressive.

    * Heat. When set to "on demand" power usage the processors will run between 70C - 80C. Not good for the chips. The first few days I worked on it I could smell "burning electronics," a very easy smell to recognize. Using a "chillpad" with dual fans did nothing. I experimented with turning the pad on and off- no change. Setting the CPUs to run at 25% all the time reduced the heat below 70C, sometimes under 60C. This is why I wish the tx2 shipped with XP tablet instead of Vista.... Vista is so demanding that running the two CPUs at 500 MHz makes this $800 computer seem pretty sad.

    * The touchpad is small. Although I am very impressed by the texture of the pad and the vertical scroll area, the pad itself is just tiny. I found myself constantly moving my finger off-pad and also had to pick up my finger five or more times when moving from one side of the screen to the other.

    * The touchpad buttons are horrible. They are very difficult to press. I like to use my thumbs to click touchpad buttons but I found that downright painful after a short time. It's a shame too- HP added a button to turn the touchpad on and off so a user would not accidentally press the buttons (or move the cursor I suppose). No need for that on/off button- you will NOT accidentally press these things.

    I found the keyboard to be very nice with one exception- one of the keys was broken. I'm not sure if it was broken out of the box but I had only used it lightly and a piece of plastic on the back was fractured when I looked at it. I could snap it back on and it would stay in place for about 10-20 key presses but it would always snap back off. This was a first for me. I had just decided that I was thrilled with the purchase, despite the disappointing touchpad.

    I took the computer back and asked for a refund. This was the first HP computer I had purchased and quality that low on a component which HP has been making for years is unacceptable to me. After seeing that key fall off I began to wonder, "how long until the screen, processor, board, or something else has a problem?" Then I began to remember all the horrible stories about HP support which I had read.

    At least with Dell I know what to expect from their tech support. I've decided to save for a Dell tablet instead.

    Good luck,

    David
     
  3. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    David also don't forget the Dell refurb store, lots of deals to be had there, and the only person who will know its not brand new, is you.
     
  4. Jorgy

    Jorgy Pen Pal - Newbie

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    That's ironic that you posted today. I just received my tx2z from Fedex today. I've only played with it for a few hours, but so far I am very impressed. I understand all of the down sides to this thing, especially the ones you mention. However, for my first laptop ever I am completely impressed. My keyboard doesn't appear to be broken. Nothing appears to be broken... yet anyways. Thanks for the post though, even though I all ready received mine it still gives further insight into possible problems I may run into.

    The biggest thing I don't like is the screen. I don't mind that it is small, in fact I might like that, but rather it is grainy/speckly. I played with one at bestbuy before I bought this so I knew what to expect.

    Overall I'm going to keep it. It will be very nice for college; being able to write and type on this thing will be great.
     
  5. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    Not to detract from the joy of your new toy, but i find so many people say that, they have their first tablet experience and they're so wowed over by the tablet capabilities, that they're prepared to live w/ whatever downfalls the machine has b/c they like the tablet part.

    Just don't forget that there are other tablets out there, sure NONE are perfect, and they all have their compromises, but some are still better than others.

    Off course all of that has to be balanced w/in your needs/wants/prices etc to find the machine that in the end will be right for you.
     
  6. Jorgy

    Jorgy Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yes, true. If I find this thing gives me some major problem I will strongly reconsider it. I have 21 days starting today to get a full refund. The only thing right now that bugs me a little is the screen. But I hear a lot of tablet screens are like that and it honestly doesn't inter fear in reading that I noticed yet. I also knew about the screen so I decided that I didn't mind before I even purchased this tablet.

    I'm gonna use it for a couple of weeks, after the tablet wow factor wears off. I won't hesitate to return it if I need to.

    Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely keep it in mind.
     
  7. davidd31415

    davidd31415 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    One thing I forgot to mention in my first reply is what you brought up Jorgy- the screen. My complaint is the poor viewing angle.

    I did not even notice the "graininess" which people mention but the viewing angle made it difficult to show the screen to other people.

    The viewing angle also made the tablet difficult to use since the screen is at the same angle as whatever the laptop is sitting on. If I wasn't looking straight at the screen I could not see things clearly. This meant raising my chair up to an uncomfortable position if the tablet was sitting on my desk, and propping the tablet up if it was sitting on my lap.

    I see that I can pick up a Latitude XT with 3-year warranty from a reputable seller (99%+ positive, over 10,000 transactions) on ebay for less than the tx2 at Best Buy so I'm rather psyched about that... I'm going to start a new thread to ask a few questions about the Latitudes and Thinkpads.

    David
     
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