Review of HP TM2 with 1.3Ghz and 4500MHD

Discussion in 'HP TouchSmart TM2 (Wacom)' started by Sedgr, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Sedgr

    Sedgr Pen Pal - Newbie

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    OK so I saw a few people had some questions about the TM2 without the added bells and whistles. Since I recently purchased the TM2-1070ca here in Canada I thought I could provide a little insight.

    Quick rundown of the specs:

    HP TM2 - 1070ca
    Intel Core2Duo 1.3Ghz SU7300 CULV Processor
    Intel 4500MHD Integrated video
    4GB RAM
    500 GB Hard Drive

    Think that covers the basics.

    Review Time!

    Ive been using the TM2 for about a week now and Ive got to say Im really enjoying the experience so far. Theres been a few little details that I needed to work out but its been pretty great overall. Im a new user as far as tablet pc's are concerned so Im having a blast just messing around with all the touch features. But Im probably getting ahead of myself lets break this down a bit.

    Physical Features:

    As soon as I opened the box I was greeted by that aluminum body with the imprinted design. I think its pretty cool, gives the laptop a bit of flair. I know some of the guys have been worried about the color, but its nothing to worry about. The color is totally dependent on the lighting. In bright light its a sort of silver blue, in lower light or under incandescent light it looks almost bronze or brownish.

    The aluminum seems quite sturdy and makes the whole laptop feel nicely polished and built. Nothing flexes the swivel hinge seems stiff and strong, nothing cheap feeling at all. Buttons are all good, fit and finish are excellent.

    Keyboard is excellent. It takes a few minutes to get used to it, but the size and action of the keys are very good. Feels like a high quality item. Trackpad is multitouch and Im a little leary of the integrated button design but it seems to work well enough. Honestly Ive mostly been using the touchscreen so I havent worked with it a whole lot.

    Weight is pretty average, Ive certainly held heavier laptops in my days, but at 2 kilos Im not sure Id want to be walking all day with the laptop in my arms. At the same time the weight lends to the feeling of the build quality and seems nicely balanced throughout the machine. Ive had no problem sitting around surfing for a few hours with it nestled in the crook of my arm. Your mileage may vary.

    Sound wise this thing is amazing. Theres the slightest of noises on boot up and beyond that the thing might as well be silent. I rarely hear any sort of hard drive activity, and the fans are very quiet as well. If you're looking for something that isnt going to interrupt your classes with whirring noises look no further.

    They seem to have taken care of the heat issues that the TX2 experienced as well. I dont know if its the aluminum body, intel processor, or the internal layout but heats hasnt been an issue at all. Sitting on my desk the laptop seems to generate no heat whatsoever. The only time it started to get a little warm was when I had it laying on a pillow in my lap while in bed surrounded by blankets. Id call that pretty decent.

    Sofware and Performance:

    My machine came with Win7 64bit preinstalled. No issues with it and the additional touch features of Win7 really compliment the whole machine. Integrated gestures for web browsing etc etc all very nice.

    It also came with a whack of bloatware apps installed. No surprise there all of these manufacturers seem to enjoy loading up on trial versions and proprietary apps. I removed almost everything but didnt do a full reinstall of Win7.

    The TM2 seems really peppy overall. Much better than I was expecting from a 1.3Ghz dual core processor. Apps open nice and quick, and I havent seen any sort of real lag to speak of. The 4GB of Ram help that out Im sure, and the 500GB hard drive was really more storage than I needed but performance for it seems excellent as well. Ive done a bit of multitasking, opening multiple apps, multiple web tabs etc, it all cruises along without a hitch. Id honestly probably be hard pressed to tell the difference with a 1.6Ghz processor. Nothing seems slow.

    One of the first things I did after I got a few regular apps installed was to try out the pen and drawing features. Photoshop pops opens no problem and I was drawing easily. The pen is nice, and the pressure sensitivity is good. Im not a huge fan of the button on the pen, its a little too easy to press without meaning to. The surface of the screen is really nice and smooth for drawing. I dont know whether thats a plus or minus for most people but I like the feel of it.

    Second thing I did was install World of Warcraft ;) I admit it Im a junkie! I honestly wasnt expecting much out of the tablet with the intel integrated graphics but I am happy to report that it was fine. I had copied over my directory from my desktop pc and when I first opened the game it was a little sluggish. A few modifications to the video settings though and I was off and running. I wouldnt probably use this as my main gaming machine, but it works in a pinch for less demanding stuff. As I said, it was actually better than I was expecting.

    Video playback is good, Ive been watching fullscreen video off of Youtube without a hitch. It has also played back a bunch of my other saved video files without any problem.

    I installed a few other touch apps and I really like it so far. Writing directly onto documents and surfing the web with touch seems really natural and I could see myself getting addicted to it. This is my first tablet but I get the feeling it wont be my last!

    Now onto a few things Im disappointed in. Im still a little ticked that I couldnt order a custom model here in Canada. Not a huge deal, and not an actual issue with the machine but still, it annoyed me. The lack of an optical drive is a little disconcerting, sure a USB drive is an option but not having one makes installing software a little harder than it has to be. I expect my need for an optical drive to drop after I get everything I want installed so its probably a non issue. As I said before the trackpad is a little odd. Since the buttons themselves are integrated, clicking on one of them will cause your cursor to jump. Im finding it much easier to just tap directly on the pad rather than use the buttons. Drag and drop could be a pain but Im happy using the touchscreen for that.

    Also a big thumbs up to the person that solved the touchscreen sleep issue. That was getting real annoying real fast, but changing the power settings has taken care of it entirely. Very responsive now.

    So in conclusion Im calling this a good purchase. Im really enjoying it so far, and now Ive just got to come up with some good excuses to use it more than I already have. A top quality product with a few niggling issues.

    Addendum:
    Just a quick piece of info for other Canadians. I purchased my laptop at Futureshop because they had a floor model that I was able to go and test out first before I made my final decision. However, futureshop was charging $1099 for it. More than I really wanted to pay. I got them to price match The Source.ca online where they had the 1070ca for $999 plus Futureshop covers 10% of the difference so my total was $990. Not as good a deal as the coupon available to the americans, but it pushed my decision to purchase over the edge. Watch carefull for pricematching and get yourself a good deal!

    If anyone has any questions let me know.

    Hope this was informative for people.

    Sedgr
     
  2. Synergi

    Synergi Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Great review! Glad you like your TM2.
     
  3. heatlesssun

    heatlesssun Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Nice review! I think the weight of the machine is not bad at all, it's a LOT lighter than college text books that I used to carry around all day. It's not harder to carry from point to point than a medium sized book. And the weight is so balanced that its easy to hold and use like a tablet for extended periods of time, it just feels MUCH ligther than the tx2 which is supposed to be lighter.

    I need to find a proper scale and weigh them.
     
  4. papi

    papi Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I would like to know if you system came with 100mbps or GbE NIC. Thanks.
     
  5. Sedgr

    Sedgr Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'll have to check out the Ethernet card when I get home. Im not sure what it might be since Ive been using the wireless exclusively up to this point.

    And yes the weight isnt much of an issue. Carrying it from place to place is easy and no strain at all. The only time it gets a little tiring is when you have to hold it in one hand or arm for and extended period of time. Doctor making the rounds with his "clipboard" so to speak. I could see it being a little on the heavy side for that.

    **Edit**
    A quick look at the specs for the 1070ca posted on the HP site states that this has the 10/100 Ethernet. So no gigabit ethernet. I'll verify that on the actual machine later at home. Its a little disappointing, though I cant say it affects me much since nothing else in my house has gigabit ethernet either. I was really only planning on using the wireless for it anyway.
     
  6. rfadream

    rfadream Pen Pal - Newbie

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    actually if you look at the description in the overview tab on hp's site

    * Intel CULV processors for powerful performance and long battery life
    * An optional high-performance ATI Mobility Radeon graphics card (includes Gigabit Ethernet)—a first for our consumer tablet PC
    * High-speed DDR3 system memory (up to 8GB for top performance)
    * Fast 7200 rpm hard drives for storing up to 500GB of music, photos, and video clips
     
  7. papi

    papi Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thanks for the info, which confirms what owners with ATI option reported. I know this fact was cryptically mentioned in another thread but when I went through the HP system customization pages I didn't see any mention of this. HP really needs to put in some effort into designing the site (I also pointed out in another thread that when you ordered the WWAN option the customization pages would ask you to specify the wireless provider but it does not ).

    Who would have thunk that a bump in graphics performance also gives you a bump in performance of something completely unrelated? Anyway it's a nice icing on the cake for those who ordered the ATI option and I think it's probably the best $75 option you can get with this tablet.
     
  8. rhizome

    rhizome Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the review, Sedgr as well as the retailer tips.
    Have you tried this tablet with any 3d apps like Sketchup or Rhino? Wondering how the performance is on medium-sized (3-6mb) models?
     
  9. NamelessPlayer

    NamelessPlayer Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Gigabit Ethernet isn't standard? That makes no sense, especially paired with a graphics upgrade of all things.

    Just about every PC since 2004 should have Gigabit Ethernet as standard. Even basic PC motherboards and netbooks have it...
     
  10. papi

    papi Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I think some notebook makers are either trying to do things on the cheap (or maybe they got a great deal on old surplus 100mbps parts), or they are being pressured by unnamed forces to scale down on the functionality of notebooks. Case in point is netbooks based on the Atom. IIRC, these are intentionally designed to not have a screen bigger to 10", resolution not better than 1024x768 and no GbE, among other things.

    Frankly I was surprised to see that the tm2 officially comes with only 100mbps NIC for US models based on specs from HP, BestBuy and Walmart.
     
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