Thinking of getting a TC4200

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by agent, Oct 4, 2005.

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  1. agent

    agent Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm thinking of purchasing a TC4200 online for use at university. For $2019.07 CAD ($1733.55 USD), I can get the tablet and a notebook backpack (GST already included).

    Here are the stats of the particular model I'm interested in:
    Processor: Intel Pentium M 740 (1.73GHz) w/533MHz FSB and 2MB cache
    Memory: DDR2 512MB DDR400 (PC3200)
    Hard Drive: 40GB (doesn't list the RPM, but it's most probably 5400RPM)
    Video Card: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (up to 128MB shared)

    The main thing that attracted me to the TC4200 is its extremely long battery life and its relatively light weight. I'm not going to be using it for gaming, so the video card isn't a big issue for me. However, the one thing that's causing me to hesitate is the lack of an optical drive. I'm not planning on using a CD/DVD drive at school very much, but if something goes wrong, an optical drive can make disaster recovery much easier.

    Now I've just got a couple questions. First of all, from what I've read, I'll need an HP external CD/DVD drive in order to reinstall Windows and boot from it. Will any HP branded optical drive work, though? Or does it have to be a specific model of CD/DVD drive in order to be compatible with the TC4200?

    Lastly, is $2019.07 CAD a good deal for the above system plus a notebook backpack? This was the cheapest location I could find that was based in Canada, but if someone knows another cheaper store (either online or in Calgary, Alberta), please let me know.

    Thanks for any input you guys may have. :)
     
  2. Brian

    Brian Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Any HP optical drive should do, and yes, it's probably a good idea to have one, because in teh event of a disaster, you're not going to want to wait a few days to order one. On the HDD, always assume 4200 RPM unless stated.

    It's a very good machine, especially if you want something very portable. As to the CAD cost, I don't know, maybe someone from CA can help you there.
     
  3. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    I have a TC4200 and have been very impressed with the battery life. I am often away from power for 4+ hours using the notebook continuously and the battery has held out for me. I am mostly taking notes or reading text so hard drive access is at a minimum, so your battery life may vary.

    As far as I am aware HP only ships 5400 RPM drives on the TC4200.

    The cheapest I have found it from a major vendor is $1599 US from CDW. Not sure if they ship to Canada though and that is without a backpack.

    As far as needing an HP branded drive, I did not realize that this was even a potential issue when I bought my LaCie external drive. It seems to work fine and I can boot off of it. There is a thread here.
     
  4. agent

    agent Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the input, Brian and Daring. It's always good to hear a positive review from a first-hand user.

    I took a look at CDW, and apparently they do ship to Canada. However, their shipping is quite expensive: $103.74 USD. So, the price of the tablet plus the shipping (not even counting customs fees or any taxes yet) is $1703.69 USD. So far, it seems like TigerDirect.ca (which, I forgot to mention in my first post, is the site I'm planning to buy from) is still the cheapest.

    Regarding the external drive, does your LaCie drive require any additional drivers? Or is it purely plug-and-play? The reason I'm asking is because if Windows dies on me and the drivers become corrupted for some reason, I'll have no way of using the external drive (to my knowledge, at least). Please correct me if I'm wrong. :)
     
  5. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    There are no drivers that need to be installed. It works flawlessly under Windows and Linux (Knoppix Live DVD). I did not try to boot the HP restore CD, just booted off of the Knoppix DVD. I will try the restore CD tonight when I get home. I may try booting off of the XP Pro install CD as well.

    Barry/Brian, can you see why it should fail to boot from another CD if Knoppix works?
     
  6. Daring

    Daring Moderator

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    Just wanted to let you know that I did boot the HP restore CD from the LaCie drive no problem. I did not test the XP Pro install CD however I suspect it will work fine.
     
  7. agent

    agent Pen Pal - Newbie

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    That's good to hear. Now I've just got to find a cheap LaCie drive from somewhere in Canada.

    Thanks for the help, Daring. :)
     
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