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HP TouchSmart tx2-1020ea review

Barry de la Rosa
24 Apr 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
999
inc VAT

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Specifications

12.1 in 1,280x800 display, 2.3kg, 2.3GHz AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-84, 4.00GB RAM, 400GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

The tx2-1020ea is similar in design to the tx2130ea, with both being tablet touchscreen laptops. The case is sturdily built, with rounded edges and a smart, glossy metallic finish. The keyboard and touchpad are both of a good standard.

The wide screen bezel houses a webcam and fingerprint reader as well as controls for the touchscreen interface. One problem common among touchscreens is image quality. This display has an extra layer, like frosted glass, which is highly visible when you're watching moving images and also makes colours and whites look rather dull.

You have the option of using your fingers or the stylus, which comes with a lanyard and fits into a slot in the case. It supports multi-touch gestures, such as pinching two fingers together to zoom in. However, until Windows 7 appears, there's little support for these apart from within HP's own multimedia software.

Using the pen to navigate around Windows is easy, but it's more useful for handwriting recognition. It managed to decipher our uneven scrawl with few mistakes, and has an easy-to-use interface that lets you correct individual words or letters. With the tx2-1020ea in tablet mode, you can carry it like a clipboard and use the pen to take notes or annotate drawings.

The tx2-1020ea comes with two batteries. The smaller four-cell battery fits flush, shaves 200g off the weight and lasts for two hours and 47 minutes. The larger eight-cell battery lasts for five hours and 24 minutes, but protrudes from the rear. It's nice to have the option, though.

At 2.3GHz, its AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-84 processor sounds quick, but the actual application performance leaves a lot to be desired. The tx2-1020ea is outperformed by many notebooks costing just two-thirds of its price, which is unacceptable even for a tablet. On the plus side, there's a big 400GB hard disk fitted, so there's plenty of storage space for your files.

It's hard for most users to justify spending £1,000 on a tablet PC, but it's money well spent if you like to make handwritten notes for later reference. Unfortunately, the tx2-1020ea doesn't have the performance we'd expect at this price. If you're in no hurry to upgrade to a touchscreen, then you're better off waiting until Windows 7 is available.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorAMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-84
Processor clock speed2.3GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size54x308x239mm
Weight2.3kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle24W
Power consumption active60W

Display

Viewable size12.1 in
Native resolution1,280x800
Graphics ProcessorATI Radeon HD 3200
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory64MB

Storage

Total storage capacity400GB
Optical drive modelHL-DT-ST GSA-T50L
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11b/g
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/34
ModemYes
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input, minijack S/PDIF output

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseYes
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedCyberlink DVD Suite, Microsoft Works 8.5

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£999
Detailswww.hp.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.hp.co.uk

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