Wednesday, February 20, 2008

HP tx1000 Convertible Notebook Review

by Tiffany Boggs and Andrew Baxter

HP tx1000 Convertible Notebook Review

If you have been searching the market for an entertainment notebook with Tablet PC features, your search may be over. Thanks to HP's tx1000 convertible notebook that starts at $1,299. Though the tx1000 is targeted toward the average consumer, business professionals are still welcome. This portable notebook packs a 1.3-megapixel webcam, 5-in-1 digital media reader, a mini remote control for movies, music and photos and it comes with Windows Vista installed.

The HP Pavilion tx1000 specs as reviewed (tested price $1,849)

CPU AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile Technology TL-60 / 2.0 GHz processor
OS Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
Display 12.1" WXGA High Definition BrightView Widescreen with Touchscreen (1280 x 800)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 graphics
Audio Altec Lansing speakers and integrated microphone
Hard Drive 160GB (5400 RPM)
Optical Drive LightScribe Super Multi 8x DVD/RW
I/O ports 3 x USB
1 x VGA - 15 pin
1 x TV-Out (S-video)
1 x Microphone-in
2 x Headphone (one offering S/PDIF output)
2 x Infrared - IrDA
1 x Modem - RJ-11
1 x RJ-45 LAN
1 x Express Card
1 x notebook expansion port 3

Communications 10/100/1000 Ethernet
802.11a/b/g/n (draft 802.11n)

Dimensions/Weight 12"(width) x 8.8"(depth) x 1.5"(height)
4.2 lbs.

Battery/power 6 cell, 4-5 hours
4 cell, 3 hours

Design and Build

The tx1000 has a sharp appearance. Its unique inlaid wave design extends from the glossy black lid onto the silver inside surrounding the keyboard. HP went for a modern, portable design. Weighing in at 4.2 lbs., the tx1000 can go wherever you go. If you want to save even more weight the optical bay is removable and can be replaced by the included weight saver.

The chassis has some flex in parts due to the fact the tx1000 uses a plastic housing, though it can't be called flmsy, it's not the sturdiest notebook on the market either. The advantage of a plastic casing is in keeping weight and price down. When you tap on the left palmrest area the sound is hollow and you'll get some flex there. The keyboard itself has a solid design with minimal flex.

The screen swivels in a clockwise manner with ease to turn the notebook into a Tablet. The hinge has some flex, but works great. The Tablet or swivel mode is nice for watching movies or giving presentations. There is also a mini remote control that can be stashed in the ExpressCard slot, this comes in handy for those lazy days when you want to stay in bed and control a movie as the tx1000 sits on your nightstand!


The 12.1” screen is the perfect size for a portable notebook used to travel and for working on the go. There are even media QuickPlay buttons on the right side of the screen for your entertainment convenience. The screen is slightly grainy, but you will get this with any Tablet PC due to the extra layer needed for tablet funtionality. The glossy screen is good for presenting bold colors and watching movies, but bad when doing a lot of reading in strongly lit areas as it is quite reflective. One small annoyance is the fact it is difficult to see what level brightness you've got the screen adjusted to because there is no on screen feedback when you toggle brightness -- same goes for volume.

The fact that the tx1000 has a touchscreen is nice. You can use your fingertip to close applications, move them around or, if your fingers are small enough, to poke around in menus. I actually liked using my finger more than the stylus, you might as well take this approach since the stylus is a passive pen design and offers no real advantage other than being smaller and more accurate when necessary.

Processor and System Performance

HP chose to go with the AMD Turion X2 TL-60 dual core processor and Nvidia Go 6150 graphics for the brains of this system. It’s good that they didn’t choose a low voltage underpowered processor, commonly found in 12.1” screen laptops. Though in our opinion, a low-end Intel Core 2 Duo processor might have been preferred as it would offer slightly better performance. Nevertheless, thanks to 2GB of RAM combined with the Turion X2, performance was more than acceptable for general tasks such as Office, web and multimedia use. It’s a little slower when it comes to such things as image processing within Adobe Photoshop or even Apple iTunes encoding – we found a 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo T5500 machine to be faster time wise with such tasks. But in general usage you won’t notice any lag with the tx1000.

The tx1000 ships with a base 1GB of RAM as this is required for Windows Vista to run. You should seriously consider going with the 2GB of RAM for better performance though. Windows Aero, the 3D windows display rotation feature, worked flawlessly given the tx1000 specs we had and the 2GB of RAM probably helps there.

The Windows Vista Aero feature runs just fine on the tx1000 (view large image)

As far as gaming, the Nvidia 6150 card that shares system memory isn’t going to cut it for much. Obviously this notebook convertible is not intended for playing Half Life 2 or Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, but rather for just say – doing work.

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