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Using the HP TouchSmart TX2

December 31, 2009

Shortly before Christmas, we purchased an additional PC for our home: the HP TouchSmart TX2. With all three of our girls now using computers, the two laptops we had on the main floor of our house now seemed insufficient.

I had heard great things about the touch features of Windows 7, so wanted to try them out. The HP TouchSmart TX2 proved to be a pretty inexpensive way to do so, It is a laptop with a rotating screen that allows it to easily convert to a tablet. It cost about $1000, which was about $250 more than a comparably equipped laptop (albeit one with a larger screen), and significantly less than most other tablet PCs I had investigated.

Here are my thoughts so far:

  • This is the first PC I have used with 802.11n. The range is definitely better than 802.11g, but I’ve experienced occasional very slow connections when in a room other than that where our access pint is located, but with the access point still about 35 feet away. This issue seem to be worse when there are 802.11g devices active on the wireless network.
  • The touch features are cool, but not so great I would want to make sure every new laptop had them. It is nice to be able to touch the screen instead of using a slow touchpad, but I’d always rather use a mouse—but that’s had when sitting on a couch with the tablet.
  • I find I don’t mind a screen as small as 12” when using the tablet in my lap, but I think it would seem small if used sitting on a desk or table.
  • I find that when I’m not typing a lot of text (like this post) I prefer using the tablet form and its on screen touch keyboard.
  • The 3+ pound weight of the TX2 seems heavy when used as a tablet. It is not uncomfortable, I would just prefer something lighter.
  • The TX2 has its fan and vents located in one corner of the case. Because there is a hardware button that enables you to rotate the screen easily, you can orient the tablet so that the vent is pointed away from you.

This is pretty nice laptop, with Windows 7 Pro, 4GB RAM, the Turion X2 Ultra dual core processor, a DVD writer, 802.11g, Bluetooth, a webcam and a full set of ports and hardware buttons. For anyone who wants to give touch computing a try for a reasonable price, this seems like the way to go.


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