* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this laptop in Jan-2008 and have been using it furiously since - I need to keep up with dooyoo!! I wanted to write this review after having used it properly and it's features.
Who are HP?
HP is an international technology company formed in the late 1930's. HP provides a multitude of products and services:
* business and consumer desktops and laptops
* multimedia products, printers
* business computer hardware and software
HP are one of the leaders in digital imaging and printing equipment and accessories. They are also currently leaders in the PC (desktop and laptop) market. Although they are frequently swapping places with Dell.
Why this laptop?
I needed a laptop for both business and leisure purposes. Use the laptop for work during the day, then use it for surfing and watching tv in the evening/weekends. When I am looking for a laptop, I like it to stand out a bit and be different. After I had used the HP Tablet TC4400 model at work I knew it had to be a tablet PC.
For those of you that are not aware of the term 'tablet PC'. It refers to a laptop where you can turn the screen and place it flat on the keyboard with the screen face-up. This turns it into a type of notebook that you can use to write on by using the specially supplied stylus pen. Users of a PDA will be familiar with a stylus. You can use it in this mode to surf or write notes/documents. You can also use it as a conventional laptop with the screen at the rear of the keyboard.
Well for me that was different so I knew it had to be a tablet. However, these tablets were initially only for business users, which meant they would be more expensive for the ordinary consumer. So you can bet my delight when I saw HP had brought out a tablet in their Pavilion range. This range is HP's home user range and more affordable. So after some research online, this model was the choice. I chose HP because they are one of the leaders in this market and unlike some others I have never had any issues with my HP equipment so I find them my first choice for printers and PCs. Purely a matter of choice IMHO.
This particular model is also compact and light at only 2 kg in weight and 12in x 9in in dimensions so easily portable.
I happened to be in a department store one day and passed by this exact model so took the opportunity to have a look and feel. The keyboard is silver with keys and the monitor is totally black. More about usability later. It is very swish looking, so this opportunity reinforced my choice further and off I went to buy it.
How was this model purchased?
I purchased the laptop through the HP online shop. A few years ago I would never have been able to do this as HP only sold through 3rd party outfits and never direct. I must say I am glad that HP have done this.
The process was very easy after I had registered. I could select the model and go straight through to putting in my payment details. One downside is the hardware is pre-configured so you cannot add memory or upgrade CPU for example, so you can only get what is shown. However, this model had a very high-spec in my opinion so I was happy with it anyway.
So all bought and waiting for it to arrive. It took a matter of days (3 in fact) until I received the package with my new laptop in it. It is packaged very well, a box inside a box.
So I was pleased with how my consignment had been treated both packing and through the delivery process. It had been handled with much care.
You will pay more for this model over a conventional laptop given these portability features and of course the tablet style. I paid approximately £600 including free shipping.
The laptop is configured with:
* Turion 64 x2 processor - this is AMD 64-bit dual-core CPU at 2GHz (basically 2 CPU's on 1 board)
* 2GB RAM
* 250GB SATA hard disk drive
* Lightscribe Super Multi DVD Writer (+/-R +/-RW) with Double Layer support
* Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit operating system
* 12 inch widescreen display (the product spec sayd 12.1 inch, but I measured mine and it is 12 inch)
* High-definition display
* Eraser stylus pen for use in tablet mode
These are the important ones, but you can check further specs at http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/ho/WF06a/21675-38187-38191-38191-3 8191-81143221.html
On the left side you get a memory card reader that supports SD, MMS, MMC and XD. I've used SD card and the laptop recognises this immediately as an external drive that you can navigate using file explorer. Underneath this there is a slot for a mini remote. Yes, a cute little remote that has playback functions when you use in entertainment mode - I was dead chuffed with this. This little device is about 1.5in wide and 3in high, fits in the palm of your hand and best thing is you can stow it in the laptop when you are not using it. Dead handy, so you can't lose it.
The DVD writer drive is located on the front left and I have used it to play movies. I'm not a person who tends to read a manual when trying out a new piece of equipment, unless it is something I have never used before. I've had plenty of laptops. However, it took me a while to figure out how to open the DVD drive. Not because it is difficult, it is actually quite simple. A small button towards the front of the DVD bay on the left. You have to press it quite firmly to engage, then you hear a click and you are in business. Load the CD/DVD and close it - easy huh? Nope, the drive is a bit flimsy in my opinion so you feel like you want to be careful with it. So I couldn't close it with normal force and had to press quite hard to engage the clip that holds it closed. I was not too impressed with that. However, it plays
the discs fine once you've got a handle on how much pressure to apply.
The right side of the device provides a 2.0 USB port which is handy for the memory sticks, a network connection, monitor port,and s-video connection if you want to hook it up to a media device. On the rear you have 2 USB ports and a modem connection. The modem connection in my opinion is redundant as I would use wireless but I suppose it is standard. On the front left you have the power switch, which is a slider and the radio on/off button. This button controls the wireless and bluetooth networks.
The swivel action of the monitor is very smooth too and you never feel it will break - it seems quite sturdy. You rotate the monitor clockwise (handy little arrow shows the direction) 180 degrees and can then place it flat on to the keyboard where you'll hear a click. Here the
laptop moves into tablet mode so the screen and applications turns 90 degrees as if you were writing on an A4 notebook. You can use the supplied pen to click or write using character recognition onto the monitor as if you were writing on a piece of paper. It can take a bit of getting used to and I find typing is faster. This feature is good in places where space is tight or you don't have a stable platform on which to place the laptop. In this instance you would hold the laptop on your arm. For me this is a bit heavy and you would tire easily. For bigger bulkier people, it may not cause a problem.
HP also provide pen training software with a set of exercises designed to teach you how to use the tablet pen. I already know how touse it, but have tried this and find it quite handy.
On the monitor you have an array of buttons/features. You get a fingerprint reader on the left of the screen that needs to be configured. This means you can swipe a recorded finger to log in rather than a password. It took me a few goes to enter my prints as you have to swipe in a particular way. But a bit of patience and trying about 50 swipes got me there. Now I don't enter a password and am happy knowing no-one can log in without my fingerprint so it is secure.
You have DVD playback functions on the bottom right if you don't want to use the cute remote and a switch to move into DVD playback mode. At the top of the screen is an integrated webcam. It is placed strategically so it is sure to get you in the shot if the laptop is on a desk or on your lap (as I have it now!). On either side is a microphone. The quality of the webcam is good (so I've been told).
As you can probably tell this laptop is also designed as an entertainment PC, so you can play music and DVD. This comes with Altec Lansing speakers which are one of the best brands around. They make speaker/sound systems for the IPOD, so the quality and clarity of the music is crystal and not compromised by being in laptop form. The screen itself is a high-definition display in widescreen format. This makes it comparable to the HD televisions in terms of
picture quality and it does not disappoint when you are watching DVD playback. The flatscreen also lets you view the screen from any side angle (not from behind obviously!). The volume buttons are located above the keyboard on the left.
As this is a laptop you do not get a trackpoint for the mouse but a touchpad. The touchpad is a set of recessed dots below the keyboard that you use by sliding your finger to control the cursor. The left/right buttons that you would find on a mouse are beneath the touchpad. To the right of the touchpad is the slider which you can use to scroll up/down. To be honest I disabled that as it is too close to the touchpad and I kept activating it unintentionally. If you have never used a touchpad before it can take a while to get used to it. Each touchpad is different in terms of sensitivity and you have to learn which speed to move you're fingers. After a few goes it becomes like second nature. I personally like to use a mouse but you would lose portability with a mouse.
On a general note, as this is installed with Windows Vista, this sometimes affects the operation of the unit. Things like CPU at 90% when not busy, slow to respond, applications encountering unknown errors, slow to startup....
I am not enamoured with vista and given the opportunity would re-install with XP. It's good to know that this device supports XP. I am confident that the performance and operation issues are related to vista.
Would I Recommend it?
Absolutely! I would have no hesitation in spreading the word about this device. It has features whether you are interested in surfing, online chatting, watching DVD or just using it for work. As I use all of those features, it satisfies my needs whichever mode I am in. Although it is expensive against pcs of the same speed and power, it feels like quality and it looks good. It is sturdy and well built. Whilst I won't be bouncing it off the floor, the keys are solid, the swivel action of the monitor is smooth and I already feel like it will stand up to the usage I intend to bestow upon it for a while to come.
I've given this 5 stars because of the many features at a reasonable price and as well for looking stylish in black and silver.
I'm am absolutely positive I could talk further about this, but I want to keep this readable. PS Ignore the ratings, some of them do not apply to this product.
Thanks for taking the time to read this..! (Also on ciao)
© 2008 jupiter28