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Video review: HP TouchSmart TM2 multi-touch tablet PC
      #35813 - 01/29/10 05:39 PM

Now that the iPad craze has died down to a dull roar, we're back to business as usual here at MobileTechReview. And that means reviewing HP's new tablet, the TouchSmart TM2, which should be hitting stores soon. No, this isn't that sexy little HP tablet that Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's head honcho, flashed briefly at CES. This is full Windows 7 computer with a convertible design. It's also one of the most affordable convertible tablet notebooks with an active digitizer plus touch screen combo.


The TM2 replaces the HP TouchSmart TX2 series which was very popular, at least in terms of sales numbers since it was a relatively inexpensive touch screen plus active digitizer tablet with fairly powerful specs in a 12.1" package. While the TX2 gave us multi-touch and a 2.2GHz CPU for around 850 bucks, it was kinda heavy at 5 lbs., very plasticky and it ran hot. Toasty tablets make great hand warmers but on a hot day it isn't the best, and fan noise when plugged in could earn you dirty looks in a quiet classroom. Battery life wasn't so great thanks to the power-hungry AMD CPU and constant fan action. But it's not easy to make a lightweight computer with a touch screen, a Wacom pen-enabled digitizer and an attractive metal casing rather than cheapo plastic. Those kind of features are usually found in the $1,600 to $2,300 Lenovo X200t, Dell Latitude XT2, and HP's own business notebook line.





HP managed to pull it off though, and the TM2-1070US (the retail version that stores are stocking), sells for around $950 to $999, or just a bit more than the TX2 when it was new. The TM2 switches to an Intel Core 2 Duo CULV CPU for greatly reduced fan noise and heat (the CPU runs incredibly cool on ours-- around 80 degress fahrenheit), an HP Envy-inspired metal case with an etched design and it weighs 4.74 lbs. though it feels lighter thanks to the balanced design. Battery life is quite good too with the standard integrated graphics in use.

The display is high gloss and has improved contrast over the TX2. While it looks much nicer than the TX2's display, the glare might derrange graphic designers.

The HP TM2t (the "t" at the end indicates an Intel CPU in HP's coding system) loses the internal optical drive in the slim-down, and that may be a significant drawback for students who are looking for a computer that does everything including playing DVDs. HP sells an external drive as an accessory and you can use most any USB DVD/CD or Blu-ray drive as a consolation. DVD playback and burning software are also pre-installed on the notebook.

Specs:

Intel Core 2 Duo CULV processor SU7300 running at 1.3GHz (1.6GHz optional)
Intel 4500HD integrated graphics (ATI Radeon HD 4550 optional as switchable graphics)
4 gigs DDR3 PC-10600 RAM, max of 8 gigs
Capacitive multi-touch display with active digitizer (has pressure sensitivity and eraser on the included pen)
WiFi 802.11n
Fingerprint Reader
320 gig 7200 RPM SATA hard drive
card reader slot
6 cell battery standard

Bluetooth and WWAN are optional and not included in the 1070US version.



Here's our 9 minute video review part 1 where we unbox the HP TM2t notebook, take a look at the hardware, ports and casing, compare it with the HP TX2z that it replaces and compare it with the HP Envy 15. We'll cover software, the touch screen and digitizer with EMR pen in part 2 in a day or two. We'll have a full written review with benchmarks next week.

It's winter storm weather here in the middle of the country so we're working at home with the help of our cat who will do an Alfred Hitchcock and wander through the video now and again.






Feel free to post questions!


Update: Read our full HP TouchSmart TM2 review.


-

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Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview

Edited by LisaG (02/02/10 09:04 PM)


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Dave_W
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Re: Video review: HP TouchSmart TM2 multi-touch tablet PC [Re: LisaG]
      #35816 - 01/30/10 02:06 AM

Ive been waiting to buy a convertible tablet for a while now. My friend has a tx2 and after playing with it I think HP struck a nice balance between cost and features. He is running vista on it however, so I have been unable to see what the touchscreen is really capable of. On that note, I have a few questions about this new model:

1. How distracting is the high gloss screen in a normal, room lit environment?
2. How does the glossy screen handle fingerprints (will I have to keep a microfiber cloth / screen cleanser on me at all times or is it oil-resistant)?
3. I like to rest my palm while writing. Will my palm register on the touchscreen while I write notes in tablet mode?
4. Does it come with a media remote like the tx2 does?

If these questions will be answered in the full review, please disregard this post. Otherwise, any information would be greatly appreciated.



Does this new version come with a remote included?


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LisaGModerator
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Re: Video review: HP TouchSmart TM2 multi-touch tablet PC [Re: Dave_W]
      #35817 - 01/30/10 01:04 PM

I'll cover those things in the final review, but why make you wait?

The gloss doesn't bother me, but then I'm used to glossy notebook displays and do digital painting only as a hobby. It's not as glare-ridden as the latest generation MacBook Pro, whose glare does drive me bonkers.

The surface picks up some oil. The oil actually reduces glare and makes it a little smoother for finger gestures. You don't really see it unless the display is turned off.

No media remote, in fact no ExpressCard slot where the media remote normally lives on HP notebooks.

It has palm rejection as does the TX2 (I agree BTW that the TX2 offered a lot of bang for the buck).

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Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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Anthonysc
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Re: Video review: HP TouchSmart TM2 multi-touch tablet PC [Re: LisaG]
      #35819 - 01/30/10 02:56 PM

A few questions about the hardware that I haven't been able to find consistent answers too mostly related to comparative features with my older tx2500z.

How firm is the screen latch mechanism both closed, and open in tabled mode, compared to the older series? (for example, does it have the two magnetically initiated metal hooks, or something better?)
Does this system have built in microphones next to the webcam? If so, is it just one or two (like the old beam focused ones on the tx2500)?
Did it keep the old dual headphone jack design, and does it have a microphone jack?

Edit: Another one: How to the speakers compare to the one on the tx series?

Its great to see the eraser come back on the pen, its one of the big things that kept be from upgrading to the tx2z.

Thanks for the great (and one of the, if not the, first full) hands on review.
Can't wait for part 2!

Edited by Anthonysc (01/30/10 03:20 PM)


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LisaGModerator
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Re: Video review: HP TouchSmart TM2 multi-touch tablet PC [Re: Anthonysc]
      #35820 - 01/30/10 04:47 PM

I've got the TX2z, so my comparisons will be based on that (it's been a while since I played with the tx2500z).

The latch is much, much firmer than the tx2z. No rattles, wiggles or jiggles. As far as I can tell, beside the still hinge, it has magnets under the casing that keep it shut in tablet mode.

It has a single headphone jack.

It has dual mics that surround the webcam.

The Alec Lansing speakers sound very good for a notebook and volume is good, though not as loud as the tx2z which is one crazy-loud notebook.

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Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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heatlesssun
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Re: Video review: HP TouchSmart TM2 multi-touch tablet PC [Re: LisaG]
      #35831 - 01/31/10 06:34 PM

Are you going to have Part 2 of the review up today? Thanks!

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LisaGModerator
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Re: Video review: HP TouchSmart TM2 multi-touch tablet PC [Re: heatlesssun]
      #35832 - 01/31/10 07:38 PM

We're waiting for YouTube to complete processing the video before we post it. It takes up to 2 hours before the high quality (watchable) version of the video is available. So hopefully in an hour or so!

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Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview


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HoLo
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Re: Video review: HP TouchSmart TM2 multi-touch tablet PC [Re: LisaG]
      #35833 - 01/31/10 08:01 PM

Lisa, between the 1.3ghz + videocard and the 1.6ghz + videocard, do you think its worth the 200 bucks upgrade? My memory will be 4gb. I will webcam and photoshop, torrent, and take notes. Thanks!

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LisaGModerator
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Re: Video review: HP TouchSmart TM2 multi-touch tablet PC [Re: HoLo]
      #35835 - 01/31/10 08:44 PM

No, I don't think it's worth $200 for 300MHz worth of CPU speed improvement. If they were different CPU families then maybe, but the 1.6GHz is the same CPU type and class as the 1.3GHz.

Now dedicated graphics for $75? Totally worth it!

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ellis037
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Re: Video review: HP TouchSmart TM2 multi-touch tablet PC [Re: LisaG]
      #35841 - 02/01/10 08:20 AM

What a gorgeous cat! What's her/his name? Another great review by Lisa Gade. Thank you, Lisa.

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LisaGModerator
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Re: Video review: HP TouchSmart TM2 multi-touch tablet PC [Re: ellis037]
      #35843 - 02/01/10 09:27 AM

His name is Gupta and he loves compliments .

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