Review: Hewlett PAckard TX1000 series Tablet PC: The TX1000 was one of the remnants of the tablet PC era where tablets were poorly designed and widely unused. Unable to gain traction in the mainstream consumer eye, they went for years being a niche product until the iPad blew everything out the water and everyone needed a tablet. HP’s TX1000 was a consumer focused tablet PC running Windows Vista and generally a piece of crap. Do you see how I started that off right away with a straight out insult? Because that’s what this was- a terrible product and one that I would easily say I would not buy again if I could. The following is my IRL (in Real Life) review of the HP TX1000 and its a turd.
Heat/Reliability-I’m going to start this off right away with heat problems- on top of Nvidia’s GPU failures, HP really didn’t design this laptop well for heat dissipation. I would say that the majority of the time, the fan was on trying to cool the laptop down, even on idle mode. It was ridiculous. And the fan was LOUD- something that I thought was really really annoying. Especially since pushing the laptop mostly involved running office documents. The laptop would actually shut off sometimes from being overheated if I didn’t shut it down out of being annoyed of its fan. That heat vent on the bottom right of this picture got HOT and it was necessary to elevate the laptop to give it cool air intake. Nvidia also had the problem of poorly designing the heat sink on this laptop and it was part of the big lawsuit that I got a really really awesome chunk of change back. The GPU eventually melted off the motherboard, hence why I don’t have any pictures of the laptop running- its dead Jim. Everything still works (albeit very hotly) but there is no video output. Oh and this heat on this laptop was hot enough that you could not use this on your lap- it would burn it.
Design-It was definitely a cool design- the top screen swiveled so that you could lay it flat as a tablet top. It was neat for its time and would be a prelude to the huge variety of hybrid designs that the current ultrabook hybrid era has right now. I believe this is one of the better designs vs. the surfer/slider design that the VAIO DUO 13 has- mostly because it can still act as a functioning laptop without the odd weight distributions that some other designs struggle with- i.e. Surface. Aside from that, I thought the laptop looked pretty consumery- nothing special aside from its swivel. It was clearly one of the HP consumer laptops and not designed for a upper class lineup. Lots of plastics overall and a bit of a chunky feel. That chunky feel really held it back from being a good tablet- it was just too awkward to hold in the tablet mode. Also, I hate the battery sticking out the back- its just the standard battery too- usually the extended batteries do this, but HP could not fit the battery into the chassis. Its kind of ridiculous- the laptop is just 12 inchs but its 4.2 lbs. Its a fat fat laptop. At least the battery gives you something to hold on in tablet mode.
Keyboard- this is an important feature of a laptop – and it was pretty lame. No back light on these keys. TINY cramped keyboard- particularly the shift button. I always had to deliberately hit the shift button and disrupt the flow of my typing. This really cramped my style here. Didnt’ care much for the keyboard- it became a huge point for me to examine the shift key size on all later purchases.
Battery life– you can imagine a hot laptop not having good battery life- it didn’t. The AMD Turion was supposed to be the AMD answer to Centrino with speed step technology, but there really wasn’t good power management on board. Compared to mind blowing battery savings with Intel Haswell years later, the battery technology here was bunk and it lasted maybe 2-2.5 hours at most with the screen dimmed to like 1. And remember it was not a fast laptop, so where did that power go? To the heat loss probably. One thing I hate about this battery design is that it sticks out like a huge sore thumb here.
Everyday usage– You can see how thick the laptop is here- thats like 1 iPad and 1 ultrabook combined here. Its definitely too heavy to use in tablet mode- I used it in tablet mode maybe 5% of the time. As a laptop, it was really heavy for an ultraportable and the battery life was too poor to use it as an ultraportable. And yet it had a cramped 12 inch screen. Usually 12 inch laptops are supposed to give you freedom to roam but not this one. The small screen size is supposed to be the sacrifice for a portable device but it offered none of the latter. Another thing I hated was it just being heavy for a 12 incher- its the same weight as the VAIO SZ 13 incher that I have and thicker. It feels like a heavy bloated laptop that does not fit the needs of anybody- too heavy, thick and poor stamina for portable use, and too slow, too small screened for desktop use.
Power and Extras– I found the laptop to be ridiculously slow- I don’t know if thats a limitation of the AMD Turion CPU or the slow HDD speed, but it was a total lag machine and didn’t show a lot of promise as a desktop replacement. Hence the frustration of it being poor as a mobile device and a power device. I also didn’t find the Nvidia 6150 card to be very fast- better than integrated graphics but not a huge step up in speed. I definitely did not play games on this. Theres a neat little remote control built in that you can pop out to control media like Powerpoint slide shows. I liked that little piece. There’s also an empty tray you can replace the optical drive with so that it can cut some weight- it cut like 20 grams – its hardly worth the weight difference to lose the optical drive.
Speakers– One of the big things that I use a lot of, the speakers were actually quite good. Branded as Altec Lansing, HP has had a few partnerships (Beats and now Band and Olufsen) for their speakers. These speakers were actually quite good. While the bass was ok, not deep, the vocals were alright and perfect for listening to dialogue. They were a little close to hear stereo separation but other than that , they were fine as laptop speakers.
Screen- The screen wasn’t particularly sharp – 1280×800 resolution, but not bad for its time. What wasn’t good was the quality- it was noticeably dull and had a sparkly vibe to it. This was likely from the touchscreen functionality. The screen was a resistive touch panel and required pressure to register touch points. It wasn’t a severe limitation, but the screen was not a selling point of the laptop. I found the touch to be off and I had to constantly calibrate the screen. I also didn’t find it very useful- but that’s a problem with Vista and not necessarily the laptop.
You can tuck the stylus in here- it even had a place to tie a string so it wouldn’t get lost. You can also see that the hard drive was easily accessible here under the panel to the left- at least you can do basic maintenance things with it easily.
Conclusion- Its a turd- the HP TX1000 didn’t fit in any one need area well. It was too slow, cramped keyboarded and too small screened as a desktop replacement laptop. It was too hot, poor battery lifed, too thick and too heavy as a portable. It had an unremarkable screen. Touch was poorly integrated into its features and seemed more like a novelty than something useful (arguably, touch is still not that useful in a touch focused OS like Windows 8.1). It had like NO redeeming features. Add that to the unreliable nature of the machine from heating issues and it became a dud. While I have the ability to still repair this laptop, I have no incentive to do so. I got it for a good price from its MSRP, as it was a demo model. It was the first time I decided to give HP a chance, after being super averse to the brand for some time. I have since never given HP a chance again, and it looks like a lot of people have not, given the current status of the company. This laptop hybrid is terrible. Its no wonder Tablet PCs failed to gain market traction.
TLDR- Poor battery life, huge size and weight, poor speed, high heat issues, cramped keyboard, poor reliability, chunky unremarkable design, loud fan noise, meh screen, useless touch features. Notice how there are no pros in this list.