capsule review

HP Pavilion tx1000

An artfully designed ultraportable convertible Windows Tablet PC, the HP Pavilion tx1000 is geared for multimedia. It's lightweight (4.2 pounds) and has some distinctive design touches, including a unique touchpad, that make it interesting. But its poor battery life and reflective screen make it a less-than-desirable traveling companion.

Among, the tx1000's many features are a built-in Webcam at the top of the screen and a fingerprint reader set into the left of the lid. It also has a three-in-one memory card reader, three USB 2.0 ports, and a double-layer DVD+/-RW drive. Indentations in the unique touchpad enable sensors to gauge your finger's movements. A scrollbar with similar perforations sits to the right of the touchpad.

All of the ports are conveniently laid out along the sides; helpful, readily visible gray icons identify the connections so you don't have to hunt. Buttons for HP's QuickPlay software (which lets you play DVDs or music without having to boot Windows) and for rotate the screen occupy the area just below the screen.

Converting from notebook to slate mode is easy, and the 12.1-inch screen rotates into place firmly. One quibble: The screen jiggles a bit when the tablet is in notebook mode and you are moving--say, if you're on a train--and that can be a little distracting. The tablet has an easy-to-use touch screen, though HP doesn't include a stylus or a place to stow one, so you have to tap the screen with your fingertip. The screen's responsiveness is quite good, however.

Unfortunately the screen lacks an antireflective coating--strangely, it seems to have another kind of coating with a smoky hue that makes seeing anything on the screen from an angle unduly difficult.

The tablet produced unimpressive results in our performance tests. On a beta version of WorldBench 6, the tx1000, equipped with a 2-GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60 processor and Windows Vista Premium Home Edition, managed a score of 74, a middling mark. It ran down quickly on our battery tests, too, lasting just one hour and 47 minutes. (Because our benchmark is still in beta, we can't assign the notebook a PCW rating.)

Nevertheless, it's nicely designed and comfortable to use, despite the screen glare. Just be sure to pack the AC adapter.

Kalpana Ettenson

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At a Glance
  • This easy-to-use tablet PC is graced with thoughtful design touches, but it had a short battery life in our tests. Read the full review

    Pros

    • Tablet is easy to use
    • Features a unique touchpad

    Cons

    • Battery life is poor
    • Screen is hard to see
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