My newest toy…

I picked up the tx1232la, which ended up a finalist for best ultralight notebook in Latin America, from PC World.

tx1000-hp.jpg

The tx1000, which is the parent model for the 1232, recieved a pretty good review from CNET

HP is one of the first vendors to announce a laptop specifically built to run Windows Vista, and somewhat surprisingly, its initial offering is a convertible tablet. Unlike other tablets, such as the Lenovo ThinkPad X60, which are aimed primarily at business users, the HP Pavilion tx1000us targets the more average consumer. HP refers to it as an entertainment notebook, and the system includes media control buttons, dual headphone jacks, a touch screen that works with any stylus or your fingertip, and a new, high-gloss finish–all of which add to its consumer-friendly vibe. The $1,299 base price Pavilion tx1000us (our review unit cost $1,720) isn’t set to ship until February 28, which is disappointing, and the AMD Turion 64 X2 processor wouldn’t be our first choice, but in terms of performance and features, our first experience with a Windows Vista laptop has been a positive one.

The HP Pavilion tx1000us measures 12 inches wide, 8.75 inches deep, and 1.5 inches high, slightly narrower and deeper than the Fujitsu LifeBook T4215 tablet. It’s large enough to work on for long stretches, but the small 12.1-inch screen can strain the eyes a bit over time. The tx1000us weighs 5 pounds (5.8 pounds with the AC adapter), which makes it easy to tote around in a laptop bag or carry around as a tablet, but it’s a little on the thick side for easy handling.

As a convertible tablet, the tx1000us uses a center hinge to swivel the screen around, allowing it to fold down over the keyboard. The hinge feels sturdy, and the lid locks down cleanly when in tablet mode. Using the system in tablet mode may take a little getting used to. Unlike most other tablets, the HP Pavilion tx1000us uses a touch screen, not an active stylus. That means that you can use any stylus or any stylus-like object–even your finger. That can be very handy and certainly adds a little bit of that Minority Report-feel as you whip windows around with your fingertip.

You may need to adjust your writing style, however, because the touch screen isn’t as responsive as traditional tablet screens–if it were, resting your palm on it would drive the system crazy–so a firm hand and deliberate pen strokes are needed. Whether you prefer this or an active stylus system is largely a matter of personal preference. We like the idea that if you lose your stylus, you’re not out of luck.

The Pavilion tx1000us uses the Home Premium version of Windows Vista, which includes all the features home users want, including Aero effects, while forgoing some of the business-oriented security and networking features found on the Business and Ultimate editions. While Vista doesn’t offer too many new features aimed squarely at laptop users, tablets get a few new programs including Pen Flicks, which enables basic navigation (forward, back, scroll) and commands (copy, paste, and so on) via simple stylus movements. We found the response a little tricky, but with more practice, we could see it being a useful way to work quickly.

I have not found any real lack of features in the version of Vista that ships with the unit. In all honesty, my biggest challenge is in using Vista in Spanish. Something I am not accusstomed to doing. While I speak and read Spanish fine, it is a bit challenging to use a computer with everything in Spanish. I only started playing with it last night, so I still dont have the complete hang for it. But I can tell you that it has great battery life, and comes with a trunkload of goodies.

hp-pavilion-tx1232la-entertainment-pc.pdf

While I absolutely adore my Dell Precision M65 for its raw processing power and well, “precision,” Carrying it through airports is no fun. I am looking forward to spending the next couple of months working a project in Nicaragua, with a computer that is small, light and powerful.

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