Test Driving a HP Pavilion Entertainment PC TX1000

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I’ve been a dedicated Machead (as one of my friends likes to call me) for going on 2 years now. I use a 24″ iMac as my main desktop computer and a 15″ Macbook Pro as my travel companion. At my day job I use a Dell Inspiron notebook, so I live in both worlds during the work week. I don’t hate the Windows OS, but I find for me that I enjoy using a Mac over a Win box. I guess it’s my strong Unix background or something… Anyway, I don’t normally get very excited about most hardware running Windows as they just aren’t my thing. Guess what? I recently had the opportunity to test drive a device that even a Machead can appreciate…

The folks at HP sent me the HP Pavilion Entertainment PC TX1000. This baby has everything but the kitchen sink packed into a nice sized package. Here are some of the main specs:

AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core 2.0GHz processor
2GB of RAM
160GB HD
12.1″ WXGA Hi-definition HP BrightView Widescreen Touch-screen display (1280 x 800)
Wifi 802.11a/b/g and Bluetooth
LightScribe Super Multi 8X DVD R/RW with Double Layer support
Dimensions: 12″ x 8.8″ x 1.5″
Weight: 4.2 lbs.

Windows Vista Premium

I don’t think you can see from the image above, but the TX1000 has a deep Blue hi-gloss cover that has an imprint finish in a wave pattern that was inspired by a Zen garden. Although it’s very nice looking, it is very shiny and also quite smudge prone.

Open the screen and you are greeted with a very nice display. I don’t think it is quite as bright as my Macbook Pro, but it’s very nice. The display is glossy, which I prefer because they are easier to clean. But the best feature of the display is that it can rotate 180 degrees and fold flat.

Yes, this notebook converts into a full touch screen tablet. Very nice! A special stylus is not required either. Even though it comes with a pop out stylus, you can use your favorite one with this device. So you can even use your finger if you like. I’ve only tried other tablets briefly, but I think I almost prefer their special radio controlled styli better because the touch screen on the TX1000 felt a little unresponsive at times. I would have to tap more than once on a web link or button for it to recognize what I wanted to do. I think I prefer the keyboard to using a stylus because I can type so much faster than I can write. That’s just me though and I’m sure it all depends on getting used to it.

I do like that when you flip the screen, it automatically goes into portrait mode which is great for surfing web sites and reading documents.

Another great way to use the TX1000 is to turn the screen around 180 degrees and instead of folding it flat, leave it as is and use the notebook as a DVD viewer. It even comes with a pop out Infrared remote, so you don’t have to get up from your LazyBoy to pause movies. The viewing angle of the widescreen display is also very good compared to some laptops I’ve tried in the past.

Let’s take a quick tour… Along the front edge is the power slider switch, IR receiver, 2 headphone out jacks (1 w/SPDIF Digital Audio and 1 Stereo) and a microphone jack.

On the Left side, there is the AC adapter port, 5-in-1 media card reader, underneath it is the pop out remote control and next to it is the DVD-RW optical drive.

Flip to the Right side and you’ll find the pop out stylus, a USB 2.0 port, Ethernet port, Expansion port, VGA out and S-video ports. You can also notice media controls built into the edge of the screen.

Speaking of media, this is where this notebook shines. The TX1000 has built in Altec Lansing speakers which sound REALLY good. This device also has a media interface called QuickPlay that gives you access to features like the DVD functions, TV, Video, Karaoke, and the integrated Web camera.

The back side has an RJ-11 modem port and 2 more USB 2.0 ports.

I love the keyboard size and feel. It feels like the full size keyboard that I use all day with my desktop computer. I love not feeling cramped.

The touch pad area is really nice too. It has many tiny indentations that give your finger a non slip surface to travel across. Also the right most edge has a dedicated scroll area.

Battery life is pretty decent. The smaller 4 cell battery lasts approximately 3hrs, while the higher capacity 6 cell battery typically ran for about 4.5hrs. Great for watching 2 movies on a flight.

If you’re looking for a media-centric laptop that won’t break your back (4.2lbs) and your bank account (it starts out at $1299), you might want to take a closer look at the TX1000. I’m not trading my Macbook Pro in for one, but I wouldn’t turn one down if someone wanted to give me one either ;o)

6 thoughts on “Test Driving a HP Pavilion Entertainment PC TX1000”

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  2. thanks for the review. I have been looking at this specific computer for a few days now. I like its size & weight.

    I’d like to see its keyboard up close and know what you think about Vista Premium as opposed to Ultimate. (I need remote desktop which only functions as a client in Premium, I’m told.)

    How would you compare it to the MacBook? I’ve read so many bad things about the construction of the MacBook….

    thanks for your help…

  3. Bill:

    I’m sorry, it’s already boxed up and ready to go to the FedEx office, so I can’t get you a close up of the keyboard. I’m pretty picky when it comes to keyboards, and I found this one easy to type on after typing on a regular full-size desktop keyboard all day.

    I can’t help you with comparing the different versions of Vista as I don’t use it. What little I have used, I actually prefer XP as it seems snappier.

    How would I compare it to my 15″ MacBook Pro? First of all, the Pro is bigger than the HP, but thinner. The MacBook doesn’t have all the nifty media buttons like the TX1000, but it does have the built in web cam. As far as performance, the MacBook runs quieter and feels faster… but it’s running a different OS.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Bill:

    My contact just was nice enough to send me a picture of the keyboard which I just pasted into the original posting. Go take a look :o)

  5. I just got this laptop last week and I have to say I’m very impressed with it! Mine is very similar to the one reviewed, except it has a 120 GB HD instead of 160GB, has fingerprint reader and Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit version).

    The smaller screen is a plus for me, as I use it heavily during classes do take notes. The optional touch screen is a great feature, but I have to agree that it’s not as responsive as I would expect. And may I just say that I absolutely love the touch pad, it has a nicer feel to it than the ones we generally see on other laptops.

    To Bill:
    Windows Vista has been working pretty well for me, although I did have to upgrade some of the programs that I use.
    I believe you either need Windows Vista Business or Ultimate to fully use remote desktop connection though. I enjoy the added security features in Ultimate, such as Bitlocker Encryption and utilities like complete backup. Besides, with Ultimate you get Windows Ultimate Extras, which like the name says, are little extra features that Microsoft has been releasing through Windows Update only for Ultimate users. They range from language packs and a Bitlocker preparation wizard to fun but not so useful things as a Hold em poker game and Dreamscene, a feature that lets you use looped videos as your desktop background.

    Right now HP has a $150 instant rebate on the tx1000 and 35% off on Windows Vista Ultimate, you might want to check that out.

  6. Patricia:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the TX1000! Glad that you like it too.

    The one I had did have a fingerprint reader too… I just forgot to talk about it. oops! ;o)

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