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HP TouchSmart tx2-1020ea review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £999
inc VAT


12.1 in 1,280×800 display, 2.3kg, 2.3GHz AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-84, 4.00GB RAM, 400GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

The tx2-1020ea is similar in design to the tx2130ea, with both being tablet touchscreen laptops. The case is sturdily built, with rounded edges and a smart, glossy metallic finish. The keyboard and touchpad are both of a good standard.

The wide screen bezel houses a webcam and fingerprint reader as well as controls for the touchscreen interface. One problem common among touchscreens is image quality. This display has an extra layer, like frosted glass, which is highly visible when you’re watching moving images and also makes colours and whites look rather dull.

You have the option of using your fingers or the stylus, which comes with a lanyard and fits into a slot in the case. It supports multi-touch gestures, such as pinching two fingers together to zoom in. However, until Windows 7 appears, there’s little support for these apart from within HP’s own multimedia software.

Using the pen to navigate around Windows is easy, but it’s more useful for handwriting recognition. It managed to decipher our uneven scrawl with few mistakes, and has an easy-to-use interface that lets you correct individual words or letters. With the tx2-1020ea in tablet mode, you can carry it like a clipboard and use the pen to take notes or annotate drawings.

The tx2-1020ea comes with two batteries. The smaller four-cell battery fits flush, shaves 200g off the weight and lasts for two hours and 47 minutes. The larger eight-cell battery lasts for five hours and 24 minutes, but protrudes from the rear. It’s nice to have the option, though.

At 2.3GHz, its AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-84 processor sounds quick, but the actual application performance leaves a lot to be desired. The tx2-1020ea is outperformed by many notebooks costing just two-thirds of its price, which is unacceptable even for a tablet. On the plus side, there’s a big 400GB hard disk fitted, so there’s plenty of storage space for your files.

It’s hard for most users to justify spending £1,000 on a tablet PC, but it’s money well spent if you like to make handwritten notes for later reference. Unfortunately, the tx2-1020ea doesn’t have the performance we’d expect at this price. If you’re in no hurry to upgrade to a touchscreen, then you’re better off waiting until Windows 7 is available.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-84
Processor clock speed 2.3GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 4GB
Size 54x308x239mm
Weight 2.3kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 24W
Power consumption active 60W


Viewable size 12.1 in
Native resolution 1,280×800
Graphics Processor ATI Radeon HD 3200
Graphics/video ports VGA
Graphics Memory 64MB


Total storage capacity 400GB
Optical drive model HL-DT-ST GSA-T50L
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g
PC Card slots 1x ExpressCard/34
Modem Yes
Supported memory cards SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input, minijack S/PDIF output


Carrying case Yes
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Cyberlink DVD Suite, Microsoft Works 8.5

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £999

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