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HP TouchSmart tm2-1010ea - Performance, Battery Life, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

As already mentioned, European models of the tm2 are somewhat crippled by not featuring the option of Intel's newer Core i3 and i5 processors. The extent of this is obvious from the chart below, which compares to the Core i5 found in the similarly-priced Samsung SF310. However, where sub £1,000 tablet convertibles are concerned, the tm2's 1.3GHz SU4100 holds up quite well to the Celeron SU2300 CPU found in its closest rival, the Butterfly Touch.

While not quite as smooth as Nvidia's Optimus system as found on the SF310, AMD's switchable graphics nonetheless works, allowing you to get long battery life using Intel's integrated effort or extra performance courtesy of AMD when plugged in. You can even engage in a little modest gaming, as the Mobility Radeon HD4550 managed a smooth 34.7fps average in TrackMania Nations Forever (albeit at 1,200 x 800, which is slightly less demanding than our usual test resolution of 1,366 x 768). More demanding fare is not on the menu, however, and Stalker: Call of Priyat wasn't playable.

Thanks to a 62Wh, 11.1V battery, the tm2 can survive for quite a while away from a socket. In the semi-intensive Productivity test, it managed a very respectable seven hours and forty minutes, which should be plenty for most users. Of course this will decrease considerably if you use the AMD graphics.

When it comes to value, the tm2 is in an enviable position. It's one of the few convertible tablet laptops available on the consumer market, and the only one we're aware of with Wacom's digitizer built-in for under £1,000. Indeed, for the hardware and features you're getting, its current price of £600 is a bargain – especially when you throw in premium extras like the external DVD rewriter.

On the other hand, as a normal laptop its touchpad is a pain, and it's bulky with limited connectivity. As a tablet, it's not always comfortable to hold (not helped by its 1.9kg weight) and its poor screen really lets it down. Thus it's certainly not for everyone, but if you'll use its features, it's an affordable and versatile option.

Verdict

HP's tm2 is a mixture of great and disappointing, though its flaws are at least easier to stomach thanks to its reasonable price. With the added advantage of being one of the few players in its field, it's definitely worth considering if you're after a convertible tablet laptop, but we're still waiting for a machine of this type that truly delivers.

Jedibeeftrix

November 10, 2010, 4:03 am

great, but it needs AMD's Zacate Fusion APU and a slim battery pack.

Corzair

November 10, 2010, 5:21 pm

Shame about the screen and cpu - looked good esp considering price - I would like to get this with ssd too even a small one.


perhaps i'll have to physically see one to see if its for me.

Vivid

November 11, 2010, 1:38 am

I've had one of these for six months now and I'd have to broadly agree with Ardjuna's review. The screen is a disappointment and does feel like a missed opportunity, it's too heavy and the touchpad is a bit rubbish.





However, if you have the need for a convertible tablet PC, or just a strong desire to own one it's fantastic. The Wacom digitiser is excellent, the touch accuracy is very good and the battery life makes a strong case for itself with all day use. I've never felt that the machine is underpowered- for office, video and illustration work it's every bit as fast as my HP CAD workstation but if you're hoping to use it to edit and compress massive amounts of HD video then you've rather missed the point of the laptop.





I love mine as a mobile sketchpad (with the excellent Sketchbook Pro) and find the battery bump actually puts the screen at just the right angle for working. It's handy to use for sofa surfing in tablet mode and the keyboard is much nicer to use for long periods of tying than a tablet with no proper keyboard. The onboard graphics aren't great but if your gaming hopes don't stretch beyond a blast on Half Life 2 (or Plants vs Zombies on the touchscreen) or something of that level it's absolutely fine.





If I lost mine I'd buy another one tomorrow but if you don't really need the special qualities of a convertible tablet then you'd be better off looking elsewhere.

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