Avoid the HP tx2000 series tablet pcs

If you are in the market for a Tablet PC, I would avoid the HP tx2000 series. The tx2115 nr (tx2115nr) is my personal specimen, and I have decided that it is a piece of junk.

Here are the problems (in no particular order):

1. The cursor intermittently and completely unpredictably jumps to the lower right corner of the screen sometimes.
I cannot make it happen, but when it starts doing it, I have to disable the tablet service.
Some people think it is EM interference from the fan, and have suggested turning the screen slightly. Sounds like HP has not acknowledged the problem.

2. The fan always runs, and is too loud. And the CPU is too hot.
For whatever reason, the fan never stops. Even it it’s lowest state it’s annoying, but as soon as you – oh I don’t know – move the mouse, the fan starts going faster. It’s insane.

3. The indicator lights are too bright and cannot be disabled.
This is marketed as an entertainment PC, so watching movies would be expected. If you want to watch a movie in the dark, those darn lights are VERY distracting.
The lights are also far too bight when in standby or even off – the charging light is bright enough to see a room once your eyes have adjusted. For some reason, they though they needed to leave the wireless light amber while sleeping as well, since I might forget that I have wireless disabled while the computer is asleep…

4. Terrible standby time.
My previous laptop could go several days on standby. This guy? After one day the battery is drained.

5. The dreaded Vista UAC / login / resolution change blank screen delay bug.
The Nvidia GeForce Go 6150 (I hear the whole 6100 series) has a bug when using any recent drivers in Vista where there is a several second delay when UAC blanks the screen, when you login or out, and when you change resolutions. This delay lasts anywhere from 5 – 20 seconds (in the lastest windows 7 drivers it’s a good 10-seconds per mode switch, and there are several while logging off…)
Sure, you can use an old, slow, buggy driver to avoid the delay… but why the heck doesn’t Nvidia or HP figure out what it is sitting there waiting for??

6. Disk performance is poor
For some reason, even though the chipset can handle Sata-II, under certain circumstances, it only operates at Sata-I. Here again, generally it requires old, buggy drivers to get it working correctly.

7. Poorly place fingerprint scanner
The position of the fingerprint scanner – on the left side of the screen bezel, requiring you to swipe horizontally – is just plain inconvenient. It might work if you had the thing laid flat for use as a tablet, but this is inconvenient as there are none of the typical navigation buttons on the bezel. Or power…

8. Drivers for the buttons are buggy, bloated, slow, inconfigurable, and annoying.
HP decided not to make the buttons standards compliant – they are some sort of proprietary interface that nobody has figured out (last I checked, the linux community had no idea how the drivers communicated with the buttons).
The result is that you must use HP’s drivers to use the buttons, but those drivers are very poorly written. the download is HUGE, it slows down your computer noticeably, and it forcibly changes the orientation of your screen when you switch into tablet mode — and you cannot change it!!

9. Playback control buttons are poorly placed.
The buttons for playback control are on edge of the screen, on the back side. When you switch to tabled mode, they are inaccessible. Otherwise they are too easily bumped, or require you to reach around to the other side.

10. Crappy speaker quality.
The Bezel says “Altec Lansing” I guess they make good speakers? Well not in this case. They are tinny, and distort easily.

11. The touchpad is unreliable.
Maybe this is just a driver issue, but with every OS I’ve tried on this thing, the touchpad will intermittently stop scrolling. It acts like it should be scrolling, the configuration window thinks it is scrolling, but I cannot get any windows to scroll. VERY ANNOYING.

12. Glossy screen.
Why would they not put an antireflective coating on this? I see more of what’s behind me than what is on the screen sometimes.

Is there anything good about this laptop?
So far, the display hinge has performed admirably.

I realize that this laptop is no longer in production, but I feel it is important to get a followup review out there. HP has ditched support for this thing. The official drivers are all quite stale and there are unfixed, widely reported bugs. I have no confidence in HP’s ability to keep consumer laptops up to date in the future.

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