While convertible notebook computers aren’t exactly ‘all the rage’, they aren’t bad for those that are looking for a little bit of everything.
There are actually quite a few different models out there, as tablet PCs of this type have been around much longer than the current ‘tablet craze’ we see today, in fact they’ve existed for about a decade or so now.
Today’s tablet convertible in review is the HP TouchSmart TM2T. On the tablet front in general, HP has had poor-to-mixed success at best. How about their tablet convertibles? Do they hold up better?
We are going to find out, starting with a look at the hardware specifications that make this device tick:
- Intel Core i3-330UM (1.20GHz,3MB)
- 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5450 switchable graphics
- 12.1″ WXGA High-Definition HP LED BrightView Widescreen (1280×800) with Integrated Touch-screen
- 3GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
- 500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
- Fingerprint Reader with HP Imprint Finish
- Wireless-N Card with Bluetooth
- LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer Support
- 6-Cell Lithium Ion Battery
- 5-in-1 digital media reader
- Dimensions: 8.82″ x 12.05″ x 1.23″/ 1.52″ (with 4-cell battery)
- Weight: 4.65 lbs (varies by configuration)
Not awful specifications so far, though maybe a little weighty. We will get started with this review by taking a look at the overall design.
Look And Feel
The TouchSmart tm2 is not at all a bad looking notebook, and at first look you’d have no clue that it doubles as a tablet device. The chassis is rather thin and feels very durable, thanks to its magnesium alloy and aluminum case design.
The two-tone body is very beautiful, and allows a style to the notebook that certainly makes it stick out, but in a good way.
Holding the device as a tablet isn’t going to be very comfortable, but having it in tablet mode in your lap certainly feels natural enough.
It’s also worth noting that the touchscreen works as expected, nothing too fancy, but it gets the job done.
Bravo! The TM2’s battery life is about 5 and a half hours in length, not at all bad for this kind of device. This is running on a balanced power mode in Windows 7. It also can run for a very long time in hibernate without actually dying, up to as long as a week.
The i3 isn’t the fastest processor on the block, but for most mid-to-moderate usage you’ll find it gets the job done. It’s also nice to see that this device comes with a DVD burner, for the times when you just need a media drive.
Multitasking works great in Windows 7 and you won’t notice any lag on day-to-day use. Of course it isn’t exactly a powerhouse so no major video editing or gaming. It will handle lower setting games perfectly though, and HD Video runs like a dream.
Anytime x86 processors are involved you need to wonder about whether heat will be an issue. With HP’s convertible, it isn’t too bad of a problem. The system fan and heatsinks manage things well, but it can get a little hot. Luckily, nothing too distracting or uncomfortable to the touch.
Windows 8 – Potential?
Windows 8 and the new Metro UI should run quite flawlessly on the i3 processor. Additionally, the monitor’s resolution means that there shouldn’t be an issues or need of tweaks to get Win8 running at all.
Summing It All Up…
Do I think that this is a worthy convertible? Yes, I actually do.
HP did a good job with this model and although at around 5 pounds, it is no e-reader, it could be great for those who really need more of a laptop that can occasionally work as a tablet for specialty programs or just to have a more optimized Windows 8 experience.
It is worth noting that this isn’t a new model by any means and since it’s been around for a while, you might have trouble locating it new. At Amazon, I found one new but it was for $2000.
On the other side, Amazon has a used model selling for $749.
If you don’t mind getting something pre-owned, I think that $749 is a heck of a deal if you are looking for a touch device that will play nice with Windows 8 and provide the best Metro experience possible.