Larry Larsen

HP TouchSmart TX2 Multitouch Laptop

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I stopped by HP's Smart Home to see the refreshed TouchSmart TX2 Tablet/Laptop. The HP TouchSmart TX2 laptop has been my main (work) PC now for several months and it's easily the most versatile laptop I've ever had. It's a laptop, it's a Tablet PC, it's got multitouch, Dual Core, removable Lightscribe DVD burner, removable remote control, thumbprint reader, even dual headphone jacks. Best of all, the starting price of $700 (the previous TX2 has been on sale for less) it's more what you would expect to pay for a tricked-out netbook. But with Dual Core and 8GB of DDR3 RAM possible, it will run circles around a netbook. For those who think they won't use multitouch, this is a great way to dip your toes in the water, but be prepared to intuitively smudge the screen of every other laptop you use thereafter. You can also see my video on the consumer TouchSmart and business TouchSmart.



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    The Discussion

    • Ian2

      Cool, I picked up a TX2 last year* and have upgraded it to 64 bit Windows 7 - it works like a charm. A couple of weeks ago I dropped it onto a stone floor, I thought it was broken - the lightscribe had been thrown clear, as had the remote, but I put it back together and it carried on as if nothing had happened!  GREAT!   I'm playing with BumpTop at the moment (great fun), and also using it to develop touch apps (latest is .   I'm hoping that Silverlight 4, when it arrives, will make this kind of stuff a little easier!


      * Only 4GB RAM on mine!


      Larry, how do I get the upgraded Windows 7 application suite that you mention?

    • figuerres

      Yeah, my unit arrived Monday morning.  Next week I will take it to the local microsoft "Loadfest" to ugrade it to Windows 7!

      I wanted to pick options so it took 2 weeks for it to be built in china and then shipped to me.

      the shipping was kind of a pain...  I got 2 day shipping and at one point it looked like it was going to be 5-6 days but then monday it got to me on the 3rd day.


      got most of the "badges" off ok but one of them left nasty glue I am trying to remove w/o messing up the finish.


      nice system so far.... learning how to write long hand -- hardly done that for years.


      Microsoft / HP perhaps a tool / game / utility might be added to help folks practice writing cursive?

      like how we used to see "typing tutor" games in years gone by....

      "writing tutor" or "pen tutor" ??

    • LarryLarsen

      That's a good question, I'm trying to find that out myself. I'm going to try calling tech support in a few weeks and being very nice. 

    • LarryLarsen

      Yeah, I had the same problem. I ended up using some Goo Gone to get it off. Didn't hurt the finish on mine at all. I should probably mention the things I don't like about the laptop for full disclosure. As Ian2 mentioned, you don't want to drop it. It feels like the plastic would be brittle, so you want to be a little more careful with it than your average laptop. The plus side to that is that it is very lightweight. My biggest pet peeve is that the mouse buttons are a little small for my tastes. And finally, I'd like a better utility to toggle on/off touch  functions. If you're going to sit down and paint in Art Rage, you don't want touch enabled because when you rest your hand on the screen it will draw things where you touch. So when going nuts with a pen I want a better/faster way of turning off touch and turning it back on when done. An enterprising coder should be able to fix that one in an afternoon though. Wink

    • dentaku

      Oh, so the screen is good enough to use painting software like Art Rage with the pen.


      Did I see a Wacom logo on the laptop?

    • figuerres

      interesting...  my pet peeves with new pc's in general are the Norton they load.

      in fact you can't even close the activation form w/o having them open a web page asking why you don't like them!


      I removed them and load the MSFT security addon Smiley


      Droping - yeah I was amazed when Ian siad his survived ....  I am not about to test mine that way Expressionless


      the writing / printing recognition is amazing!  I had heard that is was really good but now I am practicing my skills and getting used to what works and what letters i need to work on.


      I do not think I am skilled enough to write the app but I can see a great use for the tablet in teaching penmanship to young folks and offering refresher courses to not-so-young folks who wan to write better for any reason.


      from the first time I saw pen / stylus input I have felt that that should become more mainstream.

      that plus multitouch IMHO are things that should be as common as the keyboard and mouse are today.


      each has it's strong areas... and can becomplimentary to the others in some cases.

    • figuerres

      as far as i can tell the tx2z does not use Wacom, i have not seen them in the drivers etc...


      as far as i can tell the pen is *VERY* accurate.

    • figuerres

      to be honest i would expcect to pay more like $1,000.00 US unless you really strip it down to the bare bones. or get a deal from a store on clearance or a sale.

      i think the top end price with all the options will be below $2,000.00 US or right at that.


      my build was about $1,300.00 after the hp store discount of $200.00


      that was with several options,  finger print, wireless n, 320 gig 7200 rpm drive, 8gigs of ram and the cpu is one of the large cache ones in the list. oh and the large battery.


      the large battery is a bit bulky, i will get the std battery in a few weeks and then i have the small one for carry around use and the large one for when i need more runtime.



    • BSalita

      I agree with Amazon and other review sites, both user and pro reviewers. TX2 is not a slick product. I defintely don't recommend buying one especially at this time. It is way compromised and there's better options announced. Read the reviews.


      I've used a TX2-1020US for about a year. I bought thinking I would develop touch apps. Instead, I'm really turned off due to TX2 design choices and impracticality of convertibles. Convertibles can be ok for OEM applications or development. I just can't see much uptake in today's designs.


      I do like multi-touch tablets and multi-touch touchpads. They definitely have good usability.


      The video presentation is too marketing oriented. I don't think Channel9 should be presenting 3rd party product pitches on mediocre products.

    • figuerres

      well honestly I did look around, what i found was there are not very many tablets on the market right now.  every one of them is far from ideal.  All of them I found tended to cost more and most of them did not have many options and features that this one has.


      Yes this one is not perfect. yes this video is more sales then tech. but i think we can all deal with the sales part.


      can you point out a better tablet that has specs close to this one and with a price that is not double this one?

    • LarryLarsen

      I don't think it's a mediocre product at all, especially at the price point. You don't like convertibles, you don't have to turn the screen around, right? IMHO options are better than not having options. In my case, I use the remote and the screen backwards to watch Media Center at night, and I use the screen backwards and flat to drive our teleprompter in the studio. Going forward, I'd like to get my hands on every multitouch device I can and show niners the differences between them, because they are many.

    • figuerres

      Larry I would sure like to see more coverage of whats out there and some ideas of average prices.

      also I would like to see how many systems now adopt multi touch.


      pen and touch IMHO should become very common.  I think they each have some great uses and it's that thing of make enough and the price drops and the quality goes up and then they become the norm.  like how today folks buy flatpanel tv's and monitors; but a few years back they cost to much and were "cutting edge" to most folks....

    • LarryLarsen

      I'll do all I can. If I had more time, I'd love to help with a Wiki that tracks multitouch hardware and multitouch extended software.


      IMHO Tablets have their place. They aren't an all day every day scenario for most people, but like I said before, options are always preferrable. BTW: You may want to follow me on Twitter, I'm planning to use that to push news on multitouch.

    • TechboyUK

      Looks like a good bit of kit - would be really good for taking on photography shoots.


      But why no firewire port or Blu-ray?

    • rhm

      That HP Touchsmart software is as badly designed as you expect any bundled software to be isn't it? Smiley


      I mean like touch screens make scrolling easier, but that doesn't mean you want to spend your whole time scrolling around a one-dimensional band of items when there's room on screen to display much more. I mean what is up with the huge icons of the launcher app - think the person that designed that has been watching too much hollywood UI design.

    • rhm

      On the subject of the actual hardware (cos if you're sane you're going to uninstall everything that came with it), I've seen the older non-multi-touch versions of this in shops and the screen always looks kindof odd due to the resisitive touchscreen panel infront of it. I guess this one is the same?  Would be nice to have a laptop/tablet with a glass capacitive touchscreen like the iphone's - probably too expensive/heavy/fragile though.

    • figuerres

      I can imagine Blu-ray could be done ...  the drive is using a connector that looks like a modified sata port.

      if they have a bd drive that is the right size and has the right connector i don't see why it would not work.


    • Niner

      I downloaded the Zune ver of this video and also 2 other HP touchsmart related videos , those 2 also in Zune format. And all these videos are not playing in Windows Media player. Is anyone else facing this problem? I can play it in VLC.

      I also downloaded along with this,The VS Documentary:Somasegar Full Length Interview and I can play this.

      Also other one on TechNet, a video I downloaded and that also not playing.

      Is there any problem in Zune format videos whcih have been put today? Earlier ones plays properly.


      First I thought there's some prob with my WMPlayer happened after my system updated with all the security updates released today. But earlier ones from yesterday , these videos plays . So having problem in videos in Zune format put today.


      Can this be checked , please? Is there any problem in codec to compress the file?

      Thanks !

    • BSalita

      Faster. better, cheaper multitouch notebooks are already announced. They are to drop next week with W7's release. I expect even more interesting models when Intel's *dales are released in January.

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