Well start with build and design of tx2500z. Since it has HP logo on the lid, you know what you can expect. Some kind of imprint finish with glossy all over the machine that's HP design. I don't prefer glossy finish much, but that's not bad. We'll see later how it goes.

HP Pavillion tx2500z HP Pavillion tx2500z HP Pavillion tx2500z

The machine is black, only keyboard & palm rest side are silver. Sometimes I just wonder why HP doesn't do all black or all silver :-P

stack1-thumb stack2-thumb stack3-thumb stack4-thumb

Comparing to others Tablet PC, its dimension is similar to other widescreen machine, but THICKER. I believe it's because of 2 things: choosing to use thick DVD burner & HP design style.

remote

Windows Media Center mini remote can put in Express/34 slot as a storage place, I like that, but I have no idea whether there is a chance to use it in practice?

tx2500z - blue LED tx2500z -- power-led

On the screen side, you will find a lot of blue indicator all along the bottom edge from left to right which I found it's just too much and by the fact that they choose to use blue LED is sometimes too bright and give you a fake feeling or try too much to be fancy. If they could dim a little bit or put thicker cover that might be awesome. For now, it's just too much for my taste. Also when you close the lid, you will find hardly to see the power status.

sticker

All labels on this is imprint, but the arrow for turning the screen is sticker. I don't really get it. Just 1 arrow why HP hasn't done at first place. Forget?

latch-thumb

Latch mechanism -- I just feel more secure with the latch while this day notebook manufacturer trend to like hinge mechanism more. HP choose to use magnetic latch here; when I first tried this, I'm just surprise that there is like something haul the screen to the body and stick to its place. Nice design here.

Tablet features

HP Pavillion tx2500z HP Pavillion tx2500z HP Pavillion tx2500z

I don't know if this should be a dedicated subject here for this machine since as you see, most of buttons along the screen edge is not productive buttons. They all are built for media centric; QuickPlay, Play, Pause, Forward, Backward, and so on. I never use them really. Only rotate screen and mobility center buttons are what it deserves to be here really. The reason why I said like this is I can't imagine anyone who put tx2500z in tablet mode to watch movie while in notebook mode is far more comfortable and any button functions can be replaced pretty easy by tapping on the screen (play, pause, fwd, or that stuff). HP should just swap all these buttons with volume and mute buttons. It would make more sense.

Screen

horizontal-viewing angle

This is the part I was very concerned when placed an order since I found that screen on tx2000 has such a narrow viewing angle on both horizontal and vertical which seems to be such a deal breaker to me. However, when I got tx2500z, I could say that I satisfied with a screen. It has pretty good horizontal viewing angle--only glossy finished make it worse because the color doesn't invert or washout, you just couldn't see it because it looks more like a mirror.

vertical-viewing angle

Vertical view is not so good as expected. It has only narrow view angle before color starts to be invert/washout or the screen turns to mirror instead. That makes me wonder why they don't just put the best screen and raise the price a bit or have that as an option. I believe most people are willing to pay extra for that--$100 should be a nice point.

Besides viewing angle, I'm lucky enough not to get any dead/stuck pixels on both screen of 2 systems since I am very likely to get one bad pixel on recently monitors I purchased. It doesn't bother me much, but just annoy to see it there. That's a good thing not to have, but down side is this screen is grainy--this is the first time I noticed it. In my opinion, it's because the passive digitizer layer; it somehow refracts the color from LCD a bit. Although, it's not a serious issue, but it's better not to have.

HP Pavillion tx2500z: Glare

Glare. This is a serious issue indeed. It is a problem with all glossy coating screen, I believe. You will be able to see yourself clearly if you dim the screen lower than 40% or you are in room with a lot of light sources. That's killing my eyes. When I was in that situation, my eyes were pain after using it 3-hour continuously. It's just the matter of taste; your mileage might different though.

Input devices

tx2500z - pen tx2500z - pen-tip

Pen, I included this as an input device this time since I haven't done this with X61 Tablet PC review because I just don't have anything to compare with. But this time, I could miss this part. Well, from the left image, the longer one with a red tip is X61T's, the smaller one is tx2500z's. I am not quite sure if it was my experience with X61T's one or not, but I just feel that tx2500z one doesn't feel that comfortable in hand. First, its material is glossy plastic while X61T's is coating with rubberized material. A lasso button also is flat with the surface and doesn't have a good feedback when pressing. I think it also causes from the button itself is wobble. The pen also comes with lanyard preventing a loss, but I found it jumbling around preventing me from inking rather than helping a thing. Overall, HP designed this not very well although tip and erase tip are nice--just right amount of pressure to use. Additionally, writing on glossy surface is strange, slippery, at first, but once you get used to it, it's quite good, a bit faster perhaps? Frankly this feeling makes me feel I should buy a screen protector sometimes while I never feel I need this when using X61T.

tx2500z -- touchpad


Touchpad

Most people would love to have this tactile on touchpad since you will feel like you are touching something besides only flat surface. Moreover, HP include scrolling area as a separate bar next to touchpad, so you don't have to worry setting it no more. Even though I'm not really a touchpad user, I could tell that it gives very good feedback and feeling while using it. It's pretty responsive and have a nice size + speed for controlling throughout the screen. A nice addition from HP is the button which you can disable touchpad on-the-fly, as far as I know, this comes with every HP machines for a while now. When you turn off, an indicator will turn red and it will turn blue again if you turn it on. Very nice implementation.

 

Keyboard

tx2500z - keyboard tx2500z - keyboard

Size is nice, layout is good. You will find this keyboard has almost no flex throughout the keyboard. All buttons give a nice tactile feedback, although it's not as soft as Thinkpad's keyboard, but it's real nice.

tx2500z - keyboard tx2500z - keyboard

However, it still has something to comment/complain. I have no idea why on earth HP put touchpad on the middle of the machine instead of middle of both hand. (think of when you are touch-typing.) It's like touchpad is around your right hand about 80%. It's just not right if ergonomic is what you concerned.

In addition, grave accent button is faaaaaar too small to press comfortably. They might think it is used less frequent than the rest, but they have no idea that Thai people use this as language switcher. Thus that's my issue!! If you look at the keyboard for a while, you may notice that buttons on the right edge: "backspace", "|, \", "enter", "shift" are very very big while the buttons on the left edge is smaller than usual. If they just make it more equal, touchpad would be in the center and there would be no small button issue like this.  For arrow keys, they all are half-height like esc and all function keys. I think it's small, but acceptable. Nevertheless, I would prefer to have PgUp, PgDw, Home, and End as a function of these 4 arrow keys instead of having dedicated button in somewhere, some place that you will not ever be familiar with like this. You know? I always have to find where PgUp & PgDw are although I use it more than a week. It's good, but should have been better!

Array of ports

tx2500z provides you good amount of ports available around the system.

tx2500z - right side

Right: Pen silo, 1*USB port, lanyard hole,  Ethernet Port, Expansion port, VGA and S-Video port.

tx2500z - left side

Left: Power jack, SD slot, Express/34 slot, and DVD-burner (you can swap this with the cover to decrease weight and theoretically power consumption.)

tx2500z - front side

Front: Power switch, Infrared receiver, SPDIF, headphone, and microphone jack.

tx2500z - back side

Rear: Air vent, battery, phone jack, 2*USB port, and Kensington lock.

cd-plastic-coverThis day, esp. packing with powerful graphic card, it at least should have included HDMI port along with others. At first I'm glad to see ports on the back again since my X61T has only ports on the side which I don't like much. However, instead of putting Ethernet port on the back, they choose to put in on the right side tend to front which is really awkward position if a cable is plugged. That makes Gigabit LAN useless indeed. HP might want to see increasing of HP Notebook QuickDock selling rate probably, but as far as QuickDock features is concerned, there is nothing worth to pay $100 extra at all. It's only a replicator without any thing extra. I don't think HP does a good job here. Anyway, I'm happy to see a plastic cover for replacing DVD burner included in the package.

 

Audio

HP Pavillion tx2500z

This is the most significant part of this Tablet PC. Since I never expect a good speaker on 12" notebook, tablet PC is much worse. With swivel screen and all buttons on the screen bezel, there is almost no where to put adequate speaker on, but HP manages so well and puts stereo speaker on the bottom on the screen. They are relatively loud--as loud as 15" notebook's one seriously. Also, by the fact that this speaker is on screen side, no matter how you are using it--notebook or tablet mode, you will be able to hear it clearly. Unlike X61T which you will hardly hear while using Tablet mode.

Have a break a bit, but it's not over yet. Let's go on with HP tx2500z -- spec & performance next.