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  1. #1
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    HP Pavilion tx2500 TABLET PC . Good times?

    I've been wanting a tablet pc for quite a while now. Our IT guy at work is all excited about this one, not just cuz it's cheap (800$ sale), but because it has decent specs. That's all fine and well, but what I really want is ARTIST feedback. How does it handle? Is there any delay on pen strokes or major compromise in line quality? Can it cope with high res PSDs? What about Zbrush? Can you get a nice workflow without the keyboard for shortcuts? Gimme the skinny people! Or maybe just thoughts on any tablet PC.

    HP Pavilion tx2500 Tablet PC specs:

    * AMD Athlon X2 QL-60 Dual-Core 1.9 GHz processor
    * 3GB DDR2 RAM
    * 320 GB hard drive
    * ATI Radeon HD 3200 IGP
    * 12.1" WXGA Display with dual active/passive digitizer (1280x800)
    * 8X DVD multiformat burner with LightScribe
    * 802.11 a/b/g/n WLAN with Bluetooth support
    * Windows Vista Business OS
    * Integrated gigabit Ethernet and v.92 modem
    * 6-cell battery
    * Integrated webcam, fingerprint reader, Mini Remote Control
    * ExpressCard/34 Slot
    * 1 x Multi-format card reader
    * 3 x USB ports
    * 2 x headphone out and one microphone-in
    * 1 x Expansion port
    * 1 x VGA and S-video
    * Weight: 4.5 lbs


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  3. #2
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    NO! Don't do it.

    I made the mistake of getting an HP, only to realize once I got it out of the box that it's a touch screen. It is not pressure sensitive. It does not use wacom tech. It's a fine computer if you don't use it for drawing.

    After returning it, I went with a Gateway C-140x, which I have been very happy with.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by VampireHungerStrike View Post
    NO! Don't do it.

    I made the mistake of getting an HP, only to realize once I got it out of the box that it's a touch screen. It is not pressure sensitive. It does not use wacom tech. It's a fine computer if you don't use it for drawing.

    After returning it, I went with a Gateway C-140x, which I have been very happy with.
    Actually, I believe that was the case with the Tx1000 series. The Tx2000 does feature a touch screen, but the touch screen deactivates with the pen is near the screen. If I remember correctly, the tablet features 254 levels of pressure sensitivity.

    I haven't seen this in action though. I recall hearing some remarks about a grainy screen. Use the search function within the forum and you should be able to find threads that discuss this particular tablet.

  5. #4
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    I have a Tx2100, its not bad for a sketching tool, but I would find serious finished work hard to do on it.

    The screen is quite grainy and difficult to view in outside daylight conditions, though if you are at the right angle it's ok. The pen, although it has pressure sensitivity is nowhere near as nice as a wacom tablet or cintiq. The touch screen doesn't cause me any trouble when drawing though, as the above poster said, the touchscreen is deactivated when the pen is near the screen.

    I don't know about Zbrush though, never used it myself, sorry. If you're looking to do intense work on this, you're probably better off looking at a higher quality tablet PC or cintiq. This laptop is good for general use and entertainment (though I have issues with Vista, but that's another can of worms).

  6. #5
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    Hrmm...I must have had the Tx1000 then. I wonder, does the Tx2000 series also have the slightly visible touch screen grid in the display? That was distracting.

  7. #6
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    Thanks for the replies!
    I went ahead and bought it. I've got 14 days to decide if I really want to keep it. I just started messing with photoshop on it in the last half hour. Mixed feelings so far. I really need to figure out how to program the side buttons. That will make a huge difference.
    Anyway, I'll write a full report in the next while. Seems like there is precious little info regarding artist's impressions of tablet PCs.

    VampireHungerStrike:
    Havoc is correct. This one has 256 degrees of pressure sensitivity. But is it enough...?

    Bleupencil:
    Thanks for the info. And yeah, I more want this guy for just sketching both in 2D and 3D. The shiny screen is a bit of an issue. I'm wondering if it's possible to get a matte film to place over it and would that impact the sensitivity...

  8. #7
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    - get a mini usb keypad, or get a USB numpad and set shortcuts.

    - 256 pressure is enough for me

    - pressure sensitivity has nothing to do with the screen. The pen sends that information.

    -touchscreen can be turned off if you want, in the control panel.
    Last edited by Duq; August 28th, 2008 at 09:28 AM.
    "Master storytellers never explain. They do the hard, painfully creative thing-- they dramatize"

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  9. #8
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    I'm currently using this one for my college course.. and it works like a charm. I've got the 2.4ghz/320gb hdd/4gb ram version with vista 64 bit.
    Photoshop runs smoothly (ofcourse it starts to lag at very big brushes), and also the 256 pressure levels screen is more than enough for me.
    I bought this one cause i wanted a tablet pc and this one has by far the best specs of any tablet pc on the market today.
    I haven't really had any negative experiences with it, apart from the sound getting a little choppy when playing music in the beginning..
    I fixed that though, and now im totally happy with it.

    The fix: had to do with the network card.. go to device manager>network adapters>broadcom wifi adapter>properties>advanced>disable bands>choose ''disable 802.11a''
    Last edited by The-Mentat; August 28th, 2008 at 02:48 PM.
    sketchbook: http://c ghub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6480
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    "We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars." -Carl Sagan

  10. #9
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    Hi there, I'm currently actually typing on a tx2117cl (2100 with some extra stuff)

    as far as using it for ps/painter I use it all the time, it only has about 512 pressure level so dont expect any great ranges.
    if you still have a desktop, or another laptop you're set. I use it to start my sketches, and blocking it out and such. real details i just transfer the file over.

    one thing that I and ALOT of people noticed is the AMD chip. it IS SO HOT. dont expect to use this in your lap for long periods of time. also, unless your plugged in or on high performance, the screens a little reflective from anything not a straight on view.

    I use it mainly for taking notes in MS onenote. but like I said, it doubles as a great quick sketch out/blocker till you get back to your main setup.

    if you can wait about 6-7 months HP has a new elitebook 2730 which uses an intel chip, anti-glare screen and is lighter and thinner. rumors say it'll have some more pressure levels but iunno.

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    I picked one up to try it out and returned it. I'm not impressed with the passive tablet. The viewing angle was pretty bad. It's WACOM pen enabled, but it's a pain when the cursor wants to follow the pressure of your hand rather than the pen. Although I didn't know there might me an option to fix that in the control panel. I was also hoping it would be a bit lighter.

    I keep hoping Apple will finally produce a tablet.
    Last edited by karichristensen; August 29th, 2008 at 12:20 PM.

  12. #11
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    If anything look at the MODBOOK....too bad it has OSX on it and you'll have to run windows through bootcamp.

  13. #12
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    I don't know much about the HP, but I recently got a "motion computing" slate and it's quite impressive.

    Viewing angles are much better than my previous tablet and the pen is much CLOSER to the screen, this makes a big difference.

    It shows in many details that motion computing does not make other products than tablets.

    I previously had a tecra M4 convertible that fried.
    Last edited by tarc; August 29th, 2008 at 12:51 PM. Reason: spell fizzled

  14. #13
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    Yeah- the Modbook seems potentially alright, but I haven't used it so I don't know what to think. I'm not so excited about paying a lot for a decapitated macbook. It would be more tempting if it had the specs of a macbook pro.

    Bootcamp- not necessary. I'm good with OSX.

    Tarc which Motion Computing slate do you have, the LE 1700? How does the display look in sunlight? How difficult would it be to open it up and add more RAM?
    Last edited by karichristensen; August 29th, 2008 at 12:14 PM.

  15. #14
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    I haven't had time to play around much outside with it, it's a LE1600.

    I've tried it just a minute ago, partly cloudy today, white gets gray but you can read and distinguish everything. there is a built-in ambient light detector that adjust the lcd consequently.

    This is a model with the "view anywhere" option. I've heard the fujistsu screen are better in this regard, but I haven't tried them and cannot tell the difference.

    The ram is under a cover retained by two screws in the back.

  16. #15
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    convertible-tablet laptops are pretty much useless without certain features... so good luck with OSX without any support.

    on windows tablet addition you have all the virtual keyboards and stuff. youd have to open up the laptop to hit a hotkey/shift-click/etc.
    either that or one of the linux tablet OS' which I have dual booted on my tx, you could put that on the mod book.


    and yeah we've all seen that mac has patents on a tablet/multitouch keyboard/macbook thingamajig, but if every company made what they had patents for we'd have a nintendo gameboy/phone and a xbox motion controller.

    (why the hell do i look up patents again?)

  17. #16
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    Good point text entry would be pointless in OSX, unless modbook has written their own app for that. Another reason it doesn't add up to me.

    Yeah, Apple has a lot of patents out there. Who knows. But we are not talking about a crazy combination of technology. Hopefully demand for tablets and slates will grow and the design of the devices will improve.

  18. #17
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    This is so great that ARTISTS are having dialogue about the merits of tablet pcs. It's kind of hard to find that online.
    I think I'm going to return the tablet due to the fact that currently it is impossible to reprogram the screen-side buttons. I spent a solid six hours researching and testing various ways to do it with no success. From what I've read on tabletPCreview.com about this model, I'm not alone. You may be able to repurpose some of the buttons to call up other programs but good luck trying to get Shift, Alt, or Ctrl working. Those are pretty critical for fast workflow in PS so I'm out. I know you can get a usb keybad or even a laser keyboard (http://www.fahad.com/pics/bluetooth_...l_keyboard.jpg pretty neat) but then I would need a surface to set up on and the whole point is the mobility of a sketchpad. I even called HP's tech support, which was worse than a joke. the very concept of customizing the buttons was foreign to them and they couldn't even find the control panel applet that your supposed to use to do it. Oh well, at least I learned a lot about tablet PCs in the process.
    I'll just wait a little longer...

  19. #18
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    I'm gonna say it again. Get a a mini usb keyboard, or a usb numpad. The things are very cheap, and so easy to use. I know several artists with tabletpc's, and they all use one of those. You dont really need a surface as well, I tend to just hold my numpad in my hands, working it like a remote control.
    "Master storytellers never explain. They do the hard, painfully creative thing-- they dramatize"

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  20. #19
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    i bought a usb numpad for external buttons...

    wasted 20 bucks. Ps wont let you set number buttons to things necessary as shift, ctrl, any of the lettered hotkeys, etc. there are other things you could buy though, I got a flexible keyboard (or roll-up as its called on some sites, think geek has it I know) and I use that pretty well. I've heard people using the bluetooth to hook up their cell phone or a wii remote for hotkey presses (the wiimote mod was pretty cool because they painted with it to, it was a desktop comp though)

    and customizing the screen buttons? hah! it took me forever to find out how to turn off the annoying click sound on my old hp dv9420us' (17 inch screen pavilion) media buttons. (HP help service doesn't even know that that option is just in the bios setup)

    I love HP but, like most companies, they forget that people use things differently than other people. the tx line wasnt made for art, it was made for notes (which is the number 2 reason I bought it. so much easier to organize notes on here rather than a binder, and that is why I havent gotten rid of this laptop yet.)




    quickplay must die. I've honestly thought about opening up my laptop and soldering off the screen buttons that open it up.

  21. #20
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    Just hope that Wacom comes up with a new line of tablet pcs.....now that would be a killer.

  22. #21
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    Man, I was just discussing getting one and this thread comes up. AWESOME.

    Do we have a verdict, though? I know next to nothing about computer hardware, so figuring these things out on my own is really damn tough.

    I need something that I can use as my main computer, though, so I don't want to have to switch from the Tablet PC to a desktop just to do fine detail...

    Can you use a cintiq with a laptop? I assume so, but as I've never had one...

  23. #22
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    if you want it for taking notes in class and as a sketch book, by all means its a great device.

    pros: wacom, small, great processing, fast read/write speeds, alright battery life for something this small.

    cons: no external programmable buttons for use in Ps etc., gets hot, on the heavy side, only 512 pressure levels, screen near unreadable if not plugged in or with backlight on 100%

    verdict:
    for artists: 6/10
    for note takers: 8/10
    for people like me who just use it to sketch/paint without heavy details and as a note taking device: 9/10 (its still hot and heavy lol)

    wait until the HP elitebook 2730 comes out. it uses an intel chip, so there goes the heat, and is like a pound and a half lighter. it also has an anti-glare, scratch proof screen. still no external buttons though, so you'd still have to work around that.


    perfect tablet in my eyes:
    top half of the screen is just a 15 inch cintiq. a clear, anti glare cintiq with all the pressure levels as the original. with external buttons... atleast 10. and with all the same specs as the eb2730. bog that would be amazing... and expensive.

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by karichristensen View Post
    but it's a pain when the cursor wants to follow the pressure of your hand rather than the pen. Although I didn't know there might me an option to fix that in the control panel.
    Yes there is an option to turn that off. Control panel>tablet pc settings>other>go to pen and input devices>touch>deactivate ''use your finger as an input device''>ok ...done.

    And like Duq said, if you're using one of these you want to get a mini usb keyboard too.. ofcourse you don't want to open up the laptop everytime you need to hit a key..duh.
    Also I find the 256 pressure levels just great for digital painting.. I wonder if you'd even see the difference between 256 and 512.
    sketchbook: http://c ghub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6480
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  25. #24
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    hey sorry to revive this thread but i was trying to find more info about the slate models of tablet pc's (smaller and with no keyboard) anyone has some good ones to suggest?
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    Hmm, I don't know much about slate tablet PCs. But about the tx2500z, what is the drawing like? Is it accurate, or do you have to zoom in to retrace your lines?

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