So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Hewlett-Packard Australia Compaq TC4200
- Strong performance
- Nothing of note
The TC4200 is a well-rounded tablet with top-end features and usability.
Price$ 3,995.00 (AUD)
Have you noticed the surge in new Tablet PC products in recent months? They're just like normal notebooks, but with screens that can swivel around and fold over the keyboard. This lets you navigate Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 with a stylus pen and use built-in functions for handwriting and speech recognition.
In recent times, we have reviewed most of these new models including Toshiba's Tecra M4 and Lenovo's X41 tablets, LG's stylish LT20-4 tablet and the Dialogue Flybook A33i. The question is then, what does Australia's number one PC vendor (in terms of sales) bring to the party?
For one, reliability: the TC4200's magnesium alloy casing is lightweight and can take a few knocks. Plus, it's bundled with Altiris recovery software - a must-have if disaster strikes when travelling. Speaking of which, the TC4200 has a stated battery life of 5.5hr. There's an optional travel battery also.
Other options include security capabilities such as an embedded security chip or smart card reader and HP's "Protect Tools" security manager software. The TC4200 is easy to use. In tablet mode, the unit has a depressible rubber jog dial to move the cursor up or down and select, plus a "Q-menu" for access to system settings.
Scores of 78 in PC WorldBench 5 and 4064 in 3DMark 2001 makes the TC4200 one of the better performing tablet PCs we have seen. HP also has a variety of docks, stands and port replicators to let you add things like a DVD writer or to easily integrate the TC4200 with your home or office.
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