HP Compaq tc4200 review: HP Compaq tc4200

On the downside, the tc4200 lacks a few digital creature comforts, such as FireWire and parallel ports. It makes up for that with three USB 2.0 outlets conveniently positioned with one on each side and one in the back, as well as audio-in, audio-out, S-Video, and external-monitor ports. In addition to the expected Gigabit Ethernet and 56K modem connections, there's a Type II PC Card slot and a Secure Digital card reader. There are two options for the security-minded: a smart-card reader for online authentication and a built-in security chip for protecting sensitive data.

Our tc4200 came with Microsoft's Windows XP Tablet Edition; like those of most business tablets, its software bundle does not include a productivity suite. It does, however, come with Wireless Assistant, which is a big step forward from Microsoft's Wi-Fi software. It also comes with trial versions of Symantec Norton AntiVirus, FranklinCovey PlanPlus 3.0, and Alias SketchBook.

Like all HP business systems, the tc4200 comes with a three-year warranty on parts and labor, with free Monday-though-Friday pick-up service. HP's toll-free 24/7 phone support is without peer, and a technician was on the line in less than a minute with the answer to our test problem. There's also a well-stocked Web site with downloads, troubleshooting, online chats with a technician, and an e-mail link for personalized help.

Mobile application performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2002 performance rating  
HP tc4200
193 
Motion M1400
136 
Averatec C3500
116 

Battery life
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2002 battery-life minutes  
HP tc4200
296 
Motion M1400
205 
Averatec C3500
121 
System configurations:

Averatec C3500
Windows XP Home; Athlon XP-M 2200+ 1.67GHz; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Radeon IGP 320M 64MB; Fujitsu MHT2060AT 60GB 4,200rpm

HP tc4200
Windows XP Tablet 2005; 1.8GHz Intel Pentium M 745; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; Intel 915GM 128MB; Toshiba MK6026GAX 60GB 5,400rpm

Motion M1400
Windows XP Tablet 2002; 1.1GHz Intel Pentium M; 512MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; Intel 855GM Extreme Graphics (up to 64MB); Hitachi Travelstar 20GN 20GB 4,200rpm

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