HP Pavilion TX1219AU review: HP Pavilion TX1219AU

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The Good Loud speakers. Nice design. Speedy enough for day to day use.

The Bad Crippled graphics card. Low battery life. Poor sensitivity for the tablet.

The Bottom Line The HP Pavilion TX1219 is great as a normal day to day business notebook, and not so great at being a tablet. Still the price is hard to ignore and it is an attractive machine -- so you could do worse than getting one of these.

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7.0 Overall

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The HP Pavilion TX1219 interestingly has written on the chassis that it is an "HP Pavilion Entertainment PC". There are a number of things that fly in the face of this (poor screen, old and weak video card, no digital video out), but presumably can get away with it because HP bundles in Altec Lansing speakers, a remote and includes their own media centre software ("QuickPlay"). Unlike other vendors however, there seems not to be a lightweight media client that can load without Windows, to save on battery.

More sensibly it's been classified officially by HP as a travel/mobility notebook, meaning it is well suited to business use. As an added bonus, it also happens to be a tablet PC.

Inscribed with a recurring "fingerprint" style design in silver and black, and with HP's distinctive dimpled trackpad, the TX is a notch above what enterprise users generally get to display in front of their peers. Vexingly as tends to be the case these days the whole thing is high sheen, meaning you'll be forever cleaning fingerprints off.

Unlike some competing models the screen only twists clockwise when converting to tablet mode, but the hinge feels strong and well built, the Altec Lansing speakers flanking either side. The monitor is locked shut when in closed and tablet positions, a button on the lip needing to be pressed to release it. The tablet pen is stowed away at the front right, and is pushed in to release, although in practice the laptop wanted to hang on to the pen a little too much, making it difficult to remove easily.

The 12.1-inch, 1,280x800 screen never quite reaches a high level of brightness even when powered from the wall, and has a greasy vaseline look about it. This, combined with tablet sensitivity is the only real gripe we have about this notebook.

The keyboard has been compressed, but never once felt too small and our fingers in typing tests didn't mis-hit any more than on a desktop keyboard -- even the extremely tiny tilde key didn't present a problem.

The hot air vent sits on the right side, meaning lefties get a reprieve for a change while the right handed population gets a cooked hand if using an external mouse. Another vent is situated at the back.

For a 12.1-inch notebook the TX1219 is well featured, containing a DVD burner, card reader (SD/MS/MMC/XD), express card 34, three USB ports, Ethernet, modem and VGA/S-video out. Sadly missing is any form of digital video out.

A fingerprint scanner is on the left of the monitor, while at the top sits dual microphones and a 1.3MP Webcam, to the right are quick access buttons for QuickPlay, while at the bottom buttons access Windows Mobility Center and rotate the screen.

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