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HP Pavilion TX1020ea: Bi-polar media Tablet

What do you get when you combine a boring Tablet PC with an exciting Media Center laptop? One of these, innit

Crave has always thought of Tablet PCs as being a bit boring. They're clever, sure, but they're usually designed for doctors, warehouse managers and BT service engineers. That ain't sexy.

But then we got our hands on the HP Pavilion TX1020ea -- a 12.1-inch convertible laptop that lets you get your dull on, or engage in some trendy multimedia-based frivolity.

You can use it like an ordinary laptop, or swivel the 12.1-inch screen 180 degrees and lay it flat against the keyboard in tablet mode. There's a stylus, but the screen is pressure-sensitive so you can use your finger when you inevitably lose the pen.

In its quest to make the computer "personal" again, HP has furnished the TX1020ea with Windows Vista Home Premium edition and enough shortcut keys to make it look like the cockpit of a Boeing 747. There are three above the keyboard, eight littered around the edge of the screen, plus a fingerprint reader, webcam and an infrared remote control.

£799 for all this seems like a really good price, but don't expect much in the way of performance. The TX1020ea uses a 1.6GHz CPU (AMD's Turion 64X2 TL-50) and 1GB of RAM, which means it’s a tad sluggish when running demanding apps.

We're off to put it through its paces -- expect a full review shortly. -Rory Reid

Update: A full review of the HP Pavilion TX1020ea is now live.