My Initial Impressions of the 2710p Tablet PC

Last week, I proclaimed that I had been “officially wowed by the 2710p Tablet PC” – and I hadn’t even turned on the darn thing yet. That same day, Sierra posted a really good GBM User Review of the 2710p tablet pc, so I have not felt as pressured to get an initial impressions post out the door.

I’m getting ready to work on my InkShow video review of the 2710p, which should go up sometime next week, so I thought it might be good to give a more in-depth “first impressions” review, rather than leave my ‘wowed’ post hanging. I’m going to make this short and sweet, and not get in to a lot of detail at this point. Look for more during the video review next week.


What I like:

  • I’m really liking this WXGA screen, especially when browsing in portrait mode. The screen is bright and crisp, too.
  • The parallax ( distance between the pen and the cursor on the screen) is very minimal. It is much better than the TC1100, and as good or better than any other tablet pc I’ve used.
  • The feel of the keys on the keyboard remind me a lot of the Macbook Pro. For me, that is a plus.
  • I have not weighed the 2710p yet, but it feels awfully light compared to the X61
  • It feels great to hold – very thin and smooth
  • I don’t think I’ve heard the fan kick on much at all, even when running on High Performance
  • I know it is a 1.2ghz Core 2 Duo with a 4200 rpm drive, but it runs much faster than I thought it would. I’m not seeing much of a difference between it and the X61 Core 2 1.83 ghz. That is purely unscientific, though.
  • I love the design, lines, and brushed metal look.  It is very classy looking. I’m a sucker for a well-designed Tablet PC.
  • I really like the rubberized feel of the back. It adds to that feeling of “nice to hold”
  • The Pen and Ink experience is very nice. As Warner would say, ” Ink just flows out of the pen”
  • I am sooooo glad to see an OEM come out with a flush screen. It was one of my favorite features of the TC1100 and there are only a couple of OEMs that still produce them. It makes writing on the screen so much more enjoyable when there is not something rubbing up against the wrist and arm.
  • Battery life is really good – I’m getting about 5 hours on the standard battery, with the HP Optimized setting. That is really, really good. At this point, I’m not even tempted to look at the battery slice.
  • The built-in keyboard light is a nice feature. I do a lot of keyboarding late at night, so that will come in handy.
  • I really like the capacitive touch volume and presentation settings. I remapped the presentation touch button to launch OneNote. I wish it could be accessed in tablet mode, though.
  • FYI: Upon boot-up, I’ve got 78 processes running, at 900mb of RAM utilized. That is better than the X61, which can get over 100 quite easily.
  • Doesn’t run hot at all. They brushed aluminum area around the keyboard can get warm, but it doesn’t run hot.
  • I’m a track-stick kind of guy, so I really like the track stick in the middle of the keyboard
  • I like the magnetic latch that is activated when closing the screen or going in to tablet mode. It helps keep the screen flush.

Things I don’t really like or that bug me:

  • I really, really miss the hardware buttons, especially the vertical / horizontal scroll. As such, you are forced to use gestures with your pen for scrolling while in tablet mode. I much prefer a hardware button for scrolling. Big dislike.
  • There is only one hardware button on the side that is available while in tablet mode. I remapped it to bring up the Q menu, which is a dashboard type of utility.
  • I turn most ambient light sensors off, because the constant dimming / brightness of the screen bugs me. However, most are positioned intelligently to not get in the way of notetaking. The ambient light sensor for the 2710p is in a horrible place. It is located at the bottom of the screen, which is on the right hand-side in tablet mode. In tablet mode, my arm covers up the sensor, which automatically turns the screen almost pitch black.
  • The power switch is pretty hard to move.
  • I’ve played a little with the business card scanner / camera. It is a pretty neat utility, but the OCR recognition has been poor. The system beeps at you when you have the card in the right region, but even that region is pretty wide and can lead to poor OCR results. It doesn’t help that the screen is almost closed, so you can’t really see how the image is going to turn out until after it is scanned.
  • At first glance, the fingerprint reader looks to be in an out-of-the way place – on the side of the screen. However, I have found myself accidentally activating the fingerprint software on multiple occasions, by inadvertently putting my hand or finger on the top of the screen where the fingerprint reader is. It is disrupting because the dialog box has to be closed. I have not found a way to adjust the sensitivity of the reader, yet.
  • The pen is a very nice and has good balance, but it is a little small for my personal taste. I tend to use a Cross pen most of the time, anyway.
  • The pen does not stay in the pen garage very well. I have found the pen accidentally discharged several times, mostly due to accidentally hitting it with my hand.

Anyway, that is a short and sweet “first impressions” look at the 2710p. So, am I still “wowed”? Absolutely! I knew most of these shortcomings before I bought the 2710p, so I have not come across anything yet that would lessen that impact.  I’ll have more to share in my InkShow video review, so stay tuned!