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Thread: HP 2710p Review – Not Perfect, But Works for Me by stylii

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    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Talking HP 2710p Review – Not Perfect, But Works for Me by stylii

    **Note - This is a update since I am now able to upload five photos, which help make some of my descriptions clearer - Thanks**

    Readers of this forum will recognize that the most important question when selecting a tablet PC is: how are you going to use it? This review takes the perspective of how the Hewlett-Packard 2710p works in my situation. I hope my experiences and real-world examples will help you to determine if the 2710p will be a fit for you as well. I also own two other tablets, an HP TC1100 & Motion LS800, and my inking days go back to the original Apple Newton.

    Rather than search for the conclusion at the end of this review, I'm going to give my perceptions up front and then the rest of the text will explain more of how I arrived at them. As the title indicates, I am happy with my purchase decision for the 2710P, but it is not perfect. I've owned this model since November of 2007 and it is my primary PC. I would definitely purchase it again and it meets most of my needs.



    Over the past nine months I have come to appreciate: the bright, clear screen much improved over my TC1100; the smooth feel of the pen against the glass writing surface for an excellent inking experience; the smudge resistant glass; the overall “coolness” factor of the silver metallic look; the small footprint and light weight that I can manage with one hand; a very responsive built-in microphone; battery life sufficient for my needs; nearly full-size keyboard and pointing stick “mouse” which works so well that I use rarely use my Bluetooth mouse; reliable wireless and Bluetooth that has worked in all Wi-Fi hotspots and with all my Bluetooth devices; reliable automatic screen rotation when switching between modes; an excellent docking station that is small enough to transport when necessary.




    Frustrations I've experienced include: a latch that when in tablet mode, does not hold the tablet securely so that there is a slight movement/clicking when I write on the tablet without pressing down firmly with either my arm or other hand; a pen silo which seems to work about 75% of the time and at other times ejects the pen part way out or refuses to allow complete insertion; the difficulty of converting from notebook to tablet mode requiring too much dexterity to release the latch, pull the two pieces apart and swivel the screen; developing a hairline crack on the outside corner of the case around the keyboard (not sure how it happened). I also find that the SD card sticks out a bit far so it is easily bumped and partially ejected, but since I really like the sculpted shape of the base which causes this, consider it a minor annoyance.

    I've worked with Hewlett-Packard technical support and have had both good and bad experiences, so consider it to be an overall neutral consideration.

    Here are the exact specifications on my 2710P, followed by my experiences in how it performs during a typical business day/week.

    Specifications
    Model: HP Compaq 2710p
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo – U7600 @ 1.20GHz
    RAM: 4.00 GB (Upgraded from original 2 GB, 2 GB SODIMM in slots 1 & 2)
    System type: 32-bit
    Hard Drive: 100GB 4200rpm
    Windows Edition: Windows Vista Business, Service Pack 1
    Camera: Integrated
    More detailed 2710p standard specifications and manuals can be found on HP.com

    Speed
    I consider the speed of the system acceptable, but not one of its strong points. At home or in a coffee shop setting, it takes about 50 seconds from power on to get the “Press control-alt…” screen and another 1:40 from my finger swipe to get a usable Windows desktop. At work, using the ultra slim docking station, booting the tablet takes about 1:20 to get to the initial “Press control-alt-del…” screen and then about another 1:50 after using the fingerprint reader to get to a fully usable Windows desktop. By comparison, my TC1100 using XP takes 4:15 to get to the login and another 1:20 to get to the desktop and my LS800 with Vista Ultimate takes 1:20 and 1:45 respectively). The 2710p “sleeps” and “wakes” quickly and reliably (I have issues doing so with my LS800).

    The fingerprint reader is OK, generally working on my first swipe, but I find the location on the side of the screen awkward. I use the preinstalled “Credential Manager for HP ProtectTools” to handle my logins and passwords. Again, it is acceptable, but sometimes it “forgets” or requires me to recreate a login to a site multiple times and I haven’t been able to figure out why. I prefer Motion’s OmniPass software.

    Once up and running, the 2710p is pretty speedy. It opens programs such as Word 2007, EverNote, and OneNote in 3 – 5 seconds. More memory intensive programs take longer, such as 20 seconds for Adobe PhotoShop and nearly 45 seconds for Adobe InDesign CS3 and about 50 seconds for Dragon Naturally Speaking.

    Functionality
    Functionality is where this tablet shines for me. The 2710p helps me be more productive in meetings and in working out of our two offices. 70% of my time is spent in my primary office with an assigned desk and the balance in an office using open cubicles or offsite.



    At my assigned desk, I use the docking station with an HP wireless mouse, keyboard, 17” flat screen monitor, and a Bluetooth Headset (VXI BlueParrott B150) for voice recognition. I put the 2710p in tablet mode in the docking station on a Neo-Flex stand and use EverNote for note-taking while on the phone or jotting necessary information from voice mail messages. The resolution is clear for ink notes and fast enough to keep up. This gives me the advantage of always having these notes with me as I move between offices. I also like having the extra real estate of two screens. The 2710p remembers my configuration when docked, so I don’t have to spend time each day with resetting up the screen configuration (as I did with my TC1100). The dock’s DVD drive and provided Roxio software work well for burning DVDs.

    The 2710p’s long battery life (around four hours) allows me to travel light to our other location, often not taking a power adapter (I do keep an extra one in my car). I use a small messenger bag and enjoy carrying the mere 3.7 pounds. The 2710p reliably connects to our secure wireless network so I can take any available office space and don’t need to crawl under cubes for cables and plugs. The keyboard and pointing stick work very well in PC mode, although if using mouse intensive software such as InDesign, I take out my Stowaway Bluetooth mouse. In a remote location, I can still use my Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred software without carrying the headset, since the tablet’s dual internal microphone works well for speech recognition.



    I use the 2710p in tablet mode to take minutes at meetings I attend in both office locations as well as offsite. It is very quiet, with a small footprint, about the size of an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper, so is not disruptive (although people often want to see it closer and think it’s cool). It has enough battery life to get through even my longest meetings. I also like the slate-like feel HP created by sculpting/rounding the non-screen section and applying a non-slip backing. It feels secure in my hands. The 2710p works well with OneNote and, if the meeting isn’t too complicated, I sometimes write text notes right in Word for final proofing later. It is fast enough to keep up.

    When I return to my office, I often use my ink notes to read into voice recognition software (Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred) for notes that need to be converted into text. Because I was initially experiencing too much lag time between saying the words and seeing them on screen, I upgraded from 2GB of RAM to 4 GB and would recommend this to anyone using voice recognition.

    At home, I use the 2710p primarily in tablet form while sitting on the couch or our deck, browsing web pages in FireFox. I use and highly recommend the “Grab and Drag” extension, which allows me to easily scroll using the pen.

    I have not experienced an issue with the pen not tracking properly near the latch or as reported by others. My use of the camera has been very limited, but it is a feature I am glad is included for the future. It has both a macro and normal mode. The built in card business card reader software has a clumsy interface and I find it more trouble than it’s worth for the number of business cards I receive. The pop out light for the keyboard is a nice touch, but I use it infrequently, since it’s not very useful in tablet mode.



    My HP support experience has been mixed. When the pen broke on one of its falls from not being securely held in the silo, Hewlett-Packard was very quick to ship me a replacement. Technical support was also able to work to me through a problem I was initially experienced with the display flickering when running on battery (upgrading the driver and changing some of my power settings). However, on the ongoing issue of the latch & pen holder, I've had mixed results. Their initial recommendation to take it to my nearest service center did not provide a solution. At that time my service center had did not know about this tablet PC, had never seen one, and wasn't prepared to deal with it. They suggested that I ship it in for service. I'm reluctant to do so based on my reading about other’s experiences and so have not yet pursued the matter further. This may be simply the price of being an early adopter and it can now be fixed locally. I’ll be trying again prior to vacation so I can be without the tablet for a while and will also have them check into a hairline crack that developed in a corner of the case around the keyboard.

    That’s my review. Overall, I am quite pleased with the 2710p for my work and personal needs.
    Stylii
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by stylii; 07-16-2008 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Add Photos

  2. Default

    GREAT review ..!
    I found this via googling for pen issues on the 2710p ;-}
    Your review is what makes the web work ..
    Thanks !

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