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Thread: - HP TC4400 Tablet PC Review -

  1. #1
    Razon Guest

    Default - HP TC4400 Tablet PC Review -

    - HP TC4400 Tablet PC Review -

    The TC4400 is one of HP's Tablet PC's from the 2006 season, which bares a striking resemblance to it's predecessor the TC4200 released by HP in 2005- this is basically the same tablet except for the updated hardware on the inside. I'll be covering all the main areas of the Tablet PC in this review, and list how it runs performance wise. As well as a variety of other things, along with any likes, dislikes and opinions that I may have on it.

    There are several different packages that you can buy, or you can customize your tablet just how you'd like it at the hp website- this model is running off of the following hardware specifications..


    : Hardware Specifications : -Rating 7.5/10
    Processor: 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo processor - 667-MHz FSB, 2-MB-L2 cache
    RAM: 1GB DDR2 SDRAM
    Video Card: 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel 945GM Express Chipset
    Hard Drive: 80GB 5400-rpm
    Operating System: Genuine Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
    Optical Drive: Not Available, Solution: Multibay Slim CD/DVD Drive
    Wifi/Bluetooth: Yes, (bluetooth optional)


    : Size/Weight/Battery : -Rating 8/10

    The TC4400 weighs in at 4.6 pounds despite the lack of an Optical Drive, which isn't too bad but not quite as light as alot of other Tablet PC's out there that even "HAVE" Optical Drives built in- especially if you're going to be using this in tablet mode alot. It's 11.2-inches wide and 9.2-inches tall, and just about 1.5-inches deep. This makes for some OK portability, and I could imagine taking this with me compared to my other "desktop replacement laptop". The battery has a convenient button on the bottom, which will light up 1-4 led lights on the bottom of it to tell you how much power is left in the battery, without having to power your tablet up. Just with the standard 6-cell battery, while playing F.E.A.R. and browsing the web using Wifi. I got around 4 hours on average out of a full charge on it, and it only takes around 1:00 to 1:30 to fully charge from empty. With the extended batteries, depending on which one you get, you can get around 8-15 hours which is very nice- though I have yet to try them myself. The tablet tends to become decently hot on the bottom, mainly after it's been on for a little while- but it can become hot in as little as 20-40 minutes depending upon what you're doing. As for how much noise it makes, it's so quiet that you can barely tell that it's on if you even can- it makes little to no sound no matter what you're doing.


    : Hardware Ports/Speaker/Microphone : -Rating 8/10

    To start this off, there's 1 USB 2.0 port on every side except for the front- 3 in all. A headphone and microphone jack on the Right side, along with a SD/MicroSD card slot towards the back Right- and a PCI slot right over top of that. Then on the Back there's a phone port and an Ethernet port side by side, a power jack, a VGA out and an S-Video out. Then there's a Mono speaker on the Left side towards the front, which sounds good in any position. Even though the quality is good, it still would have been nice to have a speaker on the other side and have Stereo- since there's just an empty place over there on the Right side. On the front base part of the tablet, there are 4 led lights that inform you of basic stuff- charging, processor activity, power and wireless activity. Then on the front of the screen there's a little microphone built in, it picks up my voice clearly and works good for voice recognition- more on that later.


    : Screen/Touch Screen : -Rating 8/10

    The screen is enforced with a hardened glass, and is resistant against scratches (though I would still recommend using a screen protector with non-adhesive stick). It has a very nice 12.1-inch (actual size: 9.7x7.3) XGA wide viewing angled screen that runs at a 1024x768 resolution, and it has a strong resistance for writing on it. The screen is bright and has quite good clarity to it, and with very little of the grain that you would find much worse on many other Tablet PC's. The touch screen tends to lose calibration a little bit sometimes when you switch between tablet modes/positions, for example tablet position to laptop position, but this is not a big deal because you can correct it easily in less then 15 seconds by re-calibrating. Glare wise the screen fares OK outside without the extra "outdoor screen coating" that you can have added, but an anti-glare screen protector should correct this even if you don't have an outdoor screen coating on the screen from HP. This screen only uses EMF pens/styluses, so that means that you won't be using your fingers to navigate around on this one. An advantage to an EMF pen, at least with this tablet is that you can hover over the screen with the pen and it will move the mouse around. The EMF pen also has a button that you can hold to right click instead of holding down on the screen to right click, and there's an eraser on the back which is only compatible with certain programs. The screen uses a magnetic click lock to stay closed in the the tablet and laptop closed position, and it works OK. But the button to open/release it doesn't always press in smoothly, and you may have to make sure to close it good or it won't lock into place. The swivel for turning the screen around to and from tablet mode seems pretty sturdy, and looks like it could hold up on the long run.


    : Shortcut Buttons/Misc : -Rating 7/10

    The TC4400 comes with basic shortcut buttons that you would need, but could of used a few more in tablet mode. In Laptop mode it has 3 basic buttons for sound, mute, down and up. And right next to it is a presentation button, which I don't really have much of a use for currently. It has a basic mousepad and buttons which don't feel too cheap to press, but the mousepad has a somewhat annoying scrollpad on the side of it that's merged with it which you may find yourself accidentally using when moving the mouse around- but it's not a big deal. Then there's a second set of mouse buttons in between the keyboard and the mousepad, which goes to the little blue pointstick in the middle of the keyboard which you can use as an alternate way to control the cursor- you may hit this by accident a few times when typing but you get used to it after a little while. The fact that the keyboard is spill-proof is a nice luxury, and easily makes up for any little annoyances that I may have with that part of the tablet. Then on the Left side there's a Bluetooth On/Off button, a Help button and a Power Switch. Then in tablet mode, there's 3 flat buttons that you can only press with your EMF pen, an on-screen keyboard/hand-writing toggle button, a screen rotation button and a Quick Launch button which brings up a list of nice and helpful shortcuts on the screen- like screen calibration and etc. Then there's also a little button to press by the screen which will eject the pen out of the tablet, which is a nice touch- easily accessible in both the tablet and laptop positions. The fingerprint reader wasn't of much use to me, I tried it real quick and I didn't manage to get it to save my fingerprint. And on the right/top side of it depending on how you're holding it in the tablet position, there's a Jog Dial for scrolling web pages- and it presses enter when you push in on it. Then finally, there's a ctrl+alt+delete button right near the Jog Dial- which can come in handy in the tablet position.


    : Performance : -Rating 7/10

    Performance wise it runs quite nicely, the graphics card hurts playing games a bit- but it's still manageable to play games with them still looking half decent. Unless the game just doesn't start or has a graphics error and crashes, which I've come across with 1/4 games so far- that game being AOEIII. I ran F.E.A.R. online at medium settings fullscreen at 1024x768 and it played fine, a much higher graphics setting then that and it would start to become unplayable. I Performed a Norton virus scan and an ad-aware spy-ware scan while doing stuff, and everything ran smooth thanks to the duo core- everything responds fast and multi-tasking is nice and fast and at an enjoyable speed. It would be an almost ideal tablet if it had a video card with dedicated RAM, but as of early 2007 there still aren't any tablets with them so it's not that bad considering what's currently out. Despite the graphics card being called one of the worst for gaming, I've gotten by on it just fine- even though I haven't tried too many games on it. One disappointing thing about Tablet PC's, is that they fail for FPS games (how could this be? you would think it would be great right? keep reading..). I know what you're thinking, how could an FPS game not be awesome with the touch screen and it sensing the pen when you get close to the screen for easy aiming? The answer would be that it has around a half a centimeter range of sensitivity which is like moving across the entire screen when you even move it a pixel in any direction, so it's impossible to control it no matter what you set any sensitivity stuff at. Even if you move your hand the slightest bit then it will start going crazy on the screen, moving all over the place. Despite the disappointment of FPS games which would of had great potential, RTS games work great with this. I'd say performance is fine especially for it's size, as long as you don't plan on playing the newest of games on max graphics settings- then you should be happy with how this runs.


    : Software : -Rating 7.5/10

    It didn't really come with anything too noteworthy, however I will say a few things about the extra features in Windows XP Tablet Edition 2005- that you wouldn't find on a normal operating system or that's just better then on a normal operating system. Well for one thing it has far better voice recognition, if you speak clearly it will pick you up correctly 95-99% of the time- perhaps this is partially because of it having a good microphone but it's still just seems better. And the handwriting recognition is also really good, I'd say it probably picks stuff up correctly 90-99% of the time. And Windows/HP comes with a touchscreen calendar type program, where you can leave notes that you can click on and all sorts of things like that- which can be nice and it's nice that they included something like that. Much better then the basic one that windows comes with, which just lets you save small little notes and sound recordings. On the bright side, the computer doesn't come with spy-ware or anything else installed that needs to be removed as soon as you get it- so I won't complain.


    : Overall :

    The Good: Runs Fast And Smooth, Clear Hard And Responsive Screen, Stylish, Heavier Duty Then Many Tablet PC's, Long Battery Life

    The Bad: Slightly Heavy, No Optical Drive, No FireWire, Scrollpad, Doesn't Always Lock On First Try

    The Conclusion: The TC4400 is a nice Tablet PC in the end, with the good out weighing the bad. It's for those who would like something portable like this, and already have a desktop for real gaming/serious computing.

    The Overall Rating: 7.6


    Review Date: 06/01/07
    Reviewed By: Razon

    Product Page At HP: http://tinyurl.com/274ms9

  2. #2
    Doobie Guest

    Default

    I have been using the Tc4400 for over a year now, and have optimized it to where it flies for me. I have a 1.83 mhz model, with 60gig drive. I have upgraded to 4GB ram, and run diskeeper in automatic, keeping the hard drive fully optimized at all times. I use an acoustic magic mic for lectures, and recognition at 20 feet is above 96%. It has been training itself to my hand writing, and I can write whole pages now without an error in onenote and journal. (You should see my chicken scratch...) The finger print scanner runs under the credential manager, and it manages security log-ons on numerous web sites, applications, or encrypted data files seamlessly. No problems there, and it is nice not to have to remember the various passwords!

    The battery on mine is getting weak, on the downside, after only one year, but that is the only bummer. I have stayed with win xp, and will not upgrade to vista until its sp2.

  3. Default

    Thanks for providing all the useful information. Glad that there’s a review here. I am actually looking for a tablet PC but I never had one before. So there’s a lot of stuff I am not sure or unaware about. Since I am happy with the HP laptop I am currently using I think it is the best choice that I stick back to HP. I guess I will keep an eye on this tablet as you have rated it an overall rating of 7.6. Thanks again for all the information.

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