Monday, February 12, 2007

my new (but used) geek toy! HP TC1100 tablet pc

well.. by now, you probably know that i'm a gadget whore.. i admit it. i've owned a ton of random gadgets/toys/useful technology.

however through all of them, i've always had a fascination w/tablets. dating back to the Apple Newton. hell, i almost picked up one last year but decided not too since the specs are so, so below what i want.  so one night i was on the web surfing around ebay and ces 2007 highlights and ran across the origami pc's. hmm. umpc are starting to begin manufacturing/development and tablets have been around now for a while. so i did my research and decided that an HP TC1100 was the best bet for my money and needs.  went online and got one on ebay gently used for around $550 (not bad eh? the 1ghz, 512mb, 60gb hd, wifi/irda/bt).  decided to try to perhaps load vista on it too and take it for a spin for a week. if not, i can go back to the ghost image i made of the harddrive before doing anything (had a fresh reload of the OS via the restore cds from HP, figure it lets me get it back to original factory state if needed or wanted).  plus, i may even go back and redo the OS to a dual boot config (30 gigs per partition for each os should be good, not going to be doing any major photoshop or video editing, just using OneNote and surfing and maybe some music). 

some geek porn..

 tc1100 on keyboard

my tc1100 rotated on side..

i've used my HP TC1100 w/Windows XP Tablet Ed 2005 for the past week and am getting more and more comfortable w/it each day.  my main issues was that i didn't have a screen protector and in turn am a bit.. cautious to use the pen w/it since i am so against scratching screens.  however, i got my new screen protector in today and have a very nice case made for the TC1100 coming later this week (i will prob post pics/review of it).

OneNote 2007 runs VERY well on it. i just received my 512mb memory (prev only had the base 512 + 256) and did notice a nice little boost in performance.  At first i didn't think mine had the bluetooth radio however after reinstalling drivers from HP my BT started working!   DVD playback is pretty decent on it (for only being a 1Ghz Pentium M, it seems to hold its own vs most of may pals bigger 1.6ghz+  celerons.  pretty quick considering the specs.

some people have complained about the base/keyboard being too cramped and i can see how that could be an issue, but for me that is not since again i am gifted w/a gadget/pda/tablet users anatomy (small hands/fingers, just overall small.. hehe) 

last night, i felt very ambitous and ended up creating a full Ghost image of my current XP Tablet Ed setup (fully setup w/all of my apps installed and drivers updated, gotta love those Bart Live Boot Disks).   i figure worst case scenario i can reload my Ghost image and not have to reload all of my settings/applications/updates.  i use Bart's Mod Boot site a ton and if you ever work on people's pcs, a custom XP Live boot cd is invaluable to retreive data or clean virus or spyware.  here's a link: http://www.nu2.nu/bootablecd/

anywho, after making my full disk image i then decided to do a full clean install of Vista trial (since i am not sure if i want to purchas another key for my tablet).  install went fine and only took about an 1 1/2 hours. 

initially, i was missing drivers for: wireless drivers, tablet pc buttons, sd card reader, digitizer, graphics

windows update did find a few of them (sd card reader but failed to install it) but i decided to use HP's latest XP drivers for Vista.  I had to then extract the files to the usual HP location (C:\swsetup) and then in Vista manually installed the drivers by opening up Device Manager.  This worked great and installed all of my drivers! i even got the Q Menu working too (had to right click on the HP ServicePack and change the run for XP compatibility) to change my brightness and rotation.

so far things sem to be running fine; however i did freeze coming out of standby twice so i may need to revisit my event log to see what is cuasing that (most likely the Q Menu). 

also, it is amazing to see the cult following of this device.  i still do not understand why HP would kill such an attractive and successful Tablet lineup.  this tablet seems to perform just as good as most newer sub $600 laptops minus the uber geekiness of a tablet. 

so who knows, next up; automated home controller?? we'll see.