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HP Compaq Tablet PC tc4200

Solid standard notebook convertible
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Perhaps as a result of the success Toshiba had with its more conventional Tablet PC convertibles such as the Portege Tablet PC models, Hewlett Packard also introduced one in early 2005, the maagnesium-framed HP Compaq tc4200.

The tc4200 was a very competent, well designed, trust-inspiring machine with all the goodies you expected from a new design, and especially one from one of the world's leading computer vendors. It had a fast Intel processor, plenty of disk and memory, and, of course, the incomparable BEO Hydis wide viewing angle display. The touchpad was complemented by an IBM-style pointstick. Connectivity was excellent, though we felt it would have been nice to have a slimline optical drive in a brand-new design.

What the tc4200 did was offer a strong premium brand name alternative to Toshiba's Portege M200 in the 12.1" Tablet PC convertible class. The 4200 also came as a standard notebook without the pen interface and rotating display, but the price difference was so small, we wondered who'd want the plain vanilla version.

In December of 2005 HP added several options: a 2GHz Intel M 760, an 80GB drive, and most importantly, an outdoor-viewable wide viewing angle display.

The tc4200 didn't last very long. While HP had brought down pricing for a pen-enabled system, the tc4200 was still expensive (around US$2,000 for a fully equipped model in 2005) and not enough people saw the benefits of the pen interface. Also, the 4200 had to compete with machines that offered something extra; the Fujitsu T4000 already had an optical drive and the Toshiba M200 offered a much higher resolution 1400 x 1050 pixel display.

Added/changed: 12/2005
Form-factor Notebook Convertible
Processor Intel Pentium M 740/750/760
CPU Speed 1.73/1.86/2.0 GHz
Chipset Intel 915GM Express
Standard/Max RAM 512MB/2,048MB
Disk/drive 40/60/80 GB
Card slots 1 PC Card Type II, 1 SD
Display type Transmissive wide-angle TFT (outdoor viewable option)
Display size/res 12.1-inch/1024x768
Digitizer/pens Wacom/1
Keyboard/scale Integrated 84-key, 100%
Ruggedness standard
Housing NA
Size (WxHxD) 11.2 x 9.25 x 1.35
Weight 4.6 lbs.
Power Li-Ion, 51 WHr (est. 4 hrs)
Interface 3 USB 2.0, RJ11, RJ45 (gigabit), IR
Interface Bluetooth, audio, 802.11b/g, video
List price US$1,549 to US$2,099
Contact www.hp.com
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