1. The 12.1-inch non-reflective, Illumi-Lite, widescreen WXGA (1,280x800, 16-million colour) display, which also doubles up as a writing tablet, is bright and sharp. An integrated webcam and a night light are embedded in the upper frame. The light is useful for working in the dark.
HP Compaq 2710p; Price: Rs92,000
2. A swivel hinge converts the ultra-portable notebook into a flat touch-screen tablet. As a tablet, the 2710p performs adequately. The vertical screen format in this mode makes reading lengthy text documents and Web pages easier by reducing page scrolling as you can see much more in each screenful.
3. For input and control, the 2710p has a full-sized keyboard, ThinkPad-style pointing stick and digital pen with a tether and clip. The keys are well-spaced, ergonomic and intuitively located.
The keys in the top row (Function, Insert, Delete, PgUp, PgDn, etc) are somewhat smaller, to save space. Hence, fingers need to be aimed a little more gingerly. Even though the trackstick works well and only needs a few hours to get used to, the absence of the by-now-ubiquitous trackpad may disappoint some.
4. An in-built DVD player is sorely missed when you want to install software or watch a movie. Hardware device installations, however, don’t pose any such problem as Windows Vista plug-and-play capabilities ferret out the appropriate drivers from the Net quite efficiently.
5. The 2710p’s battery life is simply amazing. In Vista’s Power Saver mode, it lasted well over 10 hours on a single charge—despite bumping up brightness to required comfort levels and using WiFi constantly. This means that you don’t need to carry the power adapter along with the laptop for a full 8-10 hour workday. Even with high-performance settings, the battery managed to last nearly 6 hours.
6. Only two USB ports can be a limiting factor at times. If you want to connect more devices, you will need to get a multi-port USB hub.
7. The 2710p boasts high definition stereo speakers (not very loud, though), a stereo headphone/line out, stereo microphone in, and an integrated dual-microphone array.
With its truly phenomenal battery life, fairly decent performance, sturdy construction, close-to sub-notebook dimensions and brushed-aluminium finish, the lightweight 2710p tablet convertible stands out in the crowded portable PC market. The nearly 11-hour battery life ensures that you can easily carry it to work and back without lugging its power adapter cord along—an asset very few laptops in the world offer.
The downers? The lethargic startups and shutdowns—primarily due to the 1GB RAM constraints and the host of HP proprietary programs that are loaded on. And, maybe, having just two USB ports could cramp your options.
Yet, overall, this is a stalwart travel companion and top-notch arm candy for top-deck flyers.
With dimensions of 1.11x11.42x8.35 (in inches) and weighing 1.65kg, the HP Compaq 2710p is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo Ultra Low Voltage (U7600, 1.20GHz) processor and Mobile Intel GM965 chipset. It comes with a 100GB HDD standard and the 667-MHz DDR2 SDRAM 1GB RAM can be ramped up to 4GB.
In terms of wireless communications, there is Intel/Broadcom 802.11a/b/g/draft-n WiFI and Bluetooth 2.0. The WiFi connects are fast, strong and steady. Then there is an Intel Gigabit Network Connection (10/100/1000 NIC), HP Smart Power NIC, and a 56K v.92 modem. You get an ExpressCard/54 slot or integrated Smart Card Reader and a Secure Digital slot. Apart from the USBs and audio in/out, the other ports include VGA, 1,394a, RJ-11/modem, RJ-45/Ethernet, docking connector, and secondary battery connector. A fingerprint sensor is also provided for security.
Windows Vista aside, the software bundle encompasses HP Backup and Recovery Manager, HP Client Manager Software, HP OpenView Radia Management Agent, HP Client Management Interface, HP ProtectTools, HP 3D DriveGuard, and Symantec Norton Internet Security.
Warranty: Three years
Accessories: DVD+/RW SuperMulti Drive in Ultra-Slim Expansion Base (Rs12,000); additional 6-cell slim battery (Rs5,000)