The notion of a Tablet PC for home use is something that is still in its infancy, largely due to tablets being seen as business tools and the fact there are very few consumer applications for the Tablet PC.
However, the HP Pavilion tx2050ea (£699 inc. VAT) is billed as an 'Entertainment PC', which means it comes with media buttons for accessing your movies and music instead of simply being used for business.
Compact and classy design
The styling is very much in line with HP's current consumer laptops, with a sharp contrast between the black lacquer of the lid and the silver of the main body.
The current trend for Tablet PC devices is for clamshell designs, so you can use it as a laptop with functioning keyboard, or rotate the screen 180-degrees and fold it over to use in pen mode.
Its compact chassis weighs in at 2.1kg, which is largely due to the use of a 12.1-inch screen.
This size is great for carrying around with you, especially when in tablet mode, and feels comfortable in the crook of your arm as you write on the screen. Battery life was also a more than acceptable 248 minutes, under test.
Instead of opting for a digitised screen, costs are kept down by using a touch-sensitive display, which can be used with the supplied pen, or with your finger tip.
There are Altec Lansing speakers built into the base of the screen, which direct sound straight out and proved highly effective.
The screen quality was less impressive, with movies looking dull and lacking true contrast. Being touch-sensitive, there is a haze to the panel, which makes images look less sharp than they would on a standard laptop screen.
The keyboard is a good size, filling the width of the main body. The keys even have a slight dip, making it harder to mis-strike them.
However, the keyboard proved slow to respond, with the keys needing a solid strike to react. Overall, this isn't the best keyboard for long-term use and you'll be glad of the touchscreen.
The touchpad is made from the same material as the main body and proved a good deal better.
Low performance, low price
When it comes to performance, the tx2050ea is powered by the AMD 2.3GHz Turion 64 X2 Mobile TL-66, which is a dual-core chip. Because it uses older technology, it isn't as quick as the latest chips from Intel.
Still, with 2048MB of memory, this machine should run applications smoother than it did during our benchmark tests.
The HP Pavilion tx2050ea has many appealing features, but it's too slow and awkward to use for high-end tasks.
In the end, this is a machine desperately looking for a wider audience, although at this price it may well find one.