The HP TouchSmart tm2-1010ea is another laptop with a swivelling screen which converts into a tablet PC, much like the Fujitsu Lifebook T4410.
Its comprehensive range of software ensures the touchscreen is well supported, while portability and features are excellent.
Build quality is strong, with a solid brushed-aluminium chassis in place, although the swirling patterns that decorate the lid and interior might deter some. Portability is also strong, with a weight of just 2.1kg and 398 minutes of battery life proving the best here.
The compact chassis doesn't have a DVD drive built in, although an external USB drive is provided which includes LightScribe technology for burning labels.
Performance unfortunately falls short, with the Pentium processor lagging behind its rivals. Basic office applications run well, but more resource hungry programs grind things to a halt.
A dedicated GPU is in place, however, which offers decent graphical power for basic 3D games and photo and video editing. A low-powered integrated GPU is also in place and takes over when the laptop is running from the battery for increased lifespan.
A responsive 12.1-inch touchscreen has been used, as with the Fujitsu, and a similar stylus pen is included for more precise interaction, although only a single configurable button is located on the side.
The screen is sharp, colourful and sensitive, with the cursor moving even when the stylus tip is an inch away.
As with the Acer, the touchscreen is well supported by a host of software. Artists can create fingerpaint masterpieces with Corel Paint It! Touch, while Magic Desktop provides children with a cartoon-based interface and access to various games and child-friendly applications.
HP TouchSmart is the equivalent of Acer's TouchPortal software, providing easy access to media, as well as the webcam and internet browser. Support for Twitter and YouTube is also built in.
Unfortunately, the TouchSmart software is occasionally a little unresponsive. We found we had to press hard at times, which risks damaging the screen.
The physical keyboard and touchpad can only be used in laptop mode and, while the isolated-key style board is user-friendly, the touchpad has integrated mouse buttons that annoyingly cause the cursor to jerk when pressed.
With a strong range of touch software installed as standard, the HP TouchSmart tm2-1010ea has a sharp and well supported touchscreen display. Its solid build, incredible portability and impressive features round off this strong contender, making it a worthy award winner.
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