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Summary:

On a typical day in my past life as a consultant, you would usually find me in a meeting with a Tablet PC in my hand. The 2740p that HP sent over is a good evolution of my favorite tablet of all time, due to touch.

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On a typical day in my past life as a consultant, you would usually find me in a meeting with a Tablet PC in my hand. I used tablets to take notes in 4 or 5 meetings a day, and it seemed I always had a tablet pen in hand. I filled thousands of digital “pages” with ink notes at these meetings, and have chronicled a lot of that usage here on jkOnTheRun. Of all the tablets I used over the years, my favorite was the HP 2710p convertible notebook. That tablet was with me for a long time, and never let me down. That explains my elation when HP offered to send a EliteBook 2740p over for evaluation. The 2740p is an evolution of that favorite tablet of mine, and a good evolution at that.

The 2740p is the third generation of that old tablet of mine. The 2710p was replaced by the 2730p, and now the 2740p. Not much has changed in the design of the notebook since the 2730p, but HP has added faster processor options and an optional touch screen. The unit I am evaluating is configured as follows:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5, 2.53 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB
  • Storage: 160 GB, 5,400 rpm
  • Display: 12.1-inch, 1280×800, capacitive multitouch, active pen digitizer
  • Ports: 3xUSB 2.0, Firewire, VGA out, audio in/ out, power, RJ-11, RJ-45, SD/MMC slot, ExpressCard
  • Communications: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1
  • Webcam: 2 MP
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
  • Battery: 6-cell, 2.0 Ah
  • Dimensions and weight: 11.42 x 8.35 x 1.25 inches, 3.8 lbs.

The 2740p is a business-class convertible notebook at this designed to stand up to daily travel. The case is brushed metal and is reinforced for rigidity. A dual digitizer swivel screen is used, providing for active pen digitizing (inking) and multitouch control.

The Intel Core i5 processor is fast and there is almost no lag detected in use. Both pen control and touch operation worked as expected, and the system switched back and forth automatically as needed.

I will be testing the 2740p for a few days and will shoot a video this week. One of the best options for the 2740p is the slice battery which attaches to the base of the notebook and doubles battery life. I used one of these with my 2710p, and it was the best solution for having a second battery for all day use. The battery is hot-swappable, so it can be snapped on while using the tablet. I have a slice battery on the way from HP and will shoot a video of the system when I can show that battery.

Having the 2740p in hand invoked a strong feeling of nostalgia, as it is largely unchanged in form from the 2710p. I am pretty sure if I was still a full-time consultant I would be trading my 2710p in for the faster 2740p. While I enjoy the loaner ThinkPad X201t convertible I am using, the HP 2740p is much smaller and easier to carry; plus that slice battery option is the best thing on the market. I have some size comparisons of the HP and ThinkPad in the photo gallery.

 

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  1. Michael Rose Monday, May 3, 2010

    Now if only the Pixel Qi screens were available in this form factor. That would be Tablet PC perfection.

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  2. Looks nice. Few questions: How does the dual mode screen work? Does the touch input automatically turn off when the digitizer gets within proximity or does it use palm rejection similar to the Fuji p1620? I’ve been considering getting another tablet but am leaning more towards a slate (Sahara i400 series) since it seems slimmer and a little less heavy than a convertible would. On that note, does the 2740 do anything to reduce size/weight compared to its previous iterations?

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    1. The touch turns off when the pen gets near the screen. The size and weight is roughly the same as previous models. Not too heavy but certainly not light for extended use in the hands.

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  3. Allan Jones Monday, May 3, 2010

    On the recommendation of JK, I bought a 2710P, and on the whole I haven’t been disappointed.

    All the same, there are a few things on the 2710P that exasperate me, and which I’d hope to see fixed in the new model.

    Here’s one. In one of the portrait orientations of the screen (I can’t remember which), you can’t actually get the cursor into the bottom left hand corner of the screen using the pen. That means that you can’t shut the computer down using the pen when the screen is in that orientation. Weird but true. Please say it’s fixed.

    In the 2710P, some orientations aren’t ‘officially’ available – another irritation – but you can get them from the Intel display driver, in the Control Panel, using the Hot Keys.

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    1. Allan, no issues with any orientation, and all 4 orientations can be used by hitting the rotate button.

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  4. Mike Reilly Monday, May 3, 2010

    James,
    None of the manufacturers have come to my rescue, except maybe Panasonic (but theirs is so expensive), with a tablet pc I can use for meeting notes, construction site notes, photos, etc. A want (but not essential) is that it be powerful enough to run a Cad program. I thought Fujitsu (p1630) would come through, but surprisingly, they never did.

    I had an HP 2730p, but it was so heavy, I was concerned I would drop it, when my hand got numb carrying it. Also, the battery didn’t last long. The keys felt too flat, too.

    Please check the battery. It needs to last at least 5 hours. I hope they sent you the outdoor screen; please check that. Is there a strap or case, to fit around the base, so I would be sure not to drop it, even if my hand goes numb.

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    1. GoodThings2Life Monday, May 3, 2010

      My 2730p regularly lasts 5-5.5 hours on “Power Saver” mode in Windows 7, for what it’s worth, but I agree I would be concerned about dropping it at a construction site.

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    2. Our company will have one soon for trials. One of our hopes is that it will fulfill the CAD users’ needs. My read of the iCore reviews is that for the type of test that covers 2D vector drawing, it should be very good (as mobile needs go). AutoCAD will pretty much take every CPU cycle you can give it, so the TurboBoost tech should help (in the Core i7). I don’t think Civil 3d is a good choice here, but for regular drawings that are not too cluttered, I’m very hopeful.

      I do hope one test in the review shows up since it looks like JK got the WWAN antenna that is supposed to contain GPS. Does the GPS part work without activating a cell data subscription plan?

      Thanks!

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  5. Would you consider the 2740 to ne superior to the x201 for a high school student ?

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    1. Either one would do a good job.

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      1. If I had to choose one though which one should it be? Mobility, ergonomics, and battery life are my most important considerations.

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  6. GoodThings2Life Monday, May 3, 2010

    Was just telling my boss today that I think we should order a couple so that our 2730p’s can be redeployed to other users. :)

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  7. What is your opinion about this tablet (in a comparison): HP TouchSmart tm2t

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  8. Why do the thumbnails cover half of the picture?

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  9. William C Bonner Monday, May 3, 2010

    I just went to the HP site, and the only models I saw available of the 2740p had either 2GB ram, or 4GB Ram. I’m assuming that the difference in ram isn’t going to make a significant change in power usage, but I’m interested in knowing about your battery life using the standard battery, and if you think more ram would either increase or decrease battery life?

    I was also interested to see that it seems to be using a 1.8 inch HD instead of a 2.5 inch HD.

    The difference in the pricing between the two models was only $100, and the difference in RAM and HD size seems to me that I’d only want the more expensive unit.

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  10. Allan Jones Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    William C Bonner

    The 2710P used a 1.8 inch hard drive too, so this isn’t new. However, the hard drive used in the 2710P appears to be no longer made, which is a bit alarming for those of us who have that model and who expect the hard drive to expire one day.

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    1. William C Bonner Tuesday, May 4, 2010

      I noticed the 1.8 inch hard drive primarily because my old Fujitsu P7120 has a 1.8 inch hd that’s only 64GB. While I still find the subnotebook highly functional, I can’t buy a new HD for it. (I’ve got a PATA interface, prior to ZIF interface.)

      The small form factor drive significantly reduces what you may be able to replace the existing drive with down the road. I expect teh problems won’t be as bad with SATA as they have been with PATA, but with SSDs constantly dropping in price and increasing in capacity, and my habit of making long term use of a machine, standardized components are a good thing.

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