HP Compaq 2710p review
A versatile and compact tablet PC with stunning battery life, but we do have a few usability complaints.
Review Date: 10 Oct 2007
Reviewed By: Dave Stevenson
Price when reviewed: (£1,406 inc VAT)
It was only a few months ago that an HP product manager remarked to PC Pro that the tablet PC was "dead" as far as consumer use went (web ID: 112623). As hard as Microsoft tried, the mass market never took to the idea of pen-driven, touchscreen notebooks, and manufacturers brave enough to devote serious resources to the tablet were forced to look elsewhere. Vertical markets - such as education and healthcare industries - show the most promise. And, weighing just 1.7kg, the 2710p is probably the ideal size for holding in the crook of your arm in a warehouse.
As convertible tablets go, the design is convincing. Apart from the hinge at the back, the 2710p looks like a normal ultraportable and feels well made. The base of the keyboard is solid, and both the back of the screen and wristrest feel equally tough. The keyboard is particularly well made, and typing is both fast and easy. There's even a white LED that pops out of the screen bezel to illuminate the keyboard.
The 12.1in, 1,280 x 800 touchscreen is practical for most applications. The resolution is high enough for office tasks, but the screen isn't very bright and is characterised by a grainy texture that makes even pure whites appear mottled. It will be fine with normal Windows applications, but you wouldn't want to work with it for image editing or other colour-critical applications.
The tablet features of the 2710p work well. The stylus, which can be tethered to the laptop via the included strap, pops out of the top left-hand corner of the chassis. The screen is responsive and smooth to work on, and Vista's much-improved-over-XP tablet features recognise even hastily scrawled notes.
Performance comes from the Intel Core 2 Duo U7600 and 1GB of RAM. The overall benchmark result is underwhelming at 0.54, but the U in the processor nomenclature signifies a low-power processor. The 1.2GHz U7600 has a TDP (thermal design power) of just 10W, which means less cooling, longer battery life and smaller dimensions.
This reduced power consumption produced tangible results in our battery tests. In our light-use test the 2710P lasted a commendable six-and-a-half hours and in the intensive-use test three-and-a-half hours. That's almost long enough to last all day without the need to hunt down a socket.
The 2710p has a spring-loaded Wi-Fi aerial built into the top of the screen, which is released by a button, and in terms of connections there's just one disappointment: the 2710p provides a/b/g wireless and Gigabit Ethernet, but there's no sign of HSDPA. HP sells this useful extra for an additional £200.
Internal storage is reasonable, with a Toshiba hard disk providing 80GB of space. It's divided into three partitions: one 66GB disk for general use, and two for OS tools and recovery. However, a serious drawback to the 2710p's impressive 28mm-high profile is the sacrifice of an optical drive. Industrial users won't mind this, but it's a nail in the coffin for consumers.
Another niggle is that the 2710p gets extremely hot on the lower left of the wristrest. It isn't hot enough to be actively scorching, but will make a warm environment significantly more uncomfortable.
There's also an issue with the two catches on either side of the keyboard. While they're supposed to prevent the screen swivelling when closed, they simply end up becoming an unwelcome space restriction when typing (they dig into the hand rather uncomfortably forcing us to change our typing style). We didn't think much to the location of the fingerprint reader either. This is awkwardly placed on the right- hand side of the screen, making it hard to get a straight print, and irritating to use for left handers.
- Swatch Touch smartwatch in development
- Did iCloud flaw lead to celeb photo hack?
- Microsoft refuses to hand over customer emails
- Apple signs up credit-card companies for NFC payments
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- Intel unveils eight-core Haswell-E CPU
- Forget robot butlers: meet Fuji Xerox's robot printer
- Wing it: Google's drone delivery revealed
- Facebook testing keyword searching in old posts
- It's on: Apple announces 9 September event for the iPad, iWatch and iPhone 6... maybe
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office