Jan 04, 2009

HP Pavilion TX2500z. Final.

I've been using this tablet for about 4 months with OpenSUSE 11.1, I'm happy: performance, design and hardware support are good for me, however there are few complaints about it:

Hardware

  • Keys are small. Are not small as keys in netbooks, but you get tired if you spent more that 6 hours hacking.
  • Temperature. This is really painful, the hard-disk gets really warm and you can't touch the bottom if you are using doing hard work.
  • Noise. Same as temperature, using the DVD is somehow annoying, unless you are wearing headphones you don't notice the noise. When using the hard-disk, for example, compiling or searching, happens the same.

Recently noticed that HP released HP TouchSmart tx2z, this is similar to TX2500z, however the big differences include more memory (up to 8gb) and multi-touch support. Hopefully my complains are already fixed in this newest hardware.

Software

Installing OpenSUSE 11.1 in super easy, so installing won't let you down, however you will need extra tunning if you want to support all hardware, in particular sound, wireless and video:

radeonhd, open driver

1.2.3 is installed by default, this version doesn't support Screen Rotation nor 3D Acceleration, according to 1.2.4 releasing notes Screen Rotation is now supported however xrandr doesn't report any rotation information. If you want to upgrade add the following repository and upgrade:
http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/X11:/Drivers:/Video/openSUSE_11.1/.

fglrx, proprietary driver

I recommend to generate the rpm and use zypper to install the generated file, if you are running 64bit you will need to recreate the symbolic link because seems the fglrx driver is using 32 paths instead of 64, according to documentation Screen Rotation is also supported, but not enabled by default, so execute as root:
aticonfig --set-pcs-str="DDX,EnableRandr12,TRUE"
to enable it, notice this command doesn't change /etc/X11/xorg.conf, it works however sometimes rotating the screen will lead to a black screen.

Verdict

I like it, is smaller and lighter that my previous laptop, however the temperature is really really annoying.