No hard feelings, tx2, but there was always something just a little "behind the curve" about your design and feature set, and we're kind of glad HP decided to go all-new with its TouchSmart tm2 followup. The 12.1-inch laptop is powered by new Intel Core 2 Duo procs and even discrete ATI Mobility Radeon graphics if you're man enough, and claims 9 hours of battery life off its standard 6-cell. Most importantly, the capacitive multitouch screen is finger and pen friendly. The physical design takes some cues from HP's new Envy laptops, including the controversial unibutton touchpad and lovable aluminum build, and seems decently thinner, lighter and stronger than the tx2. The laptop should be out on January 17th with a starting price of $949.
We played around with the laptop, and outside of the slightly suspicious touchpad, we were pretty impressed by the laptop. The build quality is great, in both feel and confidence-building (a must for a convertible tablet like this), but HP's also really beefed up the software aspect, pre-loading the new Netflix-inclusive version of its TouchSmart software and the wild, almost-useful BumpTop 3D desktop. Tossing in a finger friendly version of Corel Paint and an interactive dolphin screensaver was also a nice touch. Check out a quick video hands-on after the break.