Features: Software & Hardware
We are going to be adding a new section as needed, which will focus on proprietary software from the notebook vendors. Whether you buy from Dell, HP, Compaq, IBM, etc., each company usually has software that is branded with their name to make the notebook experience just that much sweeter. By that we mean easier, simpler, more feature laden, with user fixable solutions, etc...
There are no specific display indicators for mute, volume up, volume down, increase brightness or decrease brightness, though Microsoft does have a system tray icon for mute in Windows. There are, however, display indicators for the status of num, caps, and scroll lock, as well as for WiFi status.
Of the various software enhancements that HP/Compaq includes, we want to particularly note:
- HP Total Care - This is the program that pops up when you click "Help and Support" from the HP Info Center menu (from the start menu). This is a separate program that detects your system ID (serial and product) in order to give you access to the newest drivers, HP online troubleshooting and support, and HP technical support contact information (phone).
- Update Manager (APS) - This is a program that can check for updates for multiple programs at once. Not all programs are supported by this software, though it seems that all the major ones are.
- HP ProtectTools - This is basically a much beefier security program that integrates into Windows XP. It allows you to lock out hard drive data so that others can't access your information should you lose your Tablet. Additionally, HP's Credentials Manager (part of ProtectTools) can store all of your critical login and/or personal information so that you can access it easily but securely for applications like logging on to your investment website, your company's VPN, etc. While the software supports a fingerprint scanner and Smart Card reader, these components are optional, with only the latter being an optional internal part. A fingerprint scanner is going to have to be external for now. You can read more here or watch the demo.
- Diagnostics - HP provides two simple but thorough tools to diagnose hardware problems. One also serves as a very complete software utility for identifying system components.
Reinstallation of Drivers - This will require that you use the driver/application CD that shipped with your system or go to the TC4200 download section of HP's driver support site.