HPs new tablet balances a smart and stylish design with features that can help the mobile workforce be more productive
Portable computers continue to gain market acceptance despite weak overall PC sales. Tablets are especially the new rage because they meet the needs of regular as well as business users. Regular travelers need everyday computing power in a reasonably light package,while high-end business users need high power and often prefer extra-thin,extra-light models.
In my view,these needs and many more can be addressed with the HP ElitePad 900. A notebook computer that balances a smart and stylish design with features that can help the enterprise workforce be more productive,while ensuring security aspects. Basically,it is an ultra-thin,lightweight tablet that is made for business and designed for Windows 8 environment. It is well-built and can withstand drops,vibration,dust,temperature extremes and high altitude. It is available at a starting price of R43,500,excluding the price of accessories.
First,a quick note on the maker (Hewlett-Packard) of this machine. As per the latest data released by IDC,the American PC maker is Indias number one PC brand with a 16.5% market share in Q4 2012. HP has moved into No. 1 place in CY Q4 2012 (October-December 2012) driven by strong sales/marketing campaigns and good mind-share among consumers. This momentum was driven by the fact that portable computers continue to gain in dominance among the PC market segments.
Last December,HP introduced its first ultra-thin hybrid PC,HP ENVY X2,which offers advantages of two devices in one,along with a new portfolio of touch-enabled ultrabook,notebooks and all-in-one PCs. HP ENVY x2 is a notebook that doubles as a tablet; it has a detachable screen that becomes a full tablet when separated from the keyboard via a seamless magnetic latch.
Back to the ElitePad. Market reality is that tablets are increasingly finding their way in the work environment and companies now recognise the importance of mobility
offered by tablets,to executives and key employees. The Elitepad is that perfect device for todays mobile workforce as it combines great style and user experience along with manageability and security features. Its thoughtfully designed accessories ecosystem allows the tablet to work as a primary notebook or a customised vertical solution to meet customer needs.
Once out of the box,it becomes evident that the ElitePad is ergonomically shaped to fit comfortably in the hand. It offers a 10.1-inch diagonal display,weighs just 0.63 kg and measures 9.2 mm thin. The 16-by-10 aspect ratio maximises the display area for ideal viewing of traditional business applications,as well as video content. The tablet uses stylish,premium materials such as CNC-machined aluminum and Corning Gorilla Glass.
In terms of specs,the ElitePad is powered by a 1.8 GHz dual-core processor and 2 GB internal memory. Its 1080p front-facing video camera and 8 megapixel (MP) rear camera with an LED flash and included CyberLink YouCam software help users easily communicate face to face,create high-definition (HD) videos or record training videos without high production costs.
The unique,productivity-enhancing ecosystem of the optional HP Smart Jackets and additional accessories designed specifically for the HP ElitePad expand the tablets potential,turning it into a total enterprise solution. The productivity jacket includes an integrated keyboard,connectivity ports,SD card reader and adjustable viewing angles for a complete computing
experience. Its expansion jacket adds USB,HDMI and other connectivity to get more done on the go.
The docking station delivers an enterprise-class desktop experience with an added keyboard and monitor and also charges the tablet. Or,use it to set the tablet up as a secondary screen for phenomenal multitasking. The tablet pen lets customers write messages and notes in their natural handwriting directly on screen and then save or convert to typed text for use in other applications.
An interesting app on the ElitePad is the PageLift that automatically trims,and correctly lights and orients a captured image of a whiteboard,
paper contract or other document so it is ready to use or share without requiring manual editing. Users can easily print directly from their ElitePad to any ePrint enabled HP printers with the preloaded ePrint driver,or to a networked HP printer without the need for downloading drivers. The ElitePad also helps small workgroups connect with HP Wireless Hotspot,a desktop application that allows users to share a wireless internet connection and network bandwidth.
All in all,HPs new tablet is one of the best tablets I have seen,in regard to overall functionality.
* Dimensions: 7 x 10.28 x 0.36 inches (H x W x D)
* Display: 10.1-inches,1280 x 800 pixels resolution
* Processor: Intel dual-core Atom 1.8 GHz
* Camera: 8 MP (rear); 1080p HD (front)
* Connectivity: 3G,Wi-Fi,USB port
* Memory: 2 GB RAM,external 32 GB or 64 GB
Estimated street price:Rs43,500