HP recently launched its first business-friendly Windows 8 Pro tablet – the Elitepad 900 – along with a slew of accessories to go with it. We got our hands on a review unit to check out what the deal was all about. The ElitePad 900 is a 10.1-inch Windows 8 Pro slate, specifically focused at business users, with features such as a pen input, drive encryption and optional 3G / 4G.
Like most high-end EliteBook laptops from HP, the ElitePad has a premium look, marked by a machined aluminum back cover and 400-nit IPS display coated in Gorilla Glass. Also similar to the EliteBooks, it meets the military’s MIL-spec 810G durability requirements, and can withstand three-foot drops, among other accidents.
The sleek form factor of the 900 is slightly lighter than the iPad and about as thin. It is comfortable to use in the hand for extended periods and doesn’t particularly look like a work system. It is a typical Atom-based tablet running Windows 8. The performance doesn’t set the world on fire but it handles most tasks with ease. Most things run handily with occasional lagging if lots of apps are running.
The Elitepad 900 weighs 680 grams and measures 9.2mm thick. Going by weight, that’s more along the lines of what you’d expect from a larger, 11-inch tablet, but the weight is still manageable, especially considering the armour and the features this tablet packs in.
Under the hood, the Elitepad 900 runs on an Atom-based Intel Clover Trail processor, which is supported by 2GB of RAM. Internal storage-wise, you have a choice of either settling for a 32GD SSD eMMC, or a 64GB model. Turn the tablet around and you will find an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1080p shooter up front for video chats.
The ElitePad 900 comes with a 1280-by-800 display. Compared to the 1080p (and higher) resolutions found in some mobile tablets, the ElitePad’s display may seem lackluster – and it is. Close inspection of fine details, particularly small text, reveals artifacts and pixilation that’s not found on tablets packing more pixels. Having said that however, movie clips we played on the Elitepad 900 were vibrant and documents clear, even in direct sunlight.
To spice up the Elitepad 900, HP is also selling two so-called SmartJackets – cases that do a little more than just shield the device from wear and tear. One of them, for instance, has two USB ports, HDMI output, a full-size memory card slot and room for an optional battery slice. As for the second case, its defining feature is a built-in keyboard, which plugs directly into the tablet.
Having mentioned all the features on the Elitepad 900, it is easy to guess that it is an out-and-out corporate device. In our tests, the Elitepad 900 managed to offer 9 hours of battery life, which is not bad. The Elitepad 900 looks unobtrusive and it can handle everyday tasks. What it does lack however is processing power and memory to tackle complex tasks, and it provides very limited storage capacity.
The HP ElitePad 900 is a well-built and nicely designed Windows 8 tablet aimed at business users. Though it is not a great performer, the battery life it offers is quite good. The Elitepad 900 might be the one for your business, only if you consider adding a keyboard, mouse and docking station to your purchase order.
Price: No Pricing Available
Specifications:OS: Windows 8 Pro
Processor: Intel Atom CPU Z2760 1.80-GHz
Display: 10.1-inch 1280×800 with Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Cameras: 8-megapixel (rear), 1080p HD (front)
Storage: 32GB eMMC SSD