The "1-Minute" Review
Microsoft’s introduction of Windows 8 marks the beginning of a new era of tablet computing. Whereas Windows-based tablets used to be clunky, nearly useless bits of tech, today’s models are fast and offer many new features. Consider the HP ElitePad 900, which is billed as a great solution for users in the business segment. It comes pre-loaded with Windows 8 and runs on a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2760 processor with 2GB of RAM. Its performance is better than its Tegra 3-equipped counterparts but it’s still not as powerful as a proper notebook or tablet computer.
HP’s take on a Windows 8 tablet isn’t too different from that of other tablet manufacturers. It has a 10.1-inch 1280x800 touchscreen display that’s protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass, comes with 64GB of flash-based SSD storage, and carries a number of tiny sensors including ones for ambient light and screen orientation. Its other hardware features include an 8-megapixel camera, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and stereo speakers.
Perhaps you are curious to know whether or not the ElitePad 900’s list of specs ends there. It doesn’t. But it was likely decided during the design phase of this tablet that certain features would be excluded in order to keep its profile at 9mm thick. So it lacks built-in USB and HDMI-out but fortunately these haven’t been taken away completely. Rather, they were transferred to external docking stations and so-called smart jackets that can be used when one deems that they’re necessary.
One of the jackets gives it ports for HDMI-out and USB connectivity. Another makes it more appropriate for outdoor use with increased toughness. And there’s even one that simply adds more battery life. It’s like the ElitePad 900 is Tony Stark, and these jackets are his many Iron Man suits.
As fancy as that sounds, it may prove to be too much of a hassle in real life. It can be quite problematic even for people who don’t like convergence. HP may have decided on this kind of setup for maximum convenience, but in truth it has the potential to become the ElitePad 900’s greatest downfall.
Need to Know: HP ElitePad 900
1. Runs the full desktop version of Windows 8. (The Good)
2. Can be used with a number of external dock and jacket accessories for extra functionality. (The Good)
3. Comes with only 64GB of storage. (The Bad)
4. Some basic features like USB connectivity and HDMI-out require the use of an accessory. (The Bad)