Hewlett-Packard on Oct. 1 took the wraps off its ElitePad 900 tablet, designed to run the latest edition of Microsoft’s operating system, Windows 8, and sporting features such as a 10.1-inch diagonal display, a weight of just 1.5 pounds and thickness of 9.2mm.
The ElitePad is HP's third recent attempt at building and marketing a tablet PC for business use. Two previous products, the TouchPad and Slate, did not make much of an impression in the market.
The ElitePad has been toughened up a bit, boasting military-grade durability for drops, vibration, dust, temperature extremes and high altitude.
The tablet itself is constructed of CNC-machined aluminum and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 2 and is powered by next-generation Intel mobile processors. The ElitePad 900 also features a 1080p front-facing video camera and 8-megapixel rear camera with an LED flash and included CyberLink YouCam software for face-to-face communication or to help create high-definition Web videos or record training videos.
Expected to be available in the United States in January 2013—pricing will be revealed close to the launch date, the company said—the tablet also boasts enhanced connectivity features, including HP ePrint software, which allows users to print remotely at more than 24,000 public locations, and HP Wireless Hotspot, a desktop application that allows users to share a wireless Internet connection and network bandwidth.
HP has also bundled data, device and identity protection from HP Client Security, including Basic Input Output System (BIOS) protection, a security manager and HP Drive Encryption.
Designed for business and government, the tablet also features optional ElitePad Smart Jackets, which add connectivity options and an additional slim battery for longer runtime. The Productivity Jacket includes an integrated keyboard, connectivity ports, SD card reader and adjustable viewing angles.
The Expansion Jacket adds USB, High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) and other connectivity options for mobile computing. The tablet’s additional security features include Device Access Manager, Computrace and Sparekey.
HP user-experience software includes the CyberLink Media suite, which enables users to manage and create audio and video content with the same interface as other HP business PCs; Evernote, which captures, saves and synchronizes information across devices with search capability; and Skitch software, which enhances collaboration by marking up images with captions or sketches.
HP has also included PageLift, an application that automatically trims, correctly lights and orients a captured image of a whiteboard, paper contract or other document without requiring manual editing.
HP is also offering a docking station that provides a desktop experience with an added keyboard and monitor and also charges the tablet. Users can also set the tablet up as a secondary screen for multitasking. Another optional add-on is the company’s Executive Tablet Pen, which lets users write messages and notes in their natural handwriting directly on screen and then save or convert to typed text for use in other applications.
“Businesses used to face a tough purchase decision: How to find a product that will delight employees and help them be more productive, while also making sure IT can secure and manage it,” said EVP for Printing and Personal Systems Todd Bradley.
“The HP ElitePad meets all those tests. It combines the great style and user experience consumers demand with the features IT requires.”