For the first time in over a year, HP has announced a new tablet for enterprise users: the ElitePad 900. The new device runs Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system and has optional accessories that make it feasible as a primary computing device.
"HP has already announced a slew of touch-capable Windows 8 products targeted at consumers, but today it has unveiled hardware for the business set," noted Ars Technica's Andrew Cunningham. "The HP ElitePad 900 is a 10" Windows 8 tablet running Intel's Clover Trail-based Atom processors, and features business-class security features along with a sturdy aluminum frame reminiscent of the company's business-class EliteBook laptops."
PCMag's Joel Santo Domingo detailed the device's specs: "The ElitePad 900 comes with 2GB of memory, a 64GB SSD for primary storage, 1,280 by 800 resolution (16:10) 10.1-inch screen, dual band Wi-Fi, optional 4G WWAN radio, and optional capacitive pen/stylus support. It measures 0.36 by 7 by 10.28 inches (HWD) independent of the Smart Jackets, so it's longer but roughly the size of an iPad. It feels comfortable in the hand, is under two pounds (though there's no official weight yet). It's got a built-in 1080p and an 8-megapixel webcam, along with the other features we've come to expect from tablets (accelerometers, GPS, voice transcription). Pricing is still to be determined, but we're expecting it to cost as much as a high-end tablet from iOS or Android makers. The ElitePad 900 will be available in January 2013, so look for it around CES time."
ReadWriteWeb's Fredric Paul reported, "By far the most interesting accessory is HP's 'smart jacket,' designed to add capabilities for specific roles. Slipping on the productivity smart jacket adds a hard-connected keyboard, a second battery, better speakers, more ports and more slots. Presto, you've got a fully functional laptop. Will the idea of using a tablet as a primary computing device take off in corporate America? That depends on pricing, of course, and HP is not saying how much any of this will cost when it hits the market early next year."
"The ElitePad 900 thrusts HP back into the ultracompetitive tablet market, where the Palo Alto, Calif.-based PC giant has tried and failed to carve a space for itself in the past," observed Kristin Bent in CRN. "In August 2011, HP discontinued its debut tablet, the TouchPad, after a brief six weeks on the market."