HP ElitePad 900
Windows 8 tablets and hybrid devices powered by an Intel Atom processor score over premium models powered by Core i5 and i7 processors when it comes to battery life. Moreover, they come in at half the price and are equally versatile, albeit slightly slower. We have already seen some great examples such as the HP Envy X2 and Acer Iconia W5, both of which are hybrid devices featuring a detachable design. Today we have with us yet another Atom-powered device, the HP ElitePad 900, that uses a different approach and targets office users. Here’s what it has in store for you.
An Intel Atom-powered Windows 8 tablet
Design and features
The ElitePad 900 resembles an elongated iPad—when held in portrait mode, it’s about an inch taller and a few millimetres narrower. This straightaway indicates that the display of the ElitePad 900 has a widescreen aspect ratio. However, a pixel dimension of 1280 x 800 translates to an aspect ratio of 16:10 unlike 16:9, which is the case with most laptops and tablets that have 1366 x 768 pixel displays. This was the first thing that disappointed us. The display is vibrant and features Gorilla Glass 2 protection, but it would have been nice to see a full HD panel.
The core of the HP ElitePad 900 isn’t much different from that of the HP Envy x2, Acer Iconia W5 and Dell Latitude 10 ST. At its heart is the Intel Atom Z2760 processor ticking at 1.8GHz and 2GB of RAM. The variant that we got our hands on offers 32GB of onboard storage (eMMC SSD type) and comes with 32-bit Windows 8 operating system.
Very good build quality and pleasing aesthetics
HP hasn’t compromised on the build and finish of this tablet—it’s impeccable. The casing is made of aluminium and sports a matte finish. The only plastic bit is a black patch on the rear that houses cellular and Wi-Fi antennas and NFC sensor. An almost invisible 8 megapixel camera is also present at the top right corner of the black patch, next to which is an LED flash. Below that you have the volume rocker and the opposite side is home to a microSD and a SIM card slot hidden under a plastic flap, which can be ejected using a SIM card eject tool or a paperclip.
8 megapixel camera with LED flash and volume rocker
When held in portrait mode, you’ll find the power button on the left side at the top. An autorotate toggle switch and a 3.5 mm earphone jack are placed on the right side. At 0.75-inch, the black frame around the display isn’t too thick. A full HD front camera is placed at the centre of the frame above the display. The Start button takes its usual place at the bottom centre of the frame. Lay the tablet flat on the desk and you’ll see stereo speakers on the bottom side—they’re placed on either side of a proprietary connector. That rounds out the exterior of the device.
SIM and microSD card slot covered by a plastic flap
Sounds incomplete? Are you thinking about the presence of USB ports and HDMI output on the side of the device? You don’t get any of that built-in. If you want them, you have two options.
Expansion Jacket with USB ports, HDMI output and SD/MMC card reader
First, you can opt for the HP ElitePad Expansion Jacket. It’s a tough plastic housing with a rubberised finish that encases the tablet. The bottom of the jacket has a pair of USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, SD/MMC card reader and the same proprietary port as that on the tablet for PC connectivity. The jacket also has a provision to take an additional battery pack (also an optional accessory) to add few more hours of battery life. The Expansion Jacket and battery will set you back Rs 6,999 and Rs 5,990 respectively—that’s almost Rs 13,000 extra for HDMI and USB ports and additional battery life.
Docking Station for ElitePad 900
Converts the tablet to a desktop PC
The second option is the ElitePad Docking Station that allows using the tablet as a desktop PC. It’s layered with a rubber mat at the bottom and weighs a good 657 grams so that it doesn’t budge. A pair of USB 2.0 ports is placed on each side and the rear has an Ethernet port, an HDMI port and VGA output. The dock draws power from the supplied power adapter. Thus it enables using input devices and peripherals such as multifunction devices and external storage with the tablet. This desktop PC transformation doesn’t come in cheap—the Docking Station carries a price tag of Rs 9,999. Another optional accessory is the HP Executive Tablet pen that’s priced at Rs 3,499. It’s a digitiser that allows making sketches and taking handwritten notes.