HP ElitePad 900 Windows 8 tablet up for pre-order for $649
The starting price gets you a tablet with a 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display and an active digitizer, an Intel Atom Z2760 Clover Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It runs Windows 8 Pro.
HP’s upcoming tablet features a 2 cell, 25Whr battery, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, an 8MP rear camera and a 1080p front-facing camera. There’s also a micro SDHC card slot tucked away inside the tablet. It’s designed to let you add storage to the ElitePad 900 – but it’s positioned so that it’s not easy to remove the card.
In other words, it’s for semi-permanent storage, not for transfering files from a camera or other device.
HP also offers an ElitePad 900 with 64GB of built-in storage for $699.
Add $100 to the price of either model and you can add HP’s mobile broadband option, which includes HSPA+ and GPS.
Got even more money burning a whole in your pocket? HP offers accessories including a docking station and expansion jackets that you can snap onto the tablet to add an external battery or extra ports.
Want a digital pen so you can use the digitizer built into the display? That’ll be another $49.
In other words, prices can easily climb well past the $1000 mark, depending on the features you’re looking for. But that’s the price you pay for picking one of the most versatile Intel Atom-powered Windows 8 tablets expected to launch in the next few months.
By versatile, I mean HP offers a range of customization and expansion options. Unfortunately you’re stuck with that 1280 x 800 pixel display — even though Windows 8 requires a 1366 x 768 pixel or higher resolution screen for some features to work properly, such as snapping a Windows 8 app to the side of the screen to view two Metro-style apps side by side.
HP representatives say the company decided to go with the 1280 x 800 pixel screen because it ensures compatibility with older Windows apps — something that’s important to many enterprise customers. But I’m not aware of many apps that run on that screen resolution which won’t work with 1366 x 768 pixel screens.
The HP ElitePad 900 weighs 1.5 pounds, measures just over a third of an inch thick, and features business-friendly features including drive encryption and HP’s security manager, password manager, and more.