HP SlateBook 14 is an Android notebook with a Tegra chip

Google Android: It’s not just for phones… or tablets… or TV boxes… or watches anymore. HP is getting ready to launch a 14 inch notebook powered by Google’s Android operating system.

It’s called the HP SlateBook 14 and as the name suggests, it’s 14 inch laptop with a touchscreen display. What makes it different from most notebooks is that this model is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra quad-core processor and Google Android software.

HP hasn’t officially launched the SlateBook 14 yet, but the folks at Notebook Italia spotted a promotional video on the HP website that tells us almost everything we’d want to know about the device.

hp slatebook 14_02

The SlateBook 14 reportedly features a 14 inch, full HD touchscreen display, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage.

It has a microSD card slot, HDMI port, 3 USB ports, audio jack, and  802.11b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth. It also features Beats Audio and has a a keyboard with dedicated keys for Android functions such as Home and Recent Apps.

The notebook runs Google Android and features access to the Google Play Store, which means you should be able to access over a million Android apps.

There are still a few things we don’t know. HP hasn’t announced the price or launch date for the laptop yet, and it’s not clear which  NVIDIA quad-core processor the SlateBook 14 uses. It could be a Tegra 4 chip, but it could also be the new NVIDIA Tegra K1.

While the HP SlateBook 14 will hardly be the first Android laptop to his the streets, it’s one of the first from a big-name PC maker since the Toshiba AC100 10 inch notebook launched in 2010.

Google tends to push Chrome OS for notebook and desktop computers while suggesting device makers use Android on phones and tablets. But the fact that HP is promising access to the Google Play Store on the SlateBook 14 suggests that the company has Google’s blessing to load Android on this laptop.

  • brian

    chromeos might be more interesting than android for this form factor.

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      HP already has a 14 inch Chromebook… cleverly called the HP Chromebook 14.

      Officially, Google pushes Chrome OS for notebooks for laptops and desktops and Android for phones and tablets. But that hasn’t stopped device makers from blurring the lines.

      What’s interesting here is that this notebook seems to feature Google Mobile Services certification, which allows HP to load the Play Store. That means HP seems to have Google’s blessing to load Android on a notebook.

      • Keith

        Play Store, Google Maps, GMail, etc. have come bundled in Android-x86 builds for quite a while. There isn’t any “desktop” profile like Phone and MID so I’d assume these are using a MID (tablet) build of Android.

      • mo

        Has Google relaxed their requirements for allowing Google apps and services? It’s been a couple of years since I last checked (Play was still called the Market) so a lot has likely changed. In the past, Google rejected their Google services suite for many devices for not just missing software functions but also missing hardware features in order give them some control over Android devices.

        Maybe Google services on Android x86 no matter the end hardware is a non-Google sanctioned thing but Google is just letting it slide? I don’t have any experience with the Android x86 project.

      • CyberGusa

        Android x86 project is a separate fork of Android that isn’t directly supported by Google and is basically just users trying to get Android to work on x86 systems…

        But Google officially supports Intel x86 for both Android and Chrome, it has been like that for the last two years and everything from top to bottom now supports both ARM and x86…

        The SDK’s etc all allow developers to easily support either or both platforms for their apps, for example… and while there are still Android apps that may not offer x86 support, most of them now do…

        Unlike when Intel first came out with their mobile SoCs are started producing Android phones, etc. and needed to include a Binary Translation layer to help
        support at least most apps that didn’t have direct x86 support… Most developers are now on board on supporting both and users don’t have to be concerned on the support as the app installer auto recognizes which platform you have and thus installs the version you need without needing any input from the user…

        This is also why Intel devices are getting the latest Android version releases too…

        So there’s no need for Android x86 fork… at least for Intel… AMD still doesn’t directly support Android, but they made a deal with the maker of Bluestack to better optimize it for their SoC to at least support running Android apps under emulation but that doesn’t get official Google support and thus no Play Store, etc… at least not by default, as people can always hack most of those in with a little effort and technical skills…

        And yes, Google still uses its proprietary apps and services to leverage control over the Android market…

        While Intel is presently trying to push their 64bit advantage with Bay Trail
        and have already developed a 64bit Kitkat image for developers to work
        from… So we’ll likely see 64bit Android Intel devices before we’ll see 64bit Android ARM devices…

        Though, Apple beat everyone to mobile 64bit with their custom A7 SoC and iOS7 64bit…

      • Keith

        Intel’s Android builds are tightly coupled to specific chipsets. Android-x86 had the (unrealized, mainly due to closed source GPUs) goal of creating generic builds of Android for x86 systems. GPUs in general remain the Achille’s Heel of Android on x86/x64.

      • CyberGusa

        Uh, nope… Intel supports Open Source drivers for their GPU and have a long history of providing good Linux support for their GPUs…

        While most of the ARM market deals with closed driver GPUs… Imagination Tech has over 80% of the GPU IPs for the ARM mobile market!

      • brian

        that one is x86, this is arm.

  • Sam Curcio

    Now, what about some useful desktop apps to go along with this bigger device?

    • Keith

      Things like web browsers, PDF viewers, word processors, spreadsheets, file managers, etc. are not what you want? There are tons of useful applications.

      • Sam Curcio

        I have attempted to use those apps for work, but none of them offer enough features compared to the desktop versions. Maybe I am expecting too much from Android. But, if they want to play in the same sandbox as the big boys, then they should be comparable.

      • Nighty

        Well, I’m guessing that you’re not talking about web browsers since the only functionality issing on android is full blown java (flash can still be installed). PDF viewers are on par with desktop solutions in my opinion, especially when using stuff like ezPDFreader. I find Solid Explorer and Total Commander to do all that I need from a file manager. As for office suites, many of the solutions in the app store are more than enough for most people (including myself). If you need something more robust there is AOO AndrOpen Office whicb is just Open Office for android and should cover most of yourneeds. If you need something more microsofty theres the online solutions plus the Microsoft app if you have a subscription.

        Photo editing and video editing do exist but they are definitely behind the desktop solutions but few people actually need the professional apps. For those that do, windows and Macs are bett er choices but in those cases it’s a completely different target audience. The biggest disadvantage of an android solution is the lack of windowed apps.

      • CyberGusa

        Well, Google is pushing their Chrome Remote Desktop feature to allow people to control their PC from any Chromebook or Android with Chrome browser… So, as long as this is mainly a secondary device then it could still appeal to some people… as long as they got good network and broadband support…

        And like you said, people who have Office 365 subscriptions can still take advantage of that service on Android too…

        I doubt this will be using a K1, though… It’s too soon… as it normally takes a few months before companies release a product on a newly released chip. It also takes time to power optimize a new Nvidia Tegra…

        Like when the Tegra 4 first came out they needed to include active cooling… The Nvidia Shield for example has a case fan, and it even took Nvidia a few months before they finally released their reference tablet design for the Tegra 4…

        Though, a 14″ Slatebook should be a lot easier to keep cool than a smaller tablet but still wouldn’t mitigate the need for a larger battery until they get the power usage optimized and only 2GB of RAM may not fully allow them to take advantage of the GPU improvements that the K1 brings as well…

        Nvidia specification for the K1 lets it support up to 8GB of RAM… Though, they’re releasing it in two versions… The first being a 32bit version that’s still using the same Cortex A15 cores as the Tegra 4 and is mainly just pushing the GPU upgrade and then later they will release the 64bit version with their custom “Project Denver” cores… So the full 8GB support is probably for that later version…

        Anyway, Tegra 4 still provides pretty good performance for basic usages… For running Android it should be pretty comparable to Bay Trail and offer even better graphics… and the included touch screen means even apps that don’t support the keyboard can still be used, though it would probably have been even better if it had a way to move the keyboard out of the way like a Yoga design…

      • Keith

        If you’re going to “remote” things then you may as well buy Chromebook or some other thin client.

      • CyberGusa

        Maybe, but doesn’t change that it could help this product too… It’s mainly questionable for using Android apps on a laptop without a convenient way to convert it into a tablet…

        But a lot of that will be determined on whether developers decide to expand support beyond traditional devices… Though, probably not a good idea for early adopters…

      • QuanahHarjo

        But an Android laptop would actually be able to run a ton of additional local software besides the remoting, something that ChromeOS just isn’t up to yet. I’m not saying I think it’s a particularly good idea, but the weight of local apps is far, far on the side of Android.

      • Labmouse

        I do believe remote software is available for just about every single platform out there, many of them compatible with windows remote desktop.

      • Justin Strickland

        Do you have examples of what apps let you down?
        I doubt you tried ALL of “those apps”. There are definitely clear winners and losers in the productivity department, but I find it hard to believe you couldn’t do what you wanted if you used QuickOffice (google’s version) and Chrome…

      • Sam Curcio

        No, I didn’t try all those apps, but I have tried a good selection. I use quite a few desktop applications for research and design. None of the current Android apps can fill my requirements. Yet, I do give them credit for helping with searching out information that I can later use in creating academic papers and website development. I use vertical market software for my work.

      • Labmouse

        If you’re using an android device to replace a windows workstation or laptop, you’re doing it wrong (with a few outlier exceptions) :) Android was never meant for real productivity work. It’s really for media consumption and communications. All those lightened productivity apps you see on the play store is so you can feel like you’re getting something done while on the go.

    • mo

      I agree. Android may have a lot of apps but they’re not designed for this kind of use. Of course, if these devices get popular, app makers will adjust their apps accordingly. The typical chicken and egg situation.

      Maybe this smartbook version 2.0 attempt will do better than the last time OEMs tried it.

      • Nighty

        Well, the toshiba solution mentioned in the article came out the year before the Xoom and other Tegra2 devices. Android was still a very early version not meant to be compatible with mic e or trackpads and it wasn’t a touchscreen device. Not to mention the more limited app selection. I doubt that this device will be a hit but hopefully with the right pricing it will find its niche for those who can benefit from it and hopefully it’s a decent device with a good user experience. Thankfully the touchscreen should make sure it doesn’t suffer from one of the problems the M.O.J.O. did before root:app selection.

      • mo

        I agree that there is a bigger chance of success this time. The main issue I see is if app makers will try to provide UIs more conducive for mouse and keyboard type use where users may be further away from the screen. Maybe users just won’t mind using a touch centric UI where a good amount of screen space is given to touch hit areas.

        Kind of like the issues some users had when Windows 8 first came out who were using them on desktops and notebooks. MS has improved mouse and keyboard use for the Modern UI but many improvements can still be done. I’m not sure how much Google will help with this due to Chrome OS.

        As for price, especially if this uses a K1 chip, I’m not sure pricing will be in its favor compared to Chromebooks and Intel subsudized Bay Trail devices. Then again, I don’t think there are a lot of 14″ Chromebooks and Bay Trail notebooks.

    • artinvent

      Why would there be that many desktop productivity apps for an os that’s not been allowed on the desktop? If you build it they will come. Free Android from its tablet/phone chains and I think you’d have a heck of a lot of developer interest. Android is so much much more promising as a real desktop power os than Chrome or iOS – for one thing its got a real accessible file system. Plus its already got working ports of solid Linux apps like OpenOffice, gimp, Inkscape. Even if you just think of this as a ChromeBook plus Android – it beats the stuffing out of a ChromeBook. Sign me up please.

    • JLIT99

      Have you ever tried LinuxOnAndroid? It gives you a full Linux desktop install on your Android.
      If the apps you are looking for are available on Linux, it may be useful.

  • Nighty

    I would personally be interested in this. I think that the reasons for choosing this over a chromebook are basically the same as for choosing a Windows laptop over a chromebook: app selection. I hardly ever use/need windows apps or z java virtual machine and I actually have bought several ancroid apps in luding productivity ones and stuff like webster’s unabridged dictionary so an android solution would be great for me. The downside to this device would be the lack of apps that would run I windowed mode. Few apps run in windowed mode outside of samsung devices (yes, LG and rockchip have windowed app solutions but from what I know few third party apps run with LG’s implementation and I haven’t heard of a device that implements rockchip’s solution, not to mention this is a tegra device. )

  • deppman

    Four Observations:

    First, this thing looks sa-weet! I have a TF701T, which I use for hours each day, and this just looks so much better. Of couse, 75% of the time I use the TF701T as a tablet, so some of that utility cannot be replicated. But this is really slim and a nice looking design, and I could see it replacing the TF701T in many instances.

    Second, battery life should be absolutely great – perhaps 10+ hours as acheived by the Shield. And the Full-HD (I assume ~1920×1200 resolution) is the sweet spot for frame rates for the T4 or TK1. Lots to like so far!

    Third, this can be LTE accessable with the additional of an Icera 500 chip. And if it is a TK1, it should have better graphics than the majority of laptops out there today, but even with the Tegra 4 the graphics should be quite good at HD resolutions as experience with the Shield shows.

    Fourth, as much as I hate to say it, the only big downside seems to be the OS. While I think Android is a good mobile and tablet OS, it seems a bit too limiting for what I want to do with a Laptop. However, if Google were to marry ChromeOS + Android on this thing, it would resolve most of the productivity issues. The other thing I’d want to use it for – development – would require a new OS install. But that might be ok :)

  • Cal Rankin

    Can someone please get Linux distros running on this when it’s launched? I would really enjoy using Ubuntu on this.
    However, my biggest question is how are a lot of Android apps going to run on this, especially those that require a gyroscope (or whatever the gravity sensor is called)? Games like Temple Run may not work very well on this, if at all, unless there are keyboard or touchpad alternatives for tilting the device.

    • CyberGusa

      Since they got Google approval for the Play Store, it’s likely they complied with many of the minimum certification process to get that approval and that means it should have sensors besides just having a touch screen…

      It wouldn’t be surprising consider they’ve been pushing support for those type of sensors on even Ultrabooks … Though, games like Temple Run work fine without those sensors… you just use touch instead of tilting and it would still be rather cumbersome to tilt a laptop versus a phone…

      • Cal Rankin

        Is it like Subway Surfers, where you swipe to move back and forth?

      • CyberGusa

        Pretty much, the tilting is more intuitive but you can get by without it…

        On the PC, you can even use z and x keys to tilt which should still work for this and its dedicated keyboard… and there are remapping apps that could help with the rest even if it doesn’t…

      • Cal Rankin

        That’s great. I’m so glad that there are alternatives.

    • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

      Nvidia is known for supplying proper X drivers for its ARM SOCs (although binary and closed source) and they update those drivers regularly.

      K1 is also the first Tegra which has the same GPU architecture (Kepler) as the rest of the NV desktop GPU-s, which means that its Linux driver is practically on the same codebase as the desktop GPU-s.

      All in all, it should be relatively straightforward to create a well-working Linux distro for this hardware (which has proper 2D / 3D accelelration, hw video decoding…etc). Compared to Chinese SOCs like the RKxxx and other non-documented, driver-less SOCs, this should be a breeze.

      In fact, in case of HP, I would consider an Ubuntu version for this model.

  • CampGareth

    Well now that’s interesting, I really loved the AC100 but the time wasn’t right. The Samsung chromebook 2s come along and now this… While I’d go for Android over chromeOS for a laptop, 14″ and 2GB of RAM lose me. I’d want more portability and RAM for my intended uses.

  • 127wexfordroad

    so sad how people resist new ways of computing. believe it or not, there IS life after Microsoft and Mac!

    • Fean

      Or Linux !!!

      • KCKitsune

        Android is Linux.

  • Caitlin Bestler

    How will this be different that their current 10″ slatebook?
    Keyboard being permanently attached? A minor point, you never detach your slatebook from the base.
    14″ rather than 10.1″. That’s minor, and personal preference. I prefer more compact.
    Tegra K1 rather than Tegra 4? That would be worth considering.

    But the real question is whether HP will follow Asus and make the necessary disclosures to allow rooting
    the device.. Without that this will eventually become an orphan, kind of like the current slatebook.

    Don’t even consider buying tis until HP posts a link to the necessary download pages.ook

    If you want a notebook with a non-modifiable OS, stick with Windows.

  • Caitlin Bestler

    Also, did they fix the lack of GPS? Not having a GPS device hampers a *lot* of Android apps.

  • Nighty

    They pulled the video.

  • Fean

    Does that has a BIOS, so that we can install linux on it ???

  • Fean

    Is there a way to install Linux on it, or just different Android ROMs ???

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    It seems that the keyboard is not very well arranged. They should have opted for a similar layout than the Samsung Chromebook (at least with the arrow keys)

  • Bruno

    It’s so beautiful but so cheap (hardware) they’ve put Beats Audio in it… Beats Audio sucks, everyone knows that…