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HP’s SlateBook x2 is a 10.1 inch Android tablet with a detachable keyboard that lets you use the system like a notebook. It’s part of the company’s expanded x2 family, which also includes the Envy x2 11.6 inch Windows tablet and Split x2 Windows tablet with a 13.3 inch screen.
While HP is hardly the first company to launch an Android convertible tablet, the company is one of the first to announce a model with an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor (although it looks like Toshiba could be getting ready to announce one soon as well).
The Tegra 4 chip is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor with 72-core graphics. It’s the same processor that powers the NVIDA Shield gaming system, which should hit the streets in June.
The HP SlateBook x2 is expected to go on sale in August for $479.99 and up.
While the SlateBook x2 is the cheapest member of the x2 family, it actually has the highest-resolution screen thanks to the 10.1 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel IPS display.
HP is positioning the device as both a notebook and a keyboard. While the processor and storage are in the tablet portion of the SlateBook x2, the keyboard section adds features including USB ports and an extra battery.
The keyboard looks very similar to those found on the company’s discontinued HP Mini netbooks, with an island-style layout (flat keys with a little space between each key) and a buttonless click-pad.
When the tablet is docked into the keyboard base, the system measures 11.2″ x 8.4″ x 0.8″ and weighs about 3.1 pounds.
It features 2GB of RAM, a version of Android 4.2 that looks pretty close to stock, and a few extras including an HP file manager app and Kingsoft Office software.
The SlateBook x2 has stereo speakers, an SD card slot, USB port, and HDMI output. There’s a 1080p camera on the back of the tablet and a 720p camera on the front. It supports 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth.
HP will offer its first Android convertible in white or silver.
A few years ago HP’s tablet plans hinged on the webOS software it spent $1.2 billion to acquire. That didn’t work out very well. Now it looks like HP is moving pretty heavily into the Android and Windows 8 space.
The first Android tablet HP released this year was a low-cost 7 inch model with mediocre specs which has received pretty lousy reviews.
HP’s next tablet looks much more exciting.
By the way: kudos to HP for creating some inspiring hardware. They haven’t done anything interesting in this segment for quite a while.
That quad-core A15 is a serious overkill for Android alone. Angry Birds and such can get along fine with one quarter of that.
Unless some heavy desktop applications get ported to Android (Photoshop and alike) these little machines will not be able to show their potential with Android.
It would be like heaven if desktop Linux applications could run on Android.
Tegra 4 isn’t quite powerful enough to run Photoshop, it’ll be like running it on a netbook… So it’ll need another doubling of performance to get to the performance range needed to run it smoothly… Maybe with Tegra 6 when they go full 64bit, but it should already be more than enough to run a desktop Linux distro and there are plenty of easier to run desktop apps…
I am sure that certain complex image manipulations would be slow but most of the GUI and simple tools would run well in a slightly optimized version of Photoshop for Android. I would also expect a slightly “netbookish” experience but the viability would be there and that is the important thing. Smooth operation would be nice but certainly not a deal-breaker for a set of people.
Definitely. A quad-A15 + 2Gb speedy RAM is way-way more than enough to run a full-blown Linux desktop. Even the Exynos 5250 runs Ubuntu 12.04 fairly comfortably on my XE303. Cold startup of LibreOffice Writer in 4-5 seconds and warm startup in 1-2 seconds is absolutely in the comfort zone (at least in mine). It even runs the Unity DE acceptably without hw-accelerated xorg driver.
Now, Tegras have proper Xorg drivers so a lot of inefficiencies present with my XE303 would be eliminated (and a much stronger SOC would power the system) so a Tegra4 based Linux desktop would be a very good performer.
There’s already Photoshop Touch for a Android/iOS optimized version but even more basic than Photoshop Elements… So nothing really advance but it’s good for touch optimized tablet usage.
While you could run Gimp with a Linux distro…
This would be fine if there was a decent office suite for Android. I don’t see why Asus and HP would continue making these without any compelling reason for the keyboard apart from perhaps email… Then again, a gimmick is a gimmick.
Softmaker Office 2012 is a good one for Android. It’s not pre-bundled, sadly, though you can get all the apps for $15 on Google Play now.
It’s fine for playing around a phone but it’s not even half what you need for any sort of actual productivity that you may want from a laptop/convertible platform.
So far the only serious productivity software available on a convertible is Microsoft Office (on Windows 8/RT).
How the hell did that happen?
Um… have you actually used Softmaker Office? It’s very robust. But as to why MSOffice is only on Windows, that’s Microsoft’s fault.
The big names in Office software have improved quite a bit in the last year and provide enough feature parity for casual users. Anyone who needs something with more functionality is set on Android, but iPad users are still waiting for Ofiice.
I second this — SoftMaker has been doing office software for years, and offers a desktop suite as well as mobile apps. It might not handle every single feature available from MS Office, but it has most of the features non power-users could need.
Pretty sure I tried it and it failed – however I accept I may be wrong.
MS Office cross-platform support is neither here nor there. I was voicing surprise at the fact that there is very little *competition* in the serious productivity suite for convertible form-factor space, just a couple of things diddling about and not quite making it. Maybe Softmaker Office is a serious player, but I’ll have to get my hands on it (again) and re-evaluate to decide.
LibreOffice may soon get an Android port.
It’s not even in Alpha – however when I get a little bit of cash I will happily donate to the porting effort as per their wiki: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/LibreOffice_on_Android
So they “invented” this cool tablet+keyboard thing… Looks just like a asus transformer with a dock to me, but with the hp logo on it, even got the same features like the battery in the keyboard, usb and sd card ports and stuff. Only buff would be the tegra 4 processor.
And hopefully non-horrible storage quality. Asus constantly cheaped out on the flash memory on the Transformers.
I don’t agree. I can’t see why anybody would want to archive huge amounts of data on a portable device.
It’s not a question of amount, it’s a question of storage speed. Asus used a cheap NAND chip on many of the Transformers, resulting in sub-par performance compared to other devices using the same Tegra 3 chipset.
And, as always, amount of storage needed varies per user. A lot of people like to keep HD video files on their larger-screen devices like a 10 inch tablet, and several Android games are 1GB or more. For me, storage is definitely more the merrier, as my kids and wife also use the tab, and combined our apps and pinned Google Music songs are really pushing at the 16GB on my current tab.
Now, this could be a really powerful netbook after some desktop Linux gets installed on it.
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