HP ElitePad 1000 Review

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Editors' rating:
The Pros

Helpful HP IT software preloaded; Good rear camera; Versatile optional dock

The Cons

Annoying port cover; Dated design; Mediocre performance

Verdict

With the ElitePad 1000, HP strives for a productivity-focused powerhouse tablet, but it doesn't deliver enough performance for the price.

Tablets at work, while useful, haven't always been IT department-friendly or as productive as we'd like. The HP ElitePad 1000, powered by Windows 8.1, hopes to solve both of those problems. The 10.1-inch slate offers enterprise-level IT support, 24/7 assistance and a sharp 8-MP rear camera. But the $789 tablet comes in a dated-looking package and offers performance that's just so-so. Plus, to get the keyboard case, you'll have to lay out an additional $249. The ElitePad 1000 is worth considering if you're looking for a work slate, but it's not our top choice.

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Design

The HP ElitePad 1000 looks an awful lot like a first-generation iPad. Its 10.3 x 7 x 0.36 inches dimensions are a tad thinner than Apple's first tablet, but the black rectangle with silver edging is very reminiscent of the slate that started the craze. The hefty 1.5 pounds of the ElitePad 1000 matches the first iPad.

For more modern competition, we looked at the thinner and lighter 10.1 x 7 x 0.35-inch Lenovo ThinkPad 10, which weighs 1.3 pounds. There's also the chunkier 11.5 x 7.8 x 0.4 inches of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which weighs 1.76 pounds.

The HP ElitePad 1000's Productivity Jacket ($199) adds 1.87 pounds for a total weight of 3.37 pounds. That's toward the top end of what you'd expect a full Ultrabook laptop to weigh. The Surface Pro and ThinkPad 10 weigh just 2.4 pounds with their keyboards attached.

The only adornments on the front of the tablet are the 2.1-MP front camera on the top and the Windows touch button on the bottom, assuming you're holding the tablet in landscape mode. The bottom edge houses the proprietary charging port, which is flanked by two speakers. The power button sits on the top left edge, and a headphone jack is on the top right edge next to a toggle switch that enables auto-rotation from landscape to portrait modes.

The back side of the ElitePad 1000 houses an 8-MP rear camera on the top left, just above the volume rocker. Along the right side of the back is a difficult-to-open port cover that hides a SIM card and a microSD card slot.

HP claims the ElitePad 1000 is tested and certified rugged under the MIL-STD-810 standard. That means this tablet should stand up to temperature shocks, sand and dust, as well as some shocks and wind-blown rain. The Microsoft and Lenovo competitors do not make such claims.

Accessories

HP offers a couple of handy accessories for the ElitePad 1000, including a $49 Executive Tablet Pen G2. This capacitive stylus was incredibly precise as I made drawings of cats with Sketchbook. However, I do find it odd that HP doesn't bundle any drawing software with the tablet. A button on the front of the stylus allows you to right-click, draw, type and navigate the tablet. It runs on a triple-A battery.

For $249, you can add the black HP ElitePad Productivity Jacket to your tablet. It's more than just a keyboard and case in one. This cover also includes two USB ports and an SD Card slot. You can even plug in your case and power your tablet at the same time.

Once the ElitePad 1000 is snapped into the case, your tablet is securely surrounded by rubbery edges that leaves the headphone jack and rear camera exposed. The SIM port and the microSD card slots are not accessible. Two slots on the bottom front help push audio from the tablet's bottom-facing speakers out. There are three grooves that can be used to place the tablet at various angles. Once I picked one, the tablet felt very solidly in place.

Typing on the keyboard was satisfying, even though all the keys are a bit too small and the key travel isn't very deep (just 1.55mm). The ThinkPad 10's keyboard dock offers 2.2mm of travel, which is more than many high-end laptops provide.

The Productivity Jacket keys require 58 grams of force to actuate, which is on a par with most laptops that range from 50 to 60 grams (more is usually better). The ThinkPad 10's keyboard dock required just 55 grams, and higher is usually better. On TypingTest.com, I maintained my normal 65 words per minute with a typical dozen errors.

IT-Friendly Features

Security and IT professionals will appreciate HP BIOS Protection, HP Client Security, Credential Manager and Drive Encryption. The HP Device Access Manager with Just in Time Authentication can prevent data from being copied to USB devices. The ElitePad 1000 comes with TPM 1.2 and Elite Premium Support, which is 24/7 U.S.-based customer support.

Display

The ElitePad 1000's 10.1-inch, 1080p display delivered a highly detailed Millennium Falcon in a full HD trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, a crossbar light saber in a darker scene looked more like a fuzzy noodle than a lethal scythe, especially compared with what I saw on my PC monitor.

According to our colorimeter, the ElitePad 1000 can display just 68.9 percent of the sRGB color gamut, well below the 91.4 percent tablet category average. That's far worse than the 97 percent that we recorded on the Surface Pro 3, and lower than the 71.6 percent from the ThinkPad 10.

Deep purple orchids photographed with the tablet's rear 8-MP camera appeared nearly pink when viewed on the screen. Similarly, I'd expected to observe a much wider array of colors from my office's food drive donations, but instead everything looked washed out.

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With a Delta-E score of 7.6 (0 is best), the ElitePad 1000 isn't particularly color-accurate. But it does a better job that the Surface Pro 3's score of 9.9.

The ElitePad 1000 isn't the brightest tablet, but it is a bit ahead of some competitors. HP's tablet measured 313 nits on our light meter, which is less than the 329-nit average. However, it did beat out the Lenovo ThinkPad 10's 303 nits and the Microsoft Surface Pro's 298 nits.

The glare from indoor lights was distracting, and in sunlight it was pretty hard to see much of anything on the screen. Viewing angles extended to nearly 90 degrees, with no perceptible loss of color.

Audio

The ElitePad 1000's stereo speakers didn't impress. Dexter Holland's vocals on "You're Going to Go Far, Kid" by The Offspring completely melded with the driving guitars to create a hissy mess. I also couldn't pick up any bass in Cherry Poppin' Daddy's "Zoot Suit Riot." At least the volume was enough to fill a small conference room.

On the Laptop Mag Audio Test, in which we measure the volume of a tone played from 13 inches away, the ElitePad 1000 registered 80 decibels. While the Surface Pro 3 reached a much louder 85 dB, and the ThinkPad 10 scored 81 dB, the category average is just 78 dB.

Ports

Unfortunately, unlike the ThinkPad 10 and the Surface Pro 3, you won't find any USB ports on the HP ElitePad 1000. You also won't find a micro HDMI port. But you will find a SIM card slot and space for a microSD card.

You'll need to opt for Gobi 4G version of the slate to make use of the SIM card slot -- a $120 extra. If you add the $249 optional keyboard case, you will get two USB 3.0 ports and a full-size SD Card slot.

Performance

Swiping around the operating system and switching between apps on the HP ElitePad 1000 was a mixed experience. Loading a 27-second 1080p video file took several minutes, but once the file was downloaded and queued up, watching was smooth. Switching between apps often resulted in a stuck screen for a couple of seconds.

With its quad-core 1.6-GHz Intel Atom Z3795, the ElitePad 1000 and the Lenovo ThinkPad 10 sport the same CPU, which isn't a super-powerful processor. Microsoft's Surface Pro 3's 1.9-GHz Intel Core i5-4300U processor and 8GB of RAM provide much more power, but the configuration we tested costs a much higher $1,299.

Our real-world benchmarks also made the HP tablet look overmatched. On the Laptop Mag Spreadsheet Test, which matches 20,000 names and addresses, it took the ElitePad 1000 a long 16 minutes and 27 seconds. That's even longer than the sluggish ThinkPad 10's score of 15:18. The Surface Pro 3 finished in a much faster 4:43.

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The ElitePad 1000 managed 26.2 MBps on the Laptop Mag File Transfer Test, which involves copying 4.97GB of files. The ThinkPad 10 scored a very similar 26.9 MBps, but the Surface Pro 3's SSD hit 145.4 MBps.

On synthetic benchmarks, the results were a bit more positive. On Geekbench 3, a benchmark that measures overall performance, the ElitePad 1000 scored a solid 3,337, well above the 2,210 tablet category average and higher than the ThinkPad 10's 3,120 score.

On 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme, a synthetic benchmark that measures graphics performance, the ElitePad 1000 scored a respectable 10,398, which is above the category average of 9,362. However, it's far below the ThinkPad 10 (16,544).

Cameras

The 8-megapixel rear camera on the ElitePad 1000 captured vibrant and detailed shots both indoors and out. A purple orchid, shot indoors in natural light, appeared deep purple and veiny, just as it was in real life. The stark contrast between buildings and the blue sky stood out in a picture of the New York City skyline.

However, the 2-MP rear camera produced such whitewashed and pixelated selfies that I'd be too embarrassed to even use it for Skype. It made my skin look as if I have psoriasis and my hair look almost white, neither of which is accurate.

Battery Life

The ElitePad 1000 offers a fair amount of endurance. On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of screen brightness, HP's tablet lasted 7 hours and 55 minutes. That's just a hair longer than the Microsoft Surface Pro 3's 7:42, but about an hour shy of the Lenovo ThinkPad 10's 8:43 of endurance. The tablet average is 8:20.

Software

The HP ElitePad 1000 ships with Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro. The Live Tile screen can be configured with quick access to the apps you most often use. Swiping up from the bottom displays all your apps. Swiping in from the right brings up the Charms menu, where you can access settings. This also opens the time and a battery life indicator, which we wish were always available on the Start screen.

On the desktop, pressing and holding the Windows button on the lower left corner brings up a menu where you can easily access the Control Panel and other system functions. I do still miss the Start button from Windows past.

In addition to Windows, you'll get Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 preloaded, along with Amazon's Kindle app, Netflix, Evernote and Box (with an offer for 50GB of free storage).

HP adds its own apps to augment the experience. I particularly liked HP PageLift, which allows you to tap into the tablet's camera to digitize papers. This could be particularly helpful for business travelers who need to save receipts while they're on the go.

Configurations

If you're OK forgoing Windows 8.1 Pro for Windows 8.1, you can shave $50 off the cost of the HP ElitePad 1000. On the other hand, if you add Gobi 4G LTE, the price goes up to $909. And for $100 more you can double the storage size from 64GB to 128GB.

Bottom Line

The HP ElitePad 1000 gives professionals looking for a Windows 8 tablet an IT-friendly solution with a sharp 8-MP camera. But the competing Lenovo ThinkPad 10 provides a better optional keyboard and longer battery life for less money. If you have more money to spend, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 offers faster performance and a sharper display. Overall, the ElitePad 1000 is a solid contender but falls short of the competition.

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Author Bio
Anna Attkisson
Anna Attkisson, Managing Editor
A lover of lists and deadlines, Anna Attkisson heads up features and special projects for Laptopmag.com, in addition to covering social networking and accessories. She joined the LAPTOP staff in 2007, after working at Time Inc. Content Solutions where she created custom publications for companies from American Express to National Parks Foundation.
Anna Attkisson, Managing Editor on
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Laptop Mag & Tom's Hardware
CPU 1.6-GHz Intel Atom Z3795 Bay Trail quad-core
RAM Included 4GB
RAM Upgradeable
Storage Drive Size 64GB
Storage Drive Type SSD
Display Size 10.1
Display Resolution 1920 x 1200
Graphics Chip Intel HD Graphics
Graphics Memory
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
OS Windows 8.1 Pro
Camera Resolution 8MP
Front-Facing Camera Resolution 2.1MP
Ports Headphone
Ports microSD
Ports Proprietary
USB Ports
Card Readers microSD
Card Readers SIM
Card Reader Size
Warranty / Support
Size 10.3 x 7 x 0.36 inches
Weight 1.5 pounds
Company Website www.hp.com