HP ElitePad 900 Challenges iPad with Smart Jacket System

  • MORE

The iPad is king in the business world, but HP hopes to overthrow Apple with the ElitePad 900, a 10-inch Windows 8 tablet that's all about expandability. When it goes on sale in January, the 1.5-pound ElitePad will let you add an expansion jacket that includes a plethora of ports along with a slot for an extended battery. You'll also be able to outfit the device with a desktop docking station, a pen and (eventually) a keyboard jacket. HP will announce pricing for the slate closer to launch.

Powered by Intel's latest Atom Z2760 processor, the ElitePad 900 sports a sturdy machined aluminum design, a bright 400-nit Gorilla Glass 2 (1280 x 800) screen and plenty of security features that should make IT departments happy. We spent some time with the ElitePad 900 and came away impressed with its versatility. Check out our hands-on video, gallery and initial impressions.

The ElitePad 900's chief selling point is its expansion options. For example, the Expansion Jacket adds two USB ports, an HDMI port and SD Card slot. You'll also be able to add a battery to this jacket, extending the 9 hours of rated runtime. A separate rugged case provides extra durability, and the Docking Station will let you connect the ElitePad to a monitor and keyboard back at your desk. HP has yet to announce pricing for these accessories. In the spring, customers will be able to pick up the Productivity Jacket, which features a keyboard, SD Card reader, and additional ports.

[MORE: Top 10 Windows 8 Hybrids]

During our hands-on time, the ElitePad 900 snapped easily into the Expansion Jacket, but added significantly to the weight and thickness of the tablet, which is just 0.36 inches thick. The Expansion Jacket also comes apart in two pieces, so we imagine that once you snap everything into place, you're going to leave it there.

What about the rest of the specs? The ElitePad 900 has a front-facing 1080p camera--great for Skype video chats--and an 8-MP rear camera. Connectivity options include 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, an HSPA+ module, and NFC.  HP BIOS protection, Security Manager, Drive Encryption, Computrace, and SpareKey are on board for protecting your data.

The ElitePad isn't a Windows 8 tablet for the masses like the Envy x2. HP designed this device explicitly to appeal to business customers, and it could very well cause companies to think twice about the iPad. We'll just have to see how well this slate performs and how practical (and affordable) the expansion options are.

Editors' Note: In our hands-on video we say that the ElitePad 900 will cost $699, but we have been told that final pricing is still being finalized.


Add a comment
  • Dan Says:

    I have found that at my company people want the tablet for every day use, but while traveling they really want to add the keyboard function similar to a laptop. This is much smaller than a laptop and still allows for a touch screen. The question is, where do I find this keyboard case?

  • Mike Z Says:

    This is targeted for business, not consumers. Most companies want to run their Windows 8 applications, hence this runs Windows 8 Pro. Also, government and some companies want something they can take apart and maintain themselves. This has 12 replacable parts including among them the glass and motherboard (with soldered on RAM, CPU and Hard Drive). Government and many other businesses don't want to send a tablet in to get fixed since sensitive information may be on the drive. Since the mobo can be ordered and replaced by the business/government IT deparment, they can keep the drive in their possession and dispose of it safely. Also, the fact that one may purchase the jacket and thin battery to double battery life or get the docking station, make this a tablet which doubles as a desktop computer. If one needs to attend a meeting, one can simply undock and take it with them instead of taking a bulky laptop. Sure, I'm the first to say an iPad is better than this at a cursory glance, but if one's business requires maintainability and Win8 compatibility, this is definitely on the short list of tablets.

  • MaxHist Says:

    It's too bad Fujitsu won't make a P1640 -- the P1630 was my favorite ultraportable, and the only one of that size with something a cut above Intel's Atom and decent battery life.

  • Rich Says:

    I agree...apparently, it's greatest selling point is that is can be converted into a laptop...so why not just by a laptop ?

  • Schnooky Says:

    This is the silliest THING I have ever seen. Rather than buy this confounding multiple-part device that simply mimics a real lap-top, why not just buy a lap-top. The whole point of the TABLET, whether an iPad or other is it's SIMPLICITY, and that it is both self contained and except if at your desk or sofa, doesn't need to be plugged into a socket. The HP THING is going to have so many wires and parts to it, that it will be just another HP disaster. Wow, what an over the top concept that no one needs. Doesn't anyone at HP know the basic rules for success, KEEP IT SIMPLE DUMMY.

Back to top