HP fills out its tablet lineup with four Android models and two Windows hybrids
When HP announced its first Android tablet, the Slate 7, we were surprised (and a little disappointed) to see the company attacking the low end of the market. Where were the high-end tablets, we wondered? What about some big-screened models? Or medium-sized ones? Turns out, HP was saving them all for the holiday shopping season. The company just announced four Android tablets, ranging in size from 7 to 10 inches. Two have Tegra 4, two can be had with 4G, and one has a stylus in the box. On top of all that, HP also introduced two more Windows tablets, including a 10-inch slate and an 11-incher with a keyboard dock. All will go on sale in November, though with the exception of one model HP isn't revealing pricing yet. For now, though, best if you study up on the specs: there's quite a bit to unpack here.
- Slate 8 Pro. As you've no doubt already guessed, the Slate 8 Pro is an 8-inch tablet -- the first HP has ever made. In particular, with a 7.98-inch display and a 4:3 aspect ratio, it's just about the same size as the iPad mini. All told, it's the closest thing to a flagship of the tablets listed here, what with its Tegra 4 processor and dual 8MP / 2MP cameras. It also has a fairly pixel-dense screen for a tablet this size, with a resolution of 1,600 x 1,200 -- a clear improvement over the iPad mini. Other specs you might care about: it has a microSD slot, micro-HDMI output and a standard micro-USB socket for charging.
- Slate 7 HD and Slate 10 HD. The Slate 7 HD and Slate 10 HD deserve to be lumped into the same paragraph: they share the same industrial design, along with the same specs. Both tablets have 1,280 x 800 IPS screens, a nine-hour battery, an unspecified dual-core processor, Beats Audio and optional 4G connectivity, courtesy of T-Mobile. Again, no word on pricing, though HP did give us a hint about the Slate 7 HD: it won't be replacing the original Slate 7, so expect this new one to be priced a good deal higher.
- Slate 7 Extreme. Yep, another 7-inch tablet (that makes three now for HP). Unlike either the Slate 7 or 7 HD, though, this one has a brand-name processor inside, Tegra 4. In addition to having all the gaming credentials of a regular Tegra tablet, the Slate 7 Extreme comes with a stylus, which you can stow in a slot on the side of the device. Don't get too excited, though: that 1,280 x 800 screen doesn't have an active digitizer, so you won't be getting any sort of pressure-sensitive pen input here
- Pavilion 11 x2. On to the Windows tablets. The Pavilion 11 x2 is the replacement for last year's Envy x2 hybrid, except whereas that system used a poky Atom processor, this one steps up to Intel's Bay Trail series (either Celeron or Pentium). Also, this new model supports up to 4GB of RAM (up from two) and up to 128GB of flash storage (versus 64GB). Still, some specs remain the same: this is an 11.6-inch tablet with a 1,366 x 768 IPS screen and a keyboard dock that has a second battery built-in. Speaking of battery life, HP hasn't said yet what kid of runtime we can expect. Look for it on November 17th in three colors, with a starting price of $599.99 (dock included).
- Omni 10. The Omni 10 is one of the first Bay Trail tablets to be announced, which means it's also one of the first low-power slates to rock a 1,920 x 1,080 display. By the time it ships in November, it will run Windows 8.1, with 64GB of storage under the hood, and 2GB of RAM. All the usual amenities are here as well: a microSD slot and micro-HDMI and micro-USB ports. No word yet on pricing -- or battery life, for that matter.