Since the start of the tablet boom in 2010, when Apple released the iPad, there hasn’t been a tablet that can truly say that it’s built for business. That was until Friday when HP’s latest tablet, the HP ElitePad 900 G1, landed with a thud on my desk.
With a better spec than you might find on a netbook and the majority of tablets, the HP ElitePad 900 might be the first tablet that can truly lay the claim to the tagline which HP have given it, ‘The True Tablet for Business’.
The first feature which helps it stand out in the business world is the full Windows 8 Pro operating system which comes with the device. Many tablets currently running Windows 8 run the slimmed down RT version, which has major drawbacks when using them as a business device. For example Windows RT is only licensed for home and student use so you’d have to buy a commercial license to use Windows RT’s Office apps for work. So with the full version of Windows 8 Pro installed you’ll be able to edit and share Office files without any capability issues.
Another feature about Windows 8 Pro which will make it great for businesses is the ability to use it with a Windows Active Directory domain. This is more for the business’ benefit rather than the users but it means that users’ activities on the tablet can be limited for just work instead of Angry Birds and Cut the Rope.
As many shared business laptops and mobile devices have found out to their peril, a mobile device needs to be rugged and robust if it’s to survive the relentless world of mobile business. Being part of the HP’s formidable EliteBook family, each ElitePad device is tested to ‘military MIL-STD-810 standards’.
I was told by our HP rep, Ben, that testing included 10 million button presses, being blasted with sand, being dropped from 3 feet (which was demonstrated when I was first introduced to the tablet), being exposed to extreme temperatures and much more. All of this means that it should be able to handle the stresses of the 10.26 from Milton Keynes.
The final features that helps the ElitePad 900 stand up in the business world are the accessories that can be purchased separately. The first accessory which I was shown was the expansion jack which adds a few features which you might expect to come as standard on ‘The True Tablet for Business’. The jacket has a SD card reader, HDMI, and 2 USB 2.0 HDMI slots, allowing users to get more done on the go.
However it’s the dock accessory which I used (similar to the Dell Latitude 10 dock) that could finally bridge the gap between tablet and desktop. The dock has 4 USB 2.0 slots, a line-out jack, a HDMI and Ethernet slot as well as a VGA slot, allowing you to connect it to an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. With the ElitePad’s 16:10 display, your spreadsheets and presentations will transfer to the external monitor seamlessly without the need to scroll. All of this makes the dock, the must have accessory if you want to get the most out of your HP ElitePad 900 tablet.
I think this tablet and its accessories are what Microsoft had in mind when building Windows 8 for multiple device formats and I think that the HP ElitePad 900 G1 tablet will finally help illustrate Microsoft’s vision for businesses using Windows 8, on the go and in the office.
Have you started using a tablet as your premier computer yet?
Learn more about the spec of the HP ElitePad 900 G1 tablet on the BT Business Direct site.