Quick Review: HP ElitePad 900 G1 – The First Full-Fledged Windows 8 Pro Tablet from HP

Summary:  Released in early 2013, the HP ElitePad 900 is a battery-sipping Windows 8.x Pro tablet capable of running the full version of Microsoft Office as well as any other full Windows applications. Blessed with significant battery life, but hampered by a slow processor, it provides mobility and flexibility through a unique sleeve-based design, allowing users to slide on and off additional batteries and ports.Intended Market: Road warriors and executives who value portability with long term battery life and need access to full versions of Microsoft Office and other light productivity tools.

Sub-optimal market:  Users who would prefer to perform activities which need additional performance.  Examples include photo editing with Photoshop, video editing, music composition, drafting (e.g. AutoCAD), and games which require a dedicated video card (e.g. Skyrim, Far Cry, etc.).  In addition, users who prefer a more consolidated productivity package as opposed to a myriad set of sleeves, would be better suited with a different device.

Considerations:

Sleeves:  To achieve levels of connectivity with USB ports and memory slots to which most laptop users are accustomed, the HP ElitePad requires the use of specialized sleeves.  Unfortunately, these sleeves take up extra space in luggage and may be misplaced, creating an inconvenience for the same road-warrior market that HP is targeting with this device.

Extensive Battery Life:  Due to the use of a slower processor and a flash hard drive, we have seen up to 12-15 hours of battery life with this device.  When combined with the slice battery in the productivity sleeve, we routinely get runtimes exceeding 18-20 hours.

Physical Keyboard Sleeve:  This device requires a physical keyboard sleeve in order to use an attached physical keyboard.  This sleeve replaces the productivity sleeve that provides extra USB ports, etc.  As such, when you wish to use the HP ElitePad with additional ports, a physical keyboard becomes problematic.

Docking Station:  As with most HP enterprise class laptops and tablets, there is an available docking station, which allows the ElitePad to be charged while being quickly and simply hooked up to external monitors, keyboard, mouse, printer, etc.  This can be convenient for a user who has 1-2 specific locations where their ElitePad is used on a regular basis (e.g. office and home) in between travel.

Wireless Cellular Data:  The HP ElitePad 900 G1 supports data connectivity through a cell phone company data connection.  We tested this with AT&T and found reception to be comparable with most all 4G HSPA devices and phones, providing acceptable levels of speed for most any office style productivity use (e.g. web browsing, document editing, and email).  Video and music streaming was also quite doable, but gaming and uploading large video files may be difficult.

Requirements (any one of the following):

Runs Windows 8.x Professional.

Approximate Retail Price:  $275

Purchase Link (Amazon):  HP ElitePad 900 G1

The preceding was a NetWise Life quick review and was not intended to be as thorough or detailed as our standard reviews.

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