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HP SlateBook

Best Android hybrids, convertibles, laptops and multi-purpose PCs

They said Android is limited. Impractical to use on a larger than 10-inch screen. Worthless with physical keyboards, and utterly inoperable on “full-on” computing machines. They scoffed at the idea of mainstream Android laptops, which was filed under megalomaniac fantasies from overly imaginative, reality-disconnected nerds.

ASUS-Transformer-Pad

Well, we showed them. And by we, I mean a handful of visionaries that left no obstacle get in the way of unlocking Android’s true potential. Sure, Google’s “mobile” OS is still light-years away from becoming a Windows challenger in the PC décor.

But the first steps have been made, and most often than not, what comes next is far easier. One thing leads to another, and boom, before we know it, we’ll start viewing Android smartphones as abnormalities.

Asus Transformer Book Trio

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, and stay in the present. A present where Android aficionados have a bundle of hybrids, crossbreeds, convertible devices, full-fledged laptops and PCs to choose from.

Here are a few of the top options, arranged in no particular order as comparing them wouldn’t really be fair. They’re each different and unique, and they’ll all contribute to a better, more diverse tech tomorrow:

HP Slatebook 14 – available at $430 on Amazon

The freshest of our magnificent seven, HP’s Slatebook 14, finally began shipping earlier this week after months of making the rumor rounds and slowly building hype. The first full-fledged, non-convertible Android laptop in history isn’t half bad in terms of processing power and battery life, but suffers in the RAM and storage departments.

HP Slatebook 14

With an estimated 9 hours of continuous juice on a single charge, the Slatebook can outlast most Windows 8 rivals around, however the 16 GB SSD is minuscule. Ditto for the 2 GB RAM. Thank God for Full HD screen resolution, touch technology and Tegra 4 oomph, although we must say, we’re disappointed to see gadgets, especially pioneering ones, debuting with pre-loaded Jelly Bean in August 2014.

Asus Transformer Pad series – starting at $196.50 on Amazon

Look, we appreciate HP’s courage and its healthy marketing push for what’s ultimately an extremely nichey product, but the Slatebook 14 could have never happened were it not for Transformer Pads. These neat tablet/mini-laptop mongrels planted the seed in the minds of everyday Android buyers and manufacturers that maybe, just maybe, you can incorporate the best of both worlds into one versatile device.

Asus Transformer Pad

Several years after the inauguration of the Transformer Pad line, the hybrids are doing better than ever and cater to the needs of more users than ever, covering multiple price points and ranges. The cheapest TF Pad is $196.50 (the entry-level 2012 TF700T without a keyboard docking station), whereas the costliest is $534.99 (the 32 GB TF701T-B1 bundle).

In between, you have a $289 TF103C-A1 tablet/keyboard bundle, and a $310 TF300T-B2 slate-only option. Meanwhile, docks can be had at $85 (in red), $100 (white/champagne), and $120 (blue), for the TF300T family, or $140, for the TF701T.

Asus PadFones – as low as $0.00 with AT&T contracts

Android’s versatility isn’t striking only when talking tablet/laptop hybrids, and smartphone/tablet transformer devices may actually be more impressive and handy for present-day tech consumers. Besides, the possibilities of the PadFone line are limitless, as first-gen gizmos proved back in the day.

Asus PadFone X

Before the laptop part of the ensemble makes a comeback, the most intriguing PadFone around is the X, comprised of a 5-inch Full HD handheld and 9-inch FHD tablet. It’s not the punchiest PadFone ever, but it’s one of the most affordable, going for nada with AT&T pacts and $599.99 outright.

Alternatively, you can score the lower-end PadFone mini combo at $543 free of any contractual obligations, or $729 the Padfone Infinity 2 phone only, which you can then bundle with a $79 station dock. Yeah, no, the PadFone X is still the best option.

Lenovo Yoga – $206 in 8-inch flavor; $238 for the standard 10 incher; $350 for the 10 HD+ version

I have a dream. That one day, Lenovo, probably the all-around heavyweight Windows convertible champion, will deem the Android market as important and alluring and bring all of Yoga’s magic over to the Google camp.

lenovo-yoga-8

Some of it is already here, courtesy of this 8-inch/10-inch pair, but fancy advertising talk aside, the “multimode” tablets are only that: tablets. The built-in kickstand is neat and all, but it’s no detachable keyboard. That said, if you want to buy an Android Yoga, don’t be chintzy, get the $350 model. It’s got a breathtaking Full HD display, beefy quad-core Qualcomm chip, and, yes, 18-hour battery life.

And if you care to spend a little extra to turn it into a laptop, $44 buys you a nice, spacious, light Bluetooth keyboard cover.

HP Slate 21 all-in-one – $349

As much as I love Android (and I do, to death), I must admit, it’s pretty pointless on a gigantic AiO. Unless you keep this baby around as a backup computer. Or you don’t do much on it. Of course, there’s always the option of rocking it as a tablet, but that’s even stupider crazier.

HP Slate 21

So why am I “recommending” the Slate 21 in the first place? That’s the thing, I’m not. I’m just signaling it exists, and hoping Android can evolve up to the point it can do all the things Windows 8 can on a 15, 17, 21-inch touchscreen. Fingers crossed.

Asus Transformer Book Trio – $965

In a way, all gadgets on this list are, or started out, as experiments. But the Transformer Book Trio has that experimental vibe written all over it. Google officials themselves are skeptical about the whole Windows/Android dual-booting concept, so I can’t see it going anywhere in the future. Near or distant.

asus-transformer-book-trio

But hey, in case you want to own something that people will believe was never possible in ten years, the Transformer Book Trio is not that expensive. Not for a device that pulls triple duty, as an 11.6-inch Android tablet, Android laptop and Windows laptop. With Intel Core i5 heat, 4 GB RAM (in laptop mode), and Full HD screen resolution.

HP Slatebook 10 x2 – $370

Basically an Asus Transformer Pad clone, the Slatebook 10 x2 (such an uninspired name, by the way) somehow refines and polishes the 2-in-1 concept, looking much better and feeling much natural when used as a 10-inch mini-laptop.

HP Slatebook 10 x2

The keyboard is beautiful, state-of-the-art, productive and functional, and it can attach and detach to the tablet body at the flick of a switch. Under the hood, you also get plenty for the sub-$400 price point, a Tegra 4 chip and 2 GB RAM included, and the display is Full HD. The Achilles’ heel? Aging Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Come on, HP, step your software support up and fulfil your destiny as Android’s biggest innovator.

HP Slatebook Is A 14-Inch Tegra 4 Laptop Running On Android 4.3

We have previously heard rumors of an Android-based laptop that’s going to be developed by HP. Now it looks like this device is now official as the company announced the HP Slatebook which is expected to hit the market this coming July. What’s unique about this laptop is that it will run on Android 4.3 and uses a Tegra 4 processor.

HP Slatebook

The HP Slatebook is just one of the several laptop models that the company announced will be coming soon. Mike Nash, vice president, Product Management, Consumer Personal Systems over at HP said that, “Customers have made it clear that they need devices that better adapt to work and play the way they do. Today, we are announcing the next generation of laptops and two-in-one PCs, along with a new Chromebook that combine power, versatility and design for home and on the go.”

Technical Specifications

  • 14-inch 1920×1080 touchscreen
  • Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor 1.8 GHz
  • 16GB-64GB of internal storage
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Front-facing webcam
  • Beats Audio speakers
  • 1 USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 HDMI port
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • Up to 9 hours of battery life
  • Weighs 3.75 pounds

Slatebook

This isn’t going to be the first laptop that runs on Android however it’s definitely one of the first coming from a major company. It’s also not a 2-in-one device where the display can be detached and used as a tablet.

The HP Slatebook makes use of a 1080p touchscreen display providing users multiple ways of navigating the device. The 10 point capacitive touchscreen or the traditional keyboard, touchpad combination can be used to access the menu system.

The Tegra 4 processor used by this laptop is not the most powerful available from NVIDIA but is still very capable. This chip uses four ARM Cortex-A15 processors and uses a GPU with 72 custom cores. It’s also energy efficient allowing the device to operate up to 9 hours on a single charge.

Other key features of this laptop include

  • Beats Audio: This device comes with four Beats audio speakers which provide an immersive audio experience.
  • Google Play Store: Has access to the millions of apps available over at the Google Play Store.
  • Dynamic Design: Customers will be more productive using this device compared to a tablet due to its physical keyboard.
  •  Multiple port options: This device comes with HDMI, USB 3.0 and dual USB 2.0, audio mic/headset jack, AC adapter plug, and also micro SD card reader.

We are still not sure what market demographic HP is targeting with this device. For the same price consumers can already get a regular Windows laptop or even a Chromebook. While it’s true that the HP Slatebook can access more apps compared to the Chromebook most of the apps available at the Google Play Store are not designed to run on displays greater than 10 inches or even take advantage of a physical keyboard.

The HP Slatebook will become available this coming July 20 with the 16GB model priced at $399.

via marketwired

HP Seemingly Prepping ‘Bowser’ 10×2 Tab/Notebook Hybrid and Slate 6 Voice Tab with Android

HP may have caught plenty of people off guard with its return to tablets this past spring, but what’s even more surprising is the Palo Alto-based PC maker continues to drive forward with tremendous efforts of snatching a piece of the growing mobile pie.

hp-slatebook-x2

The rather underwhelming Slate 7 has clearly been only the first step towards something bigger, albeit the end game still looks rather foggy. That’s not to say devices like the Slatebook 10 x2, Slate 7 HD, 7 Extreme, 8 Pro and Slate 10 HD haven’t upped the ante, they’re just not real flagships, iPad “killers” or trendsetters.

And while the oft-rumored first HP smartphone to run Android remains a myth, at least the company shows increasing perseverance in the tablet and hybrid niches. On that note, it’s time to meet the HP Bowser 10 x2 and Slate 6 Voice Tab, two unreleased and unannounced Android-based gizmos that have showed their faces in public for the first time quite recently by paying GFX Bench a quick visit.

The former, in spite of its very unique codename, seems to be a clear-cut Slatebook 10 x2 doppelganger, at least based on the bits and pieces that we’ve been able to gather in regards to specs. There’s pre-loaded Android 4.3 Jelly Bean “butter”, a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 CPU clocked at 1.8 GHz and crystal clear hints towards the thing acting alternatively like a tablet and mini-laptop.

HP Bowser

Interestingly, Bowser’s 10-inch screen is not identical to the one on the Slatebook, or at least not apparently, being listed in GFX Bench as boasting 1,920 x 1,008 pixels resolution. In contrast, the already existing tab/notebook hybrid touts 1,920 x 1,080 pix res, or 1,920 x 1,128 with the customary on-screen buttons.

Bottom line, as odd as it may sound, the HP Bowser 10 x2 could miss out on Full HD resolution by just a dozen or so pixels.

Moving on, though it looks less technically impressive on paper, the Slate 6 Voice Tab might actually be the gadget with the best chances of hitting it big at the box-office of the two. As the codename suggests, we’re probably looking at a 6-inch tab with voice support here, or, as people like to call it, a phablet.

HP Slate 6

Mind you, this means HP’s first ever Android smartphone is very much real and looming on the horizon, albeit its makers will likely try to market it differently so as to not build too much pressure. And you can’t blame them, since the handheld also known as “Pomegranate” (yummy) and “Bedana” is in no way a high-ender.

Mid-ranger tops, with a modest Cortex A7-based quad-core 1 GHz Marvell PXA 1088 CPU under the hood and Vivante GC1000 GPU. Then there’s the even more disappointing 720p panel, which due to its size, will boast a sub-par pixel density of 240 ppi or so.

The on-board software doesn’t sound all that great either, with Android 4.2 being now officially two generations behind the times, but don’t be so quick to write the Slate 6 Voice Tab off. It’s bound to be cheap as chips and I’d like to see you snubbing it then.

Via [GFX Bench] (1), (2)

HP Unveils Android-Powered SlateBook x2 and Windows 8-Based Split x2 Tablet/Laptop Hybrids

Say, do you remember that mystery HP SlateBook 10 X2 that leaked out courtesy of a fairly suspicious benchmark a little while ago? Well, as it turns out, the thing is real and coming our way very soon, only it’s not going to be alone.

Instead, there will also be a gizmo called Split x2, with the duo targeting both Android and Windows enthusiasts. But what exactly are these crazy little things? At first glance, you might be fooled in calling them run-of-the-mill laptops.

HP_Slatebook_x2

Only their screens are detachable (or the keyboard docks, depending on how you look at them), meaning you can either use the SlateBook x2 and Split x2 as notebooks or as tablets. The concept is not exactly groundbreaking, as the word “hybrid” has entered our tech vocabulary a while ago, but what HP seems to have up its sleeve is a never before seen quality-price ratio.

At least as far as the SlateBook is concerned, we’re very much wondering if HP isn’t manufacturing the tab/laptop at a loss. Then again, with the company’s first attempt at garnering attention in the Android décor, the Slate 7, failing with flying colors, a gamble was to be expected.

Set to go on sale sometime in August, the SlateBook x2 will cost a mere $479.99 with the keyboard dock included. That’s about as much as a high-end-ish slate used to go for a year or so ago without any kind of transforming accessories to go, but the even more amazing thing about the SlateBook is it’s not high-end-ish.

It’s actually ready to capture the crown for the most technically impressive Android slate, as it’s going to be powered by Nvidia’s spanking new Tegra 4 platform. The explosive quad-core processor has only flexed its muscles in a few benchmarks so far, but that’s been enough to put Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 CPU to shame.

There will also be 2 gigs of RAM to go nicely with the Tegra 4 inside HP’s hybrid, plus Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and a pretty impressive 10.2-inch IPS panel with 1,920 x 1,200 pixels resolution. The 16 GB of on-board storage might not sound all that great, but you will be able to expand that via the tab’s microSD slot or through the dock’s full-sized SD slot.

The docking station will also come with an HDMI port and a much needed battery boost, as the actual tab will apparently only be able to run for a modest four hours on a single charge.

HP_Split_x2

Moving on to Windows aficionados, these will likely be a little disappointed with the Split x2. Not only is the thing a tad pricey, at $799.99 with the keyboard dock, but it’s also fairly low-end by certain standards, sporting a meager 13.3-inch display with 1,366 x 768 pix res and packing an Intel Core i3 processor.

Still, there’s a whopping 500 GB of storage, on-board Windows 8, 4 GB of RAM and a far more impressive battery than on the SlateBook, so all in all the Split x2 might be the better machine of the duo, at least when used as a notebook. I think now would be the right time to say HP still has it, right?

Via [The Verge]