Following the unmitigated disaster that was the TouchPad, Hewlett-Packard has kept a low profile in the tablet market, with the Windows 7-powered Slate 2 tablet PC being the only HP-branded tablet device to have hit the market since then. In August, John Solomon, senior VP of HP's Americas printing and personal systems division, said that the company’s Windows 8 tablet would pack “some unique intellectual property.” We now know what Solomon was talking about back then.
Hewlett-Packard is now all set to enter the Windows 8 tablet fray, having announced a 10.1-inch enterprise tablet on Monday. The ElitePad 900, as the upcoming Windows 8 tablet is called, is built around Intel’s “Clover trail” Atom SoC. The 1.5-pound Elitepad 900 has a CNC-machined aluminum frame and a Gorilla Glass 2-covered display.
But what really sets the ElitePad 900 apart from the competition, as per the company, is the “unique, productivity-enhancing ecosystem of HP Smart Jackets and additional accessories designed specifically for the HP ElitePad.” Smart Jackets are essentially snap-on cases designed to supplement ElitePad’s built-in capabilities; for instance, the ElitePad Expansion Jacket not only adds two USB ports, one HDMI port and an SD card slot, but also extends the device’s battery life well beyond the usual 10 hours to around 18 hours.
The ElitePad 900 packs a 1280x800 (16:10) display, 2GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB SSD, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 8MP rear camera, 1080p front camera, card reader, NFC, GPS, and 3G/4G connectivity. With this Windows 8 tablet not scheduled to hit the market until January 2013, it’s no surprise that the company isn’t interested in revealing its price at the moment.