I’ve been looking for a Windows tablet, not a hybrid with a keyboard or a laptop with touch, but a simple slate device.
(and do not tell me get a Nexus or an iPad, if I said I wanted one of those I wouldn’t be writing this here post now would I)
One of the big problems for Microsoft and Windows 8 is lack of touch devices; this is especially true for that small minority of us looking for slates. Other than the Microsoft Surface RT, the Asus VivoTab RT, and VivoTab Smart the choices for a slate device is slim. Now for me the issue is there are some devices I’d really like to get my hands on that are simply not in stores. Devices like the Acer W510 and the Lenovo ThinkPad tablet 2 have received good reviews but aren’t stocked at the local BestBuy. However if there was one device that would seem to offer the best balance for someone who wants a Windows tablet it would be Hewlett-Packard’s ElitePad. The ElitePad is a 10.1 inch tablet that is closer to the iPad than to the average Windows device; which means it doesn’t look to be awkward to most users when holding it in portrait. This also mean the ElitePad can do the Snap feature which allows you to run apps at the same time.
The tablet runs on Intel’s Clover Trail Atom which means it has a good battery life and can run legacy Windows programs. The ElitePad has a nice aluminum unibody design with matching accessories to turn it into a prober computer replacement.
So its nice, attractive, and functional its also not in stores. HP is aiming the device squarely at the business market; its why the devices screen size is smaller. HP has released the device first in India, Asia, and the Middle East. As far as North America goes, you can buy the ElitePad online.
Now to be honest I can understand HP being reluctant to fully re-enter the tablet space after the HP TouchPad and WebOS. There are signs HP will get back in the game but it will be with the Slate 7 a seven inch Android tablet. The ElitePad seems to destined to be a business focused device that will never physically occupy space at the local Office Depot.
Its a shame because the ElitePad is the closest Windows device in terms of size to the iPad, making it palatable to those looking for a Windows device with better support for portrait holding. It is also one of the better designed Windows tablets in the market with its Aluminum casing; along with being the only tablet with Accessories.
(People can laugh but support for styli, covers, and keyboards are getting to be as crucial as apps)
And that’s the problem facing Windows 8 out of the gate, the devices that could sell the platform are not in the places where people can play with them. The HP ElitePad is just an example.