I like to call HP the most unpredictable company in tech. One minute they’re acquiring Palm for $1.2 billion, then the next they’re discontinuing all webOS products and throwing TouchPads out of the door for less than £100 a pop. There is literally no way of telling what wacky thing they’ll do next, and at MWC they proved this by announcing the Slate 7, a £129 Nexus 7 competitor with near-stock Android and Beats Audio. While there was absolutely no reason to buy one over a Nexus 7, it still suggested that HP had an interest in good value Android machines with unmodified software. Now it seems that theory is correct, as the company has unveiled the SlateBook x2.
If you’ve ever seen HP’s Windows 8-powered Envy x2, then the SlateBook x2 should instantly feel familiar. It’s smaller, at 10.2″ compared to 11.6″ for the Envy x2, but it follows the same basic concept of a slate being paired with a detachable battery-equipped keyboard to make a notebook form factor. The slate itself is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 4 chip, has a 1920 x 1200 IPS display and 64GB of storage which is expandable via microSD and, in the keyboard dock, a full size SD. The software is also pretty much stock Jelly Bean with HP’s only additions being printing stuff and some document editing/file management capabilities. Best of all the whole keyboard and 64GB tablet package will only set you back $479.99, so less than a 16GB 9.7″ iPad, meaning that it’ll probably end up at around £390 in the UK. If Android tablet app offerings were more compelling, I’d be seriously tempted.
At Digixav we love HP computers and we all agree that they make brilliant hardware. The Folio 13 won best PC of 2011, and the Envy 14 Spectre is one beautiful piece of Gorilla Glass. The new Z1 workstation, announced today, looks to be another excellent product for Meg Whitman’s company.
The all-in-one workstation looks fantastic. The Z1 comes with a Sandy Bridge i3, integrated graphics and a 250GB hard drive as standard which aren’t fantastic specs for $1,899 but, if you have the money, you can make it phenomenal with a quad-core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon chip, up to 32GB of RAM and a top-of-the-line Nvidia graphics card. There is not much that this configuration couldn’t handle.
Not only is this an incredibly powerful computer, but it looks great too. The clean crisp lines are continued throughout the design, making it look good from any angle. The whole thing can even fold down, making it possible to store very easily. The display even lifts up to allow for easy access and upgrading of the internals.
However, there is one drawback to all this power and design which is the hefty price tag. According to the HP website, it will start at $1,899, a rather high price considering that it is the i3 base model. But considering all this, the Z1 is a business machine aimed at the rich companies, programmers and graphics designers so the price isn’t that unreasonable. Expect to see these hitting workplaces in April.
The annual Consumer Electronics show, or CES, takes place this week in Las Vegas and we will have daily roundups of the new products announced at the show. We sadly won’t be there this year but we will still get you all the news. Expect to see: