Review: HP ElitePad 900 a Compelling Option for Windows 8 Users

This light, simple-to-use tablet may also ease some IT staff burden.

HP’s ElitePad 900 tablet is aimed at users who require something light and simple to use, along with the full functionality of Windows 8 Professional. The device weighs just 1.38 pounds and measures a mere 0.36 inch thick, making it smaller and lighter than other tablets against which it competes.

Despite the ElitePad’s svelte figure, it still runs the full version of Microsoft Windows 8 Professional, meaning users can access the Microsoft Store and the vast collection of existing Windows applications.

The ElitePad includes a 1280x800 Corning Gorilla Glass display, which is highly damage-resistant, as well as a 1080p video camera on the front and an 8-megapixel camera with flash on the rear.

The ElitePad’s Intel Atom processor features low power consumption. The 2 gigabytes of memory can be supplemented with a microSD memory card, and the unit offers solid-state drive capacity of up to 64 gigabytes. The ElitePad can be ordered with mobile broadband radios, but those weren’t included in the review unit.

End-User Advantages

Because the HP ElitePad is Windows-based, most users probably already know how to use it. And even though it runs Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest version of its venerable Windows OS has been in circulation for more than a year, which should reduce the user’s learning curve. The ElitePad also works well with standard Windows applications, adding to its ease of use.

An optional product add-on, the ElitePad Productivity Jacket, includes a physical keyboard, as well as USB and HDMI ports, an SD card slot, and an adjustable stand. A spare battery that slides into the Productivity Jacket also is available. Even without the expansion jacket, the ElitePad is very usable, featuring an on-screen keyboard that appears as needed and which is large enough to type on easily.

Why It Works for IT

HP offers a series of enterprise-oriented accessories, including a multi-tablet charging station that can handle up to 10 tablets at a time and a depolarizing repair jig that allows support staff to open a tablet to perform onsite service.

Service parts inside each ElitePad are similar to those found in an ultrabook computer, and most of the major components — including the motherboard — can be replaced by a technician in the field. That feature is unique to the ElitePad and could mean dramatic reductions in downtime compared with the usual method of shipping devices to a manufacturer for service.

Overall, the ElitePad helps to simplify the work of IT staff, while also streamlining integration into the enterprise. The ElitePad also meets MIL-STD-810G, which means it should withstand some vibration, shock and dust — ideal for heavy use in classrooms.

Disadvantages

I found the ElitePad to be some­what less sensitive to the touch than other, similar tablets, and it seems to require more than the expected finger pressure — and sometimes multiple touches — to make anything happen.

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Dec 23 2013

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