– Marketing Twist Is a Variety of Docking Stations
– Runs Existing Windows Software
– But Not in Touchscreen Mode
Samsung, Amazon and Google have tried to knock Apple off its
throne, but, so far at least, have failed. Next up is
Microsoft with Windows 8 running on tablets and laptops that
can be quickly converted to tablets by removing the keyboard.
Sales of Windows 8 tablets could soar if the corporates begin
HP has the best chance at making a success of it because of
its large and well-entrenched sales force. Don’t you know
they’d love to upgrade…
a) all the Windows XP and Vista computers still in use, which
Microsoft has helped them by issuing an upcoming “no longer”
support mandate for the XP version.
b) all the XP and Windows 7 laptops with shiny new Ultrabooks
and Windows 8 RT and Pro tablets. It could effectively block
Apple from any further penetration into the corporate market.
Of course, Windows 8 has to work, unlike Windows Vista users
have to take to its interface and the tablets and Ultrabooks
have to be reasonably priced.
HP doesn’t have a good track record in tablets, but maybe the
third time is the charm. After all, there was the Windows 7-
based Slate and the Palm-based TouchPad, both of which failed
HP is launching its Windows 8 Pro- and Intel-based ElitePad
900, which it says is “true tablet for business.” What’s
different is the availability of a variety of docking
stations, which HP calls “Smart Jackets.” There’s a
“Productivity Jacket” that includes an integrated keyboard,
connectivity ports, SD card reader, and adjustable viewing
angles. The “Expansion Jacket adds USB, HDMI, and other
connectivity options.” A battery life extender is called the
“ElitePad Jacket” battery that adds an additional 10 hours.
The ElitePad 900 is a 10.1-inch tablet that’s a slim 9.2 mm
thick, slightly thinner than the new iPad’s 9.4 mm and at 1.5
pounds, slightly heavier than the new iPad’s 1.4 pounds.
The ElitePad 900 is clearly aimed at the corporates because
its Intel processor will run existing Windows software. That’s
a big draw for the corporates who have spent billions to buy
software and billions to develop or have developed customized
software. It also runs all the security software that the
corporates have for Windows PCs.
It has the usual tablet features: 8MP rear-facing camera with
LED flash, a 1080p HD front-facing camera for video chat, and
touch-, pen, and voice-based input options.
It has HP’s ePrint software, so users can wirelessly print to
any ePrint or networked HP printer—an important feature for
the corporates that Apple does not offer.
HP says the ElitePad 900 will be available in January 2013,
which seems to be the norm for most Intel-based Windows 8
tablets, including Microsoft’s Surface version. Prices have
not been announced. Let’s hope they are not in the Ultrabook