When MWC gets started in another few weeks, we fully expect to see smartphone and tablet companies deliver a deluge of new products all at once. And while many will do just that, HP has apparently decided that it can’t even wait that long, today announcing a boatload of new tablet hardware running the gamut from Android to Windows, as well as pen input device that’s not quite like any we’ve seen before.
Let’s start with the Android models, and arguably the stars (relatively speaking) of HP’s show are the new Pro Slate 8 and Pro Slate 12. They both run Snapdragon 800 SoCs, have 2GB of RAM and offer either 16GB (Slate 8 only) or 32GB storage with microSD expansion. They’ve got 8MP main cameras with 2MP front-facers, and run Android 4.4. The Slate 8 has a 7.9-inch 2048 x 1536 display, while the Slate 12 has a 12.3-inch 1600 x 1200 panel – both 4:3 screens. Pricing for the pair is at about $450 and $570, respectively.
Both those tablets ship with the HP Duet Pen, but this is no typical stylus. Rather than using inductive technology like a Note tablet, or even a boring capacitive tip, the Duet Pen takes advantage of ultrasonic tech from Qualcomm. That lets the tablet track the pen in the space surrounding it, rather than just on the tablet’s screen itself. As a result, you can jot down notes on a piece of paper lying next to your device and have the Duet Pen mirror your input on the Pro Slate’s screen – great for collaborative projects.
As for the other new slates, some of them are a bit too industry-focused for us to care about – stuff like ruggedized tablets specifically positioned for the healthcare field (and with a stupid-high price tag to match). Some of the more accessible models are the Pro Tablet 10 EE Windows tablet and Pro Slate 10 EE Android tablet for schools.
We also learn about the convertible Elite x2 1011 G1 11.6-inch Windows 8 Pro tablet that pops on a keyboard to become an ultrabook. Sales start later this month at nearly $900. There’s also the Pro Tablet 408 G1, an eight-inch Atom-powered Windows 8 Pro tablet with 64GB storage and an 8MP camera – that one’s coming out now, with a price of just $300.