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CNET First Look
HP ElitePad 900 means businessA corporate-minded Atom tablet with plenty of accessories
I'm Dan Ackerman and we are taking a look at the HP ElitePad 900. This is HP's business focused Windows 8 Intel Atom powered tablet. And of course we've taken a look at a lot of these Intel Atom tablets and it will run Windows 8. You know, they've got touch screens, they're all fairly similar slate, what makes this one different for business users is that it's got some security stuff built-in that your IT Department will be interested in. Interestingly, it doesn't have a USB port or an easily accessible SD card slot or anything. Apparently that's the concern for corporate types sometimes for security. You don't want someone to be able to, I guess, slip an SD card in or USB stick and steal your company data right away. You can, however, get all this connections on various accessories and jackets and docks and stands that you could buy with the ElitePad, and that's probably the most interesting thing about this system versus other Windows 8 Atom tablets that we've seen 'cause that is a really nice ecosystem of stuff. You've got the actual tablet itself. I've got a dock right here, a nice weighted dock that has some ports and connections in the back including HDMI and VGA and then you can also get the sort of jacket right here and that's got some connections on it also and even a panel where you can put in a sold separately battery. Make it kind of a battery pack to give yourself a, you know, longer time away from the plug. And there's also a keyboard case, they call this one the productivity jacket and it folds up kinda like an iPad keyboard case does and then you slip the tablet inside and [unk] got a very nice hefty keyboard right here and some ports and connections in the back. The one problem my hand was, when you have the tablet in this productivity jacket, it's a great keyboard experience but there's no little touch pad like on the Microsoft Surface Pro, then [unk] pointing stick like Lenovo has in one of its tablet keyboard stands. So, you're basically stuck with these in the keyboard and then your finger, has a mouse which doesn't really work that great for basic productivity. I actually ended up pairing this with a standalone touch pad but you could do that with a mouse and that works also but I really would have like to see that built in. Another thing, that's a little bit different about this particular tablet is that it has a 16 by 10 aspect ratio screen instead of a 16 by 9 screen, which is what you see in most consumer products. That gives you a little more vertical space to work with a lot of business laptops are actually still like that. And of course, the biggest difference is in price. This starts off at $699 for 32-gig version. This is the $799 version. You do get a mobile broadband antenna for that. And then when you add all of these different accessories that cost anywhere from $79 to $200. If you got all this stuff, you'd be spending about $1200, which is frankly enough to buy a 13-inch MacBook Air or the Microsoft Surface Pro, which has a core i5 CPU or a lot of other different types of laptops or tablets that really means that for consumers. This kind of guy is only worth getting if you have a company IT Department willing to shell out for it for you. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the HP ElitePad 900.