HP's ElitePad Is The Awesome Tablet That Should Be Sold To The Masses

Over the past few months, HP quietly teased a tablet in ads and marketing materials. It had the appearance of something sleek and premium. As it turns out, that tablet was the ElitePad: a 10-inch, aluminium-cased Windows 8 tablet that has all the makings of something desirable.

The ElitePad is everything you'd expect a Windows 8 tablet to be on paper. It can run on the new interface or in desktop mode. It feels solid when you pick it up, and the short time I spent fiddling around with it made it seem like a responsive device. And the design -- its curved tapered sides and squared-off top don't feel entirely derivative of Apple's design.

Built on top of Intel's Clover Trail platform, the 1280x800 display strikes a compromise between the mag-friendly-but-video-hostile 4:3 aspect ratio and the slightly too wide 16:9 tablet display. At 9mm and 680g, it's not the lightest or thinnest tablet around (the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD is thinner and the iPad is lighter), but it's still at the more impressive end of each spectrum.

The 2GB of RAM is on par with other Clover Trail machines, and the option to include up to 64GB of internal storage is nice for a device that's pure tablet. Toss in the 1080p front cam and the 8MP rear cam, and it sounds like a Windows 8 tablet people might actually want.

But here's the catch: HP isn't gearing the thing towards the iPad crowd. Instead, the company said it only plans to sell it through enterprise vendors.

Huh? Why?

It's understandable that HP doesn't think a Windows 8 tablet might not yet have a shot of competing against the iPads and Kindles and Nexuses, but to not make it available to consumers in some form seems foolish. Aside from a possibly expensive pricetag, the features and design of the ElitePad aren't anymore enterprise than they are consumer. And, more than the convertible tablet, this was the HP Win 8 device that excited me most.

Instead HP will be happy to package a series of enterprise-centric accessories -- cases and sleeves that add ports and battery life and essentially turn the tablet into a laptop -- to try and woo serious businessmen who do serious business on the road. If you are, in fact, some sort of salesman or executive, you might be able to get your hands on one early next year. The rest of us will not be so fortunate. [HP]



    I'm still waiting for a Win8 Tablet that can have two monitors via a docking station instead of one that is shown in the video. I need this to happen and I need HP to do it now

      It's going to be difficult to get the required hardware in a package that size at the right price point. I'm sure they could do it, but it would end up costing $3000.

      I wouldn't be expecting anything approaching useful performance if you ask Intel's on-board graphics to start pushing two monitors worth of pixels around. It might be OK for spreadsheets but not for much else, I wouldn't think, so I can't see anyone being able to build a nosiness case for it.

    "HP isn’t gearing the thing towards the iPad crowd. Instead, the company said it only plans to sell it through enterprise vendors."

    except the fact it looks exactly like an ipad and enterprise use ipads currently

      it doesn’t look like an iPad to me... it has an HP badge, a Windows logo on a differently orientated button. black and silver scheme on the back and its a different shape.

      if you are confused between the too I'd suggest glasses or night schooling in Geometry

      Enterprise would prefer a windows based platfor and they can have more control over BYOD. But the question still is, can Windows 8 live upto or exceed standards and expectations? this is a real head scratcher.

      I wasn't aware that Apple put HP logos on their iPads... That seems a bit silly, don't you think?

      How does it look like an iPad? The sculpted back with the big, black rectangle and the aspect ratio give it a completely different look.

      It looks like tablet version of the w2207 HP monitor I bought in 2007, just a couple of years before the ipad was launched.

    Its about time some windows 8 tablet news started coming in.

    Not too impressed with this however.

    They aren't selling to consumers because Apple marketing had put a patent on selling things to consumers. Anyone who does sell something to a consumer has to give up part of their soul to Apple who plan to use it to clone Steve Jobs. The new Steve Jobs will be called "Steve Jobs S"

      just remember who fired first in the patent wars

    Or based on all their previous attempts, HP don't want to fire sale millions of tablets below cost. Is anyone keeping tabs on how many billion HP have pissed away on tablets/OS for no profit at all?

    The back kinda looks like the bottom of a macbook air.

    There's no way when I can buy a decent laptop for $800 or so that I'd spend the equivalent on a tablet.

    First up, who decided that 16:9 was too wide? Apple? 16:9 is the minimum aspect ratio I would consider and that ultra-widescreen Toshiba ultrabook has definite appeal to me. Who would limit their screen technology to a dead medium like a magazine page? In any event, one of the good things about 16:9 is it fits two A4 pages side-by-side perfectly, just what you would want with Win8's new Reader app.

    As for only selling to enterprise customers, I imagine HP would prefer to deal with customers who make rational decisions, rather than Joe Idiot, who is far too easily hypnotised into believing whatever shiny, new toy Apple offer up is the best thing since canned piss. I assume it will be easy enough to get hold of through HP's workstation reseller network, so it should be easy enough for anyone who wants one to get their hands on it.

    Now, just make a Windows Phone to match.

    Wonder why they'd go with a name including 'pad'. Call it a tablet if you're trying to go in a different direction to Apple. Tablet Elite sounds like a more enterprise-oriented name.

      Going down that road, I'd more say that they're ripping off Lenovo. You know, that whole 'precedent' thing that.

      Though Tablet Elite ... I kinda like it!

    This thing is Dead on arrival..the resolution doesn't support windows 8 metro snap view! What an oversight by HP!!

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