I was in Australia recently for a few meetings, and while there was fortunate to attend the HP launch of their new tablets, the HP ElitePad and the HP ENVY x2. These will be available sometime early next year, and yes I’ve definitely put my name down on that waiting list!

For those of you out there with Apple iPads or other branded tablets, these new devices are pretty unique and will really challenge the current tablets on the market in a whole new way. I came away amazed at how HP had put their products together, some of the incredible features on offer, and how they provided so much more of an actual “computing” experience – as opposed to most tablets which are really just a super large phone you use for web browsing and operating various apps, but aren’t necessarily “productive” in the true sense of the word.

Some of the features I really liked in the HP ElitePad:

  • HP ElitePad USB Adaptor (included with purchase) – meaning you can actually get stuff on and off the device quickly and easily without having to go through iTunes…  Hooray!
  • Optional “jackets” such as the Expansion Jacket that the device slips into which contains multiple USB ports and HDMI output, as well as a stand at the rear.  Add the Battery Jacket for majorly extended battery life (only increasing the overall device size by a few mm).
  • A Productivity Jacket which was really amazing, adding a fully integrated keyboard, an SD card expansion slot, USB ports and other connectivity options.
  • And then there is talk of a Rugged case, which would be REALLY cool, basically offering Military Grade protection to the device – just in case you drop it on the ground, dunk it in water, or do something else really silly…

The HP ENVY x2 was something else again.  Looking just like a laptop with a touchscreen display, this was basically two devices in one.  The tablet display and keyboard together look and work just like a laptop, but simply slide the tablet display off as you head out the door and you have a portable tablet slightly bigger than the HP ElitePad, but packing the same set of amazing features.  Such a cool concept, this makes the whole portability of a laptop even more versatile.

Both tablets run the new Windows 8, which looked really intuitive and fun to use.  Unlike the iPad the screen icons and toolbars completely disappear off the screen, giving you a much more pleasing viewing experience (particularly useful for visual perfectionists like myself)!  But otherwise the theory is basically the same, touch screen icons and applications which you click through for full screen use.

The launch itself was amazing, set in front of Customs House in Sydney the entire area had been covered in sand with little beach shacks around the place and a fantastic beach bar.  Perks of the job huh!

Keep your eyes out for the new HP ElitePad and the HP ENVY x2 coming in the New Year, I was suitably impressed!

HP ElitePad:

HP ENVY x2:

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