HP's ElitePad 900 is a Windows tablet for the business market that features a semi-ruggedised construction, built-in security tools, and the ability to be expanded with a range of accessories such as Smart Jackets that envelope the device and add extra capabilities.
First announced last year but only available in the past few weeks, the ElitePad 900 aims to stem the flood of consumer devices coming into the enterprise by offering a tablet with corporate-grade features but with finish and styling that gives it consumer appeal.
To this end, the ElitePad features a machined aluminium chassis reminiscent of some Apple devices, while coming with features to please IT managers, such as support for Absolute's Computrace service and HP Client Security tools.
However, on the downside, the ElitePad is very sparsely equipped with I/O ports, making a Smart Jacket or dock almost an essential item for using the device rather than just a useful option.
It also has an integral battery, following the example of many consumer tablets, meaning it is not possible to swap the battery for a fully charged spare if the need should arise.
At 261x178x9.2mm, the ElitePad is slightly longer but not quite as wide as Apple's full-size iPad tablet, while at 680g it is slightly heavier (but not noticeably so). In fact, this puts it in the same league as other Atom-powered Windows 8 tablets such as Dell's Latitude 10.
With its machined aluminium body and black bezel around the screen, it also bears a passing resemblance to the iPad, although its corners are more rounded and the Windows button underneath the long edge of the screen gives its identity away.
The aluminium body gives the ElitePad a sturdy feel, and HP claims that the tablet is able to withstand the US military's MIL-STD 810G testing. Its display is also protected by toughened Gorilla Glass.
Looking around the ElitePad's case, you will notice that the device has very few visible ports. At first glance there appears to be just a headset audio jack socket on the top edge and a docking connector on the bottom edge of the case, also used for connecting the supplied mains charger.
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