Hewlett-Packard’s latest convertible touchscreen tablet/notebook PC, the HP Pavilion 11T x360 launched on February 26 for $399. The convertible tablet PC features a hinged screen which allows it to fold into laptop mode for use with the attached keyboard or to collapse into slate mode for touch input. The model can also be folded to prop up into a tent or recline mode for displaying. The device weighs 3.08 pounds and includes an 11.6 inch high definition WXGA display with 10-point capacitive multi-touch, an Intel Pentium processor, and an HP TrueVision HD webcam. HP has indicated they are targeting young professionals and students with this model. HP x360 includes integrated Beats Audio, dual speakers as well as access to HP Connected Music for music lovers.
This summer, HP is also expanding its HP DataPass 3G/4G broadband data service to 12 additional countries, including the US. Selected HP notebook and tablet models will be able to connect to the internet when WiFi is not available using HP DataPass. The company will be offering 250MB of free data for two years of mobile broadband service for select PCs and tablets. HP DataPass is expected to be available on the HP Pavilion x360.
Samsung released the Galaxy NotePRO tablet which boasts a 12.2 inch screen. The 32GB base model is priced at $749.99 while the 64GB model costs $849.99. The display features a 2,560 x 1,600 pixel TFT LCD panel (247 ppi). The tablet has Samsung’s octa-core Exynos processor—four 1.9GHz A15 chips and four 1.3GHz A7 chips with 3GB RAM. NotePRO features an 8-megapixel rear facing camera and a 2-megapixel front facing camera. The NotePRO is available in both an LTE-enabled and WiFi only version. Samsung has altered the user experience a bit to include Magazine UX which integrates features beyond news and social media to include things like calendar, emails, and image gallery widgets.
The NotePRO features a bevy of accessories including a folio case, wireless mouse and keyboard, a micro USB dongle for HDMI out, full sized USB in, and Ethernet.
Easy input is a key element of productivity tablets. For this market, a soft keyboard alone may not be sufficient to meet the needs of the user. Samsung and HP have both developed tablets that keep corporate in mind, with additional input options, while also delivering tablets that allow for seamless transition into leisure or pure touch mode.
Heavier than most slate style tablets on the market today, the HP x360 justifies the weight difference with the inclusion of a regular, hard keyboard, allowing the user the flexibility of both touch and key input. For corporate customers looking for a laptop replacement and students wanting a tablet that can support term papers as well as entertainment, the dual input approach resonates. Pricing, starting at $399 for the base model, is within reach of the value minded student or business customer.
The Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 offers users the option of finger or pen input on a 12.2-inch screen. For those questioning the need for a 12.2-inch screen, Samsung features ‘multitasking mode’ which allows users to have up to four apps appear on the display at a time, making effective use of the additional screen real estate. Significantly lighter than the HP x360, the NotePro 12.2 weighs in at slightly less than 1.8 pounds but does not include a hard keyboard.
With a base price of $749, the NotePro 12.2 is $50 more than the 32 GB version of the 9.7-inch, iPad Air and more expensive than many ultrabooks on the market today. The lure of pen input may not be enough to justify the price point for corporate customers, who have a lot of more affordable options for multitasking notebooks.