A lot of things happened recently: Valentine's Day, NBA All-Star Weekend, and today is Presidents' Day. You can go ahead and pick one of those now as the reason for this giveaway, because we don't actually have one. Maybe your V-Day was crappy, so a free tablet will cheer you up. Maybe you're bummed because [spoiler alert] the West lost, so you need a pick me up. Maybe you're not from America and couldn't care less about Presidents' Day – it's a holiday here, and we'll give you a free tablet because of that.
I've said it dozens of times, but I'll say it again: there aren't enough eight-inch Android tablets. When the iPad Mini was announced, I assumed more manufacturers would jump on the form factor, but nope – there still aren't that many. Needless to say, when HP announced the Slate8 Pro, I was intrigued. It's an 8-inch tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio, which treads directly on the iPad Mini's territory. Of course, we have to be realistic here – it's an HP tablet, and so far there hasn't been anything really remarkable coming from them.
Back when NVIDIA announced its Tegra Note platform, it was said that several manufacturers would be producing their own versions of the unit. The basic components are the same – Tegra 4, 1GB RAM, 1280x800 display, etc. – but each manufacturer is still free to tweak and change the design as they see fit. HP's Slate 7 Extreme is a perfect example of this – it looks nothing like the EVGA Tegra Note 7 (which was the first TN7 device to market), yet it packs all the same features.
Not content to simply blur the line between conventional smartphones and tablets like manufacturers around the world are already doing, HP has decided to completely erase any distinction between the two. This morning the company announced that its first smartphones since the ill-fated HP Pre 3 in 2011 won't be "phones" at all, but rather "voice tablets," competing with low-cost, big-screen models like the Galaxy Mega. Re/code reports that the two inaugural Android devices, the Slate 6 and Slate 7, will be introduced in India next month.
Android-powered all-in-one PCs are all the rage... or at least that's what desktop manufacturers are hoping at CES. HP is the latest to enter this particular fray with the Slate21 Pro, an all-in-one design that runs any OS you want, as long as you want Android. The 21.5", 1080p IPS touchscreen hides a respectable NVIDIA Tegra 4 system underneath, with Android 4.3 and access to the Google Play Store.
This model is aimed squarely at businesses for a kiosk environment - think hotel business suites or elementary school computer labs.
HP's efforts in the Android tablet space haven't been all that inspiring so far, but they're hoping to change that with the late 2013 line. If you've been waiting on the HP Slate 8 Pro or the Slate 7 Extreme, it looks like Best Buy is the first American retailer to get its hands on the new tablets. You can pick them up for $329.99 and $199.99, respectively.
The Slate 8 Pro is HP's imitation of an iPad Mini.
To put it simply, HP isn't the most sought-after name in the tablet game. The company's first real Android tablet, the Slate 7, didn't work out quite like expected, while the recently-released Slatebook x2 managed to miss the mark when it came to the display. They say the third time's a charm, so HP decided to go all out with its third tablet announcement and drop four new Android-powered device on the world.
When it comes to Android tablets with detachable keyboards, one name comes to mind: Transformer. There's no denying that ASUS has carved out a pretty specific niche in the Android tablet/laptop convertible category. HP is looking to change that with the SlateBook x2, a 10.2-inch Android tablet with a keyboard dock that essentially converts it to an Android-powered laptop. It's small enough to fall into the "netbook" category, but that's a dirty word I try to stay away from.
HP's return to the tablet market hasn't exactly set the world on fire just yet, with only the budget-focused Slate 7 filling in the spaces on retail shelves. Today the company aims a little higher with the StateBook x2, a riff on ASUS' Transformer series with high-end specs and a high-end price to match them. The tablet comes bundled with a keyboard - there's no tablet-only option - for $479.
Few people probably saw this one coming. Microsoft Windows has long faced off with Mac OS X on the desktop, and while only a distinct minority adopted Apple's platform, the conflict has captured the interest of the tech industry for years. Open source advocates have even entertained the idea that Linux desktops would one day topple Microsoft's empire. Far fewer people speculated that it would be a mobile operating system that would start to replace Windows on desktop machines.