“The Pro Slate 8 is a great addition to an executive’s bag with its incredibly useful Duet Pen”
Being tech journalists, we come across a lot of cool technologies and gadgets every other day. As we’re part of an industry that sees everything moving at a breakneck pace, very few things amaze us. Today however, we were left impressed, and that too by an enterprise-focussed gadget.
Popular PC manufacturer HP recently unveiled a myriad of tablets and hybrid devices that cater to enterprise users. Amongst the devices that were on showcase, our attention was drawn towards one in particular, the HP Pro Slate 8, thanks to its unique stylus. Dubbed Duet pen, the stylus comes bundled with the slate and has quite a few tricks up its sleeve (or nib, to be precise). Let’s take a look at the slate and its stylus in action, in our picture-filled hands-on impressions.
The HP Pro Slate 8 features a 7.86-inch display up front, which bears a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. A retina-class pixel density of 326ppi manages to offer lovely visuals and sharp text. The device also has dual speakers above and below the display, along with a 2MP front-facing shooter.
Constructed from metal, the tablet sports a sturdy build quality and looks classy at the same time. Adding to the durability factor is a layer of Corning’s latest fourth-gen Gorilla Glass.
The Pro Slate 8 is also quite slim at 8mm and tips the scale at 350g. While it can fit in a single hand, it would require the use of both hands for most operations.
The slate has the usual design aesthetics with both the power button and volume keys to the right. At the left, it gets a proprietary port for docking a keyboard as well as an expansion slot. A 3.5mm jack is available on the top, while the bottom sports a micro-USB port.
The back has a soft-touch finish offering good grip. You’ll also find an 8-megapixel shooter here.
Handling the software affairs is Google Android 4.4 KitKat, which is available in a near-stock form.
Now, let’s take a peek at the Duet Pen, which got us excited about the slate at the first place. Staying true to its name, it can used in two ways – as a stylus for scribbling anything on the HP Slate Pro 8 or as a pen on paper.
With the former option, you can use the stylus for writing or drawing on the pre-installed HP Notes app.
However, the magic happens when you reverse the nib of the Duet Pen. Now, you can use it as a real pen on real paper, and if your paper is within one feet of the left side of the slate, then whatever you scribble on it will appear on the slate as well (of course, it’ll happen only when the HP Notes app is open).
The Pro Slate 8 is the first tablet that uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon digital pen technology. The technology utilises ultrasonic sensors available on the left side of the tablet for performing this magic. The Duet Pen also transmits ultrasound to help the slate triangulate its position and the best part is that there’s zero latency while writing or even drawing. The app allows you to configure the width of the pencil as well as the colour.
The app also offers the capability of exporting the particular note as text (that can be copied to anywhere) or an image or a PDF file.
The HP Slate Pro 8 isn’t just a one-trick pony as it boasts powerful internals as well. The tablet comes equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core chipset, with each core tuned at 2.3GHz. Complementing the processor is 2GB of RAM for ensuring fluid performance. Storage stands at 16 / 32GB, which can be further increased with the use of a microSD card. For connectivity, the device offers Wi-Fi 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and Miracast along with optional 4G support (compatible with TDD-LTE Band 3, 1,800MHz). The tablet claims up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge.
Priced at Rs 33,000, the HP Pro Slate 8 is a great addition to an executive’s bag thanks to its incredibly useful Duet Pen. In fact, we hope that HP also releases a consumer-centric version of the tablet, since the functionality of Duet Pen can be extremely beneficial to the likes of students, teachers, creative artists and more.